What is a Traumatic Event?
An event is usually considered traumatic if a person has experienced or witnessed actual, or threatened, death or serious injury. Traumatic events range from common incidents to large-scale disasters and include:
- Transport disasters such as road or rail accidents
- Violence in the home or on the street
- House fires
- Natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods
- Combat experiences for both military personnel and civilians
- Terrorist attacks
- Rape and sexual assault
Other more 'typical' life events can also be so overwhelming for some people that they are experienced as traumatic incidents. These may include:
- Job loss or redundancy
- The end of a long-term relationship or divorce
- The death of a loved one
An experience can generally be described as traumatic when a person's normal ability to cope has been completely overwhelmed by a terrible event.