A traumatic event is a shocking, distressing, or dangerous experience that affects someone emotionally. Examples of traumatic events include:
- A natural disaster, such as a tornado or earthquake
- A car accident
- An assault, crime, or violent attack, and
Individuals may respond to traumatic events in a number of ways. Most people have intense emotional responses immediately following the event. While these emotions may last for several weeks, they usually lessen over time and eventually disappear entirely.
For some people, however, the stress and anxiety caused by the trauma continue for an extended period of time and begin to interfere with everyday life. In some cases, these responses affect the body and can manifest as physical symptoms.