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Learn the Difference Between Small “T” and Big “T” Trauma 

Trauma is hard for people to talk about at any point in their lives. It makes a person feel less in control and may reduce their ability to think, feel, and act appropriately in their lives. Those exposed to traumatic experiences of any kind may feel debilitating effects. How it impacts people depends on the individual, the trauma, how their brain and body respond, and many other factors. The difference between small ‘T’ and big ‘T’ traumas can create an understanding of the impact trauma has and how best to seek help. 

Small ‘T’ Trauma

When therapists or other professionals talk about trauma, they might address it by saying there are two different types: big and small traumatic events. This clarification gives a classification to trauma which is harmful but varies in intensity. Small ‘T’ trauma is not as deeply impactful as big ‘T’ trauma but can still have negative ramifications. Here are some examples:

  • Family conflict
  • Divorce
  • Relocation for work
  • Legal challenges 
  • Money issues

Although these are qualified as ‘small’ the impact can still be wide-ranging. Chronic traumatic experiences, as in divorce, legal, or money challenges, can certainly impact people with stress, anxiety, depression, and many other issues. Over time, the accumulated impact of the trauma can lead to difficulty with emotional wellness. It may also be the result of big ‘T’ trauma early on in life that was unaddressed and led to difficulties later. It helps to have a perspective on all the ways life has been a challenge and seek some hope for change.

Large “T” Trauma

People who experience large trauma experience significant events that leave a person feeling powerless and having little control over their environment. These events could be a natural disaster, sexual assault, car, or plane accident, and long-term chronic issues like sexual abuse, or other things from early childhood. Helplessness is a key factor in these traumas. People who experience this type of trauma may avoid things, bury the memories of an event, avoid going out in public, develop phobias and mental health issues and find ways to minimize the stress. Over time, avoidance becomes unsustainable and they need to seek help.

Find Healing

Many people deal with things in their life that are considered traumatic. At the time they may not have qualified it as such but there is hope and healing for trauma. Therapies including cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), EMDR, holistic therapies, and trauma-informed care are all healing modalities that help individuals work through life’s challenges and find hope. There is no quick fix and no ‘cures’ for trauma. When trauma has occurred, it does not help to avoid the issue. The best way out is through the door of a therapist’s office, rehab center, or another place that offers opportunity for healing.

The Guest House Ocala helps people deal with the various layers and challenges they face due to trauma. If you are struggling or a loved one needs help with addiction and healing old wounds, call us. Our programs and services are designed with you in mind to help you navigate healing from addiction. You are not alone. Call us to find out how to get started: 1-855-483-7800