心理創傷的形成，是個人經歷一些創傷事件，而此事件對當事人的影響，超出其情緒、能力可接受的範圍，繼而令當事人感到對人和事都失去控制感，亦無法管理內在的情緒狀態。創傷事件例子：與父母分離、父母離婚；親朋長期病患、突然死亡、自殺；面對持續暴力環境、性侵犯；天災人禍 (如：火災、地震、交通意外) 等。當事人在經歷創傷事件前並未有任何心理創傷徵狀，但在經歷創傷事件後，可能引發情緒或身體的反應，如：
What is Trauma?
Trauma is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one’s ability to cope, or integrate the emotions involved with that experience. Trauma may result from a single distressing experience or recurring events of being overwhelmed that can be precipitated in weeks, years, or even decades as the person struggles to cope with the immediate circumstances, eventually leading to serious, long-term negative consequences, examples of traumatic events: separation from parents, divorce of parents; chronic illnesses of relatives and friends, sudden death, suicide; facing persistent violent environment, sexual assault, natural disasters and man-made disasters (such as fire, earthquake, traffic accident), etc.
Trauma differs between individuals, according to their subjective experiences, people will react to similar traumatic events differently. After experiencing the traumatic event, it may trigger emotional or physical reactions, such as:
- Feeling upset, anxious, frightened
- Mood swings
- Difficult to concentrate
- Breathing difficulty
- Eating disorder
- Insomnia, difficulty falling asleep, waking up early or easily awakened
- Lose interest in what you love
It is common to experience the above reactions after a traumatic event. These reactions may last for a period of time. When the incident subsides, the above-mentioned symptoms should gradually decrease and life will become normal. However, if your emotional and physical conditions persist and affect daily life, you must seek for professional help as soon as possible.