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What Is Medical Trauma?


Medical trauma is defined as a set of psychological and physiological responses to pain, injury, serious illness, medical procedures and frightening treatment experiences.

What are examples of medical trauma?

Some experiences that might lead to medical trauma include:

  • being on dialysis.
  • giving birth or having a cesarean delivery.
  • being intubated.
  • experiencing cancer.
  • being hospitalized for a medical condition.
  • undergoing surgery.
  • having health complications as a child.
  • having a heart attack or stroke.

What do we mean by trauma?

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), trauma is “ an emotional response to a terrible event like an accident, rape, or natural disaster.” However, a person may experience trauma as a response to any event they find physically or emotionally threatening or harmful.

How do I know if I have medical trauma?

Though the symptoms of medical trauma—e.g., hypervigilance, avoidance behavior, anxiety, intrusive memories, intense emotions, emotional numbing, exaggerated startle response—may be identical to those stemming from other traumatic events, its origins can make it difficult to recognize.

What are the 3 types of trauma?

There are three main types of trauma: Acute, Chronic, or Complex

  • Acute trauma results from a single incident.
  • Chronic trauma is repeated and prolonged such as domestic violence or abuse.
  • Complex trauma is exposure to varied and multiple traumatic events, often of an invasive, interpersonal nature.

Why do doctors Gaslight?

Clinical and diagnostic trauma Medical gaslighting occurs when health professionals minimize or disregard disabling or dangerous symptoms. This can be by refusing to perform lab tests or insisting that symptoms are related to mental health disorders.

How do you recover from medical trauma?

So, what are some treatments for PTSD?

  1. Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
  2. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
  3. Cognitive processing therapy (CPT)
  4. Exposure therapy (sometimes called prolonged exposure)
  5. Virtual reality exposure therapy.

Can hospitals cause trauma?

We all experience the occasional life-changing event—a new baby, a cross-country move, a serious injury. In rare cases, such events can precipitate a mental disorder.

Can trauma be cured?

As with most mental illnesses, no cure exists for PTSD, but the symptoms can be effectively managed to restore the affected individual to normal functioning. The best hope for treating PTSD is a combination of medication and therapy.

What can trauma do to a person?

Initial reactions to trauma can include exhaustion, confusion, sadness, anxiety, agitation, numbness, dissociation, confusion, physical arousal, and blunted affect. Most responses are normal in that they affect most survivors and are socially acceptable, psychologically effective, and self-limited.

What are the 4 types of trauma?

The mental health community broadly recognizes four types of trauma responses:

  • Fight.
  • Flight.
  • Freeze.
  • Fawn.

Can you have PTSD from medical trauma?

Trauma experienced as a result of medical procedures, illnesses, and hospital stays can have lasting effects. Those who experience medical trauma can develop clinically significant reactions such as PTSD, anxiety, depression, complicated grief, and somatic complaints.

What causes medical trauma?

Medical trauma occurs after someone undergoes a serious medical procedure or illness. Teens diagnosed with chronic or terminal illnesses may struggle with medical trauma, as can those with life-threatening injuries or surgeries.

Can you have PTSD from medical issues?

People who suffer and survive a critical illness are at increased risk of developing post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People with mental health issues, scary memories of their medical emergency, or who are sedated with drugs which can cause frightening delusions or hallucinations are even more at risk.

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