How Do You Define a Traumatic Event?

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It has to be something that's dangerous, something that sort of elicit the fight or flight response. So sometimes we use the word trauma loosely, and we'll say I was traumatized by that meeting I had to sit through, that's not really a trauma, your life wasn't in danger, and you didn't see anyone get injured.

A trauma involves threat of injury, threat to you bodily integrity, so things like a car accident, things like a child abuse, things like combat exposure, rape or sexual assault, these are all examples of traumatic events.