Effects of traumatic events

Effects of traumatic events

Intense and prolonged exposure to traumatic events combined with other risk factors (some of the risk factors for PTSD are older age, female gender, pre-trauma mental health issues, early life trauma and lack of social support) can lead to significant changes in personality development.

This long-term effect of trauma is called complex PTSD and it encompasses alterations in:

  • regulation of affect and impulses
  • relations with others
  • systems of meaning

Trauma can alter the sense of identity, one’s self-worth and core believes

about the world. Some of typical cognitive distortions are:

  • persistent negative beliefs about themselves/the world (“I am no good”; “I cannot trust anyone”)
  • an exaggerated blame of self or others for causing the trauma (“I deserved this to happen to me”).

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