What is trauma?
LinkLiving supports people who are living with the negative impacts of trauma.
Trauma is an emotional response to an event or events that hurt you physically or emotionally. Trauma can have a lasting effect on your mental, physical, and emotional health. Trauma can put you at risk of developing mental health conditions or poor life outcomes such as homelessness or substance misuse.
Trauma can happen at any time and at any age. Everyone has a different response to trauma and your reaction may be very different to someone else’s. You might notice the effects soon after the event or they may be delayed by many years.
After trauma, you may avoid things that remind you of the event, such as places, objects, and sounds. You can also become more easily startled, appear more alert to what is going on around you, and you might experience emotional outbursts such as becoming irritable more easily. You may dream or experience nightmares about what happened or experience sudden and powerful flashbacks.
You may experience a lot of thoughts related to the event, or distressing dreams or nightmares. This can cause difficulties with staying asleep, or you may feel it's not safe to sleep. You may feel in shock about what happened, and as you have experienced something threatening, you may not feel the same way about certain places, people or situations compared to before the event.
It’s normal to experience these reactions for a short period of time after the event, but if they persist, they can create difficulties coping with everyday living.
Effects of trauma
- Avoidant behaviour
- Easily startled
- Flashbacks and nightmares
- Intrusive memories or dreams
- Sleeping problems
- Shock, disbelief
- Low energy
- Unexplained pain
- Withdraw from others
Adverse childhood experiences
How you respond to trauma can be influenced by your life before the trauma occurred and if you experienced repeated events, or traumatic events when you were younger.
Adverse childhood experiences are early life traumatic and adverse, or stressful, events which can lead to physical and mental health difficulties. There is a higher risk of developing these if a child experiences several adverse childhood experiences, and if a supportive, trusted adult is absent.
Examples of adverse childhood experiences
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Living with someone who abused drugs
- Living with someone who abused alcohol
- Exposure to domestic violence
- Living with someone who went to prison
- Living with someone with serious mental illness
- Losing a parent through divorce, death or abandonment
Life can be full of adversity and challenges, and that doesn’t mean we aren’t able to cope, or will always be impacted long term by it. Also, if you have experienced these events, it doesn’t mean 100% of the time that you will experience long term effects.
Coping with the effects of trauma can feel really difficult or exhausting but with time and support, it is possible. LinkLiving can help.
How we can help
All of the support that LinkLiving provides is trauma informed with all staff fully trained in this approach. LinkLiving has considerable specialist experience in supporting people affected by trauma, with more than 60% of the people we support having experienced it at some point in their lives.
In Fife, the Better Than Well programme supports adults whose lives have been negatively affected by childhood trauma through a 1:1 self-help coaching approach.
The Steps To Resilience programme runs in Edinburgh, Falkirk, and Fife to support young people whose mental health has been negatively affected by trauma and disadvantage. This runs as a group work programme over 10 weeks but includes lots of 1:1 working too.
LinkLiving also offers trauma informed practice courses for frontline staff in other organisations.
If you need help to get support or want to know what support service might be available to you, then please contact us.