Dr. Mike Dadson (Michael Dadson) Answers Important Questions About Trauma
What is Traumatic Stress?
A traumatic incident frequently causes the mind and body to be overwhelmed with feelings of powerlessness and terror. Traumatic stress has the same effect.
Dr. Michael Dadson reports:
The actual criteria of that traumatic stressful event is death, threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence. There may be a direct or indirect exposure to the stressor. For example, you may witness (by hearing or seeing) an individual violent near-death experience (indirect). You also may directly experience violence and near death yourself (direct).
The Trauma-Informed Care in Behavioural Health Services identifies the criteria for PTSD within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) 5. *Note: The DSM 5 is the authoritative guide used by mental health professionals in North America and around the world.
“Traumatic stress refers to the psychological and emotional strain that can result from experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event”, relates Michael Dadson. “Trauma can have a significant impact on a person’s mental health and can lead to a range of physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms” Dr. Michael Dadson emphasizes.
Dr. Michael Dadson explains:
When trauma defences are activated there’s a natural reaction, a disequilibrium that happens in a sense. The defences are trying to deal with overwhelming circumstances in a situation that overwhelms the nervous system. Traumatic stress overwhelms the person’s ability to cope with the weight of all of the experience, which means that the body starts to respond in predictable different ways, and the mind responds in predictable ways.
It is also important to understand the difference between acute stress (which can include major life stressors), and PTSD. Acute stressors may not have all the characteristics of a Traumatic Stress event even though it can have a high psychological impact and can activate some of same types of defences. If there is not a core threat to life that involves horror, terror and overwhelming powerlessness they may not be a traumatic stress. Still, Acute stressors can be very distressing and can trigger different ways of reliving past traumatic experiences.
It is critically important to understand that traumatic or adverse childhood events (ACE’s), play a major role in an adults ability to deal with a new trauma, including how triggers from childhood can adversely affect their every-day life in adulthood.
For more information on trauma and PTSD view the PTSD in Veterans and First Responders Section.
10 Examples of Childhood Trauma (Adverse Childhood Events)
10 Common Symptoms Immediately After a Traumatic Event: