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3 of the Most Common Causes of Trauma

a woman is sitting and crossing her arms thinking about the causes of trauma

Trauma affects people across the United States every day. Once believed to affect first responders and combat veterans, trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect anyone. The more scientists and therapists study trauma, the more they begin to understand how natural disasters, domestic violence, illness or injury, and the death of a loved one can cause emotional trauma. A trauma therapy program is the safest, most effective way to help someone understand, manage, and treat the effects of trauma.

If you or someone you love has experienced trauma, know you are not alone. The team at A Better State is here to help you uncover and treat trauma for better mental health and overall wellness. Call us now at 781.412.1488 to learn more about our holistic outpatient programs serving the people of New Hampshire today.

What Is Trauma?

Trauma is a complex neurological, physical, and emotional response to life-threatening situations. During a life-threatening event, the brain releases chemicals like adrenaline and cortisol, causing a fight, flight or freeze response in order to survive. This primal response has helped humans survive dangerous situations for millennia. Today, however, it’s increasingly likely these events will cause stored trauma.

Common Causes of Trauma

Sometimes, the body processes adrenaline and cortisol during the event. If this doesn’t happen, they are stored in the body. Studies show traumatic memories are stored in the body’s tissues, not just the brain, waiting to reactivate for release. This means trauma gets “trapped” in tissues, waiting to release and process. This leads to PTSD and non-life-threatening situations to trigger trauma responses. These responses can include the following:

  • Anger
  • Aggression
  • Sound sensitivity
  • Light sensitivity
  • Worry
  • Depression
  • Self-isolation
  • Nausea
  • Confusion
  • Mood swings
  • Self-medicating
  • Paranoia
  • Shaking
  • Flashbacks
  • Reactive behavior
  • Unexplained guilt
  • Shame
  • Feeling unsafe
  • Anxiety
  • Fast heart rate
  • Panic attacks
  • Disorientation
  • Nightmares

Anything can trigger a trauma response, and everyone’s triggers are unique. Sounds, bright lights, and certain smells are only a few common triggers. Trauma therapy works with clients to process trauma and move it out of the body. Once the trauma is processed, triggers reduce, and traumatic memories may become painful or unpleasant.

3 Common Causes of Emotional Trauma

Trauma can be difficult to treat because a life-threatening event may be traumatic for one person and not for another. Today the three most common causes of trauma include:

  1. Natural disasters – Hurricanes, floods, tornados, and earthquakes are increasingly common traumatic events across the United States. Other disasters like mass shootings are also common causes of emotional trauma for those present and those who watch footage of events.
  2. Domestic violence – No matter the age, domestic violence, assault, and sexual assault are common causes of physical and emotional trauma. Unfortunately, many people who experience domestic violence as children grow up without trauma treatment.
  3. Major illness or injury – Whether someone survives their illness or injury or is the caretaker of a loved one, they can suffer emotional and physical trauma. The death of a loved one can also result in emotional trauma.

These are only a few causes of trauma. Some are collective traumas that happen to many people at once, while others are individual. No matter the kind of trauma, working with a trauma therapist can help someone recover and thrive.

Begin Trauma Therapy in New Hampshire at A Better State

Unfortunately, a lack of trauma education and accessible treatment keeps many people from getting the help they need. If you or someone in your life shows signs of PTSD or has experienced traumatic events, we can help. A Better State believes in treating the root causes of trauma, substance abuse, addiction, and mental health conditions. Our trauma-informed PHP and IOP programs help clients across New Hampshire recover.

Contact us now at 781.412.1488 to learn how our trauma therapy program can help you and your loved ones live life to the fullest.