Causes of Trauma and PTSD: Common and Less Common

Trauma occurs when we are exposed to extremely an stressful situation accompanied by a feeling of helplessness. Common examples of experiences which cause trauma are rape, sexual abuse, domestic violence, and military combat. But not everyone exposed to trauma develops Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

And trauma does not always arise from the causes mentioned above. Here’s a brief list of events that may also result in traumatic stress:

  • sports injury
  • car accident
  • life-threatening illness
  • surgery
  • the sudden death of someone close
  • a breakup
  • ongoing relentless stress
  • natural disasters such as earthquake or flood
  • neglect
  • bullying

Fortunately, we have some good treatments for trauma and PTSD. Talk therapy can be helpful, especially for chronic, on-going trauma such as may occur during childhood. But sometimes talk is not enough. Various exposure treatments, such as EMDR, can be effective in reducing and even eliminating some of the most bothersome symptoms of trauma such as flashbacks, panic attacks, and nightmares.

Curious about treatment for trauma or PTSD? I am trained in and practice EMDR, a well researched trauma treatment. Please click on the ‘EMDR’ link in the ‘ABOUT’ section in the right-hand column of this website for more information.


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Clinical Psychologist practicing in the Los Feliz neighborhood of Los Angeles, California.

2 thoughts on “Causes of Trauma and PTSD: Common and Less Common”

  1. What medications have been successful? My husband has been on Valium and citalaprom and had nightmares at night! Then they put him on lorazepam, zoloft, and prazosin HCL at first it seemed to be working but then he got severe ringing in the ears,headaches,stiff neck,nightmares,irritabity and I ended up taking him to the hospital with heartattack and stoke symbols! He is out of hospital and off meds except lorazepam and we are back to severe nightmares and his depression!!! HELP!!!!!!


    1. I’m sorry I can’t speak to which medications are helpful, that’s something you’ll have to discuss with a medical doctor, preferably a psychiatrist.

      Perhaps you could contact me and we could discuss his situation. Sorry you are going through this.


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