What is Trauma?

What Is Trauma?

Narcissistic Personality By Feb 06, 2024

Trauma refers to experiences that exceed a person’s capacity to cope, affecting their mental, emotional, social, and spiritual well-being, and diminishing their quality of life. It may stem from a single incident or multiple, sustained occurrences.

Some common causes are:

  • Collective violence (scapegoating)
  • Intimate partner violence (domestic violence)
  • Financial abuse
  • Natural disasters
  • Neglect
  • Medical trauma
  • Psycho-emotional abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Traumatic grief

Trauma Symptoms

Traumatic experiences can trigger the activation of the sympathetic nervous system, responsible for initiating our fight-flight-freeze and fawn responses to perceived threats. When this system is active, it releases stress hormones and temporarily changes the way our mind works, affecting our thinking and emotions. It’s important to understand that our reactions to these experiences are adaptive. Symptoms arise as a natural response to overwhelming and distressing experiences that threaten our safety and well-being. Their purpose is to help us survive dangerous situations. However, problems arise when trauma is severe or ongoing, our sympathetic nervous system remains active leading to a number of persistent psycho-emotional and physical symptoms.

Psycho-Emotional Symptoms

Some of the psycho-emotional reactions commonly seen are:

  • Anger
  • Anxiety
  • Confusion
  • Denial
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Dissociation
  • Fear
  • Flashbacks
  • Guilt
  • Hyper-vigilance
  • Irritability
  • Mood swings
  • Panic
  • Self-blame
  • Shame
  • Shock
  • Shame
  • Social isolation

Physical Symptoms

Some of the physical reactions commonly include:

  • Aches
  • Exhaustion
  • Fatigue
  • Health palpitations
  • Hyperarousal
  • Insomnia
  • Nightmares
  • Muscle tension
  • Chronic pain

What Does Trauma-Informed Recovery Coaching Look Like?

Trauma-informed recovery coaching provides compassionate and holistic support for people as they strive towards healing and post-traumatic growth. Clients are empowered to set goals and work in collaboration with their coach to develop greater self-awareness and resilience while processing the underlying cause(s). It is a collaborative effort between the client and coach, who arms the client with tools to cope with triggers and regulate emotions while building self-confidence and trust. Visit our coaching page to book a session.


Manya Wakefield is a recovery coach specializing in cognitive behavioral therapy and coercive trauma. Her expertise has been featured in publications such as Newsweek, Elle, Cosmopolitan, and Huffington Post. In 2019, she launched the social impact platform Narcissistic Abuse Rehab, building a global audience through human rights advocacy. The same year, she published the book ‘Are You In An Emotionally Abusive Relationship,’ which is used in domestic violence recovery groups around the world. In 2020, Manya developed The Coercive Control Legislation Global Database. She is also the host of The Narcissistic Abuse Rehab Podcast, which is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon.