Sometimes people refer to ‘the trauma’ of seeing or experiencing something, and other times we might hear trauma used to describe the injury itself.

According to Phoenix Australia, when we are talking about our mental health, “a trauma is an injury or ‘wound’ to our psyche”. Or in layman’s terms, damage to a person’s emotional or psychological health and wellbeing.


Potentially traumatic events and experiences can change the structure of our brain, and this is why your loved one may not be able to just “snap out of it’ or “shake it off” and why specialised treatments are offered to them by highly trained professionals.

There is an upside however, our brains can continue to change so with the right treatment, our brain can change again and, in some cases, even improve.

If your loved one is a first responder, there are many types of jobs that they attend that could be deemed as potentially traumatic, but it is important to remember that everyone is different and there is no ‘right’ way to feel after an event. Early identification and intervention are really important so if you suspect that your loved one’s work has impacted them it might be worth having a chat to them (see How can I encourage my loved one to get help? article).


For more information on how trauma can affect a person and for tips on how to support your loved one after they have experienced a potentially traumatic event, check out the Recovery after Trauma Guides written by Phoenix Australia.