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Is My Child Struggling to Process Grief and Fear in a Healthy Way?

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People hear the word trauma, or ​they find out that somebody's been exposed to a situation that could be considered traumatic, and decide it must have been a trauma. And so, in reality, it may have been traumatic for that individual, or it may not. So, not all situations experienced have to result in a traumatic response.

For example, you and I might experience the same situation, a car accident. It might be traumatic for you and not for me. It's in how the individual responds. People, in general, don't think about it that way. If we had something terrible happen to us that was a trauma, then it must be causing problems for us. Well, that's not necessarily true.

Trauma can be any event. And what I might experience as traumatic, you might think of as very minor. So you really can't look at the event, you really do have to look at the response and the individual's functioning following the event.