Trauma – risk factors

Various factors need to be taken into consideration when assessing the risks that surround someone’s vulnerability to trauma. Not all traumatic events will lead to emotional and psychological damage, because not everyone will see a traumatic experience as being traumatic.

Some of us may bounce back because we accept what happens, as part of life’s journey. Others may be completely devastated by something that appears less upsetting by someone else. There are, however, a number of risk factors that make some of us more susceptible to psychological and emotional trauma.

If we are already under a lot of stress, have suffered a few losses, or come from a dysfunctional family, we are more likely to be susceptible to trauma. A new situation may also traumatise us, if that situation carries similar characteristics of an earlier experience, or trauma appears to have come from childhood. Problems with trauma should always be addressed.

Any experience that a child sees as traumatic can have a severe and long-lasting effect on them and this can spill over into their adult lives, creating a foundation for further trauma. Childhood trauma happens, when a child’s sense of security and safety becomes compromised.

The following situations or events may also play its part. A parent splitting the family; an environment where children are made to feel unsafe or unstable; a serious illness in the family that compromises the family.

Verbal, physical or sexual abuse is also associated with trauma. Not being looked after properly, being bullied or neglected at home, in school and domestic violence.


24 Jul, 2010

10 thoughts on “Trauma – risk factors

  1. I agree with you on all accounts. Trauma in childhood definately affects us later in life. I guess I kind of work with a child that can be affected by the trauma of being moved from one home to the next in the foster care system. I had a pretty good childhood except for the diabetes and I guess that was traumatic in a way. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks when I was diagnosed. Great post Ilana.

    1. Lisa anything we deal with but find it difficult to come to terms with becomes a trauma. I am pleased you enjoyed your childhood although you seemed to struggle with your diabetes, not so good.

      I do believe though the tough bits of our life definitely make us stronger and shape our lives somewhat good or bad.

  2. Nice job. The unresolved trauma of childhood spilling over into adult life in a negative manner, without a doubt. Likewise resolved trauma from childhood results in the ability to cope with like traumas in adult life. Thanks for sharing, Brian.

    1. Absolutely, knowing all of this helps us understand what we need to do to put our life back on the right track, a more harmonious track.

  3. I like the bit of your post where you say that trauma isn’t defined by one specific thing or one type of event. It is different for everyone. I find this to be true in things that I myself have experienced and others around me. I think sometimes it can be hard for others to understand such experiences if they don’t view them in that way.

    1. LeAnna. I think that too, which makes it so hard because our experiences are for us, why would it be up to someone else to have a different view point on what we know to be true of our experiences?

      What family or friends should be doing is accepting our experiences and just be there to act as a support.

  4. I absolutely agree with you Ilana. Family and friends should support us no matter what we’re going through. Lisa

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