What Is Trauma
A closer look at trauma
Signs and symptoms
Children are often incredibly resilient in the face of adversity. However, when stressors are overwhelming, they may exhibit a wide range of emotional, behavioral, and academic difficulties. Symptoms of trauma may also vary based on the child’s age and developmental stage. Children are often unable to verbally express what is bothering them and therefore are more likely to communicate through their behaviors; what we may see as tantrums, acting out, or bids for attention are frequently their way of telling us that they need help.
Traumatic events can challenge our core beliefs of ourselves, others, and the world. They can shake us up to our very core. But enduring psychological struggles can sometimes lead to ultimately finding a sense of personal growth, resulting in what we call post-traumatic growth.
Post-traumatic growth may involve a new understanding of why something terrible happened, finding meaning in the adverse event, and reevaluating what it means for our worldview. It is not bouncing back; it is faring off better than one was before the trauma happened. Post-traumatic growth can involve a new appreciation of life, improved relationships with others, feeling motivated to discover new possibilities in life, increased personal strength, a sense of self-efficacy, and spiritual change.
Post-traumatic growth is a process that happens over time, requires effort, and can take place through treatment. According to the psychologist Richard Tedeschi, who developed the theory of post-traumatic growth, it means moving past just getting by or managing your symptoms.