"A way to understand trauma is to think of a physical wound. Without the right treatment, a wound may get infected and worsen instead of healing. Someone can put a bandage on a wound, but if there is a deep infection then a bandage can only cover up the deeper problem. Trauma is a personal experience. What is traumatic for one person may not have as much negative affect on another person who experienced the same event. Many factors go into how an adverse experience or traumatic event affects people, and these factors may include how frightening the event was to them, whether they had emotional support after the event, and what beliefs they developed about themselves, others, or the world as a result. For example, some people who have experienced child sexual abuse have a more difficult time finding healing for reasons such as the abuse was a secret, they were threatened by the abuser, or they were not believed by whomever they told about the experience. If the abuse was reported, there may be even more emotional disturbance from having to tell the police or others and then having to go into detail about the experience in a stressful, high-pressure courtroom environment. On the other hand, if a child is believed and the abuse is addressed with care and support from the child"s family, friends, and professionals, healing may take place while still in childhood. Returning to the physical wound analogy, a physical wound may need to be opened and exposed to remove the infection so that the wound can heal from the inside out. As with a physical wound, it is vulnerable and scary to open up a psychological wound and expose all the feelings, emotions, and thoughts connected to a past stressful experience."
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