The experience of trauma shows itself in different aspects of our being - the emotional, mental, physical and spiritual. This experience can vary in intensity and in how long it takes to subside.
Trauma to a person and/or family be the result of a single incident (such as a car accident) or the result of several experiences of loss and psycho-emotional over a period of time. The latter, we call complex trauma. Complex trauma can result from from all forms of abuse, including the abuse of living in an emotionally invalidating and/or hyper-critical environment, being or feeling abandoned and other interpersonal experiences that impact on your relationships in an ongoing way.
Trauma symptoms can include the re-experiencing symptoms (flashbacks, bad dreams, frightening thoughts) and avoidance symptoms (avoiding places, events or objects that remind you of the experience, feeling emotionally numb, guilty, struggling to remember important parts of the event, and possibly a loss of interest in things you used to enjoy). Hyper-arousal symptoms can also be experienced. These can take the form of being easily startled, feeling tense or 'on edge', having trouble falling or staying asleep, and having anger outbursts.
While these symptoms can be the mind and body's natural way of coping with the event initially, these symptoms should settle over time. If the symptoms persist, the person could be seen to have a Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The symptoms of Complex Trauma can be present throughout a person's life, if not recognised as such and treated accordingly.
Many people who have experiences of this nature try to self-medicate by using alcohol and other drugs, self-harming (trying to heal the inner hurt, by harming themselves on the outside) or killing themselves.
Again, these issues that are able to be worked through in a trusting therapeutic relationship. No issue is so big that it can't be 'put in a box' and settled, so leading to a better quality of life.