What Counts As Trauma? 

Older woman trauma

17 Types of Trauma on the National Center for PTSD Life Events Checklist

In today’s fast-paced and constantly changing landscape – where anything can happen in seconds, you may be wondering what, exactly counts as trauma?

According to the National Center for PTSD there are 17 types of Life Events which qualify as “traumatic events.” These can be events that:

  1.  Happened directly to you 
  2.  You witnessed 
  3. Happened to someone you care about
  4.  You experienced it as part of your job

These 17  traumatic events are:

  1. A Natural Disaster (Such as: a hurricane, tornado, flood, earthquake, or tsunami)
  2. Fire or Explosion 
  3. Transportation Accident (Such as: a motor vehicle accident, airplane, boating, or train wreck)
  4. Serious Accident at Work, Home, or During Recreational Activity
  5. Exposure to Toxic Substance (Such as: dangerous chemicals or radiation)
  6. Physical Assault (Fox example: being hit, slapped, kicked, beaten up)
  7. Assault with a Weapon (For example: being shot, stabbed, threatened with a knife, gun, bomb)
  8. Sexual Assault (For example: rape, attempted rape, made to perform any type of sexual act through force or threat of harm)
  9. Other Unwanted or Uncomfortable Sexual Experience 
  10. Combat or Exposure to a War-Zone (In the military or as a civilian)
  11. Captivity (Fox example being kidnapped, abducted, held hostage, prisoner of war)
  12. Life-threatening Illness or Injury
  13. Severe Human Suffering 
  14. Sudden Violent Death (Fox example: homicide or suicide)
  15. Sudden Accidental Death
  16. Sudden Injury, Harm, or Death You Caused to Someone Else
  17. Any Other Very Stressful Event or Experience 

Trauma can be severe and life changing. Therapy can help. Reaching out to a trained professional for assistance can make a big difference. Treatment can help to lessen the severity and frequency of symptoms experienced. It can help you to identify your triggers and learn coping skills to mitigate symptoms experienced when triggered by stimuli associated with trauma. Engaging in regular therapy sessions can make trauma easier to live with, over time.