Trauma & PTSD

About Trauma & PTSD

Many people experience unpleasant symptoms in the aftermath of traumatic events. Examples of traumatic events include motor vehicle accidents, natural disasters, including bushfires and floods, and interpersonal violence (physical assault, domestic and family violence, sexual assault). The types of symptoms associated with trauma include:

For anyone who has experienced a trauma, or has witnessed a traumatic event, it would not be unusual to experience some or all of these symptoms in the weeks following it, but then for the symptoms to fade and no longer occur. But if they persist for weeks to months following a traumatic experience, it may be a sign of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.


Complex PTSD is similar to PTSD in many ways, however it is often associated with multiple or repeated traumatic experiences, particularly in childhood. Complex PTSD can result from such experiences as childhood sexual abuse or exposure to domestic violence during childhood.


Talking to a supportive and trauma-informed therapist can be helpful, as there are evidence-based strategies and techniques that can, with consistent use, help to manage, reduce and even resolve many of these symptoms.

Recommended reading –

Bass, E. and Davis, L (2008) The Courage to Heal (4th ed.) Harper
Rothschild, B. (2010) 8 Keys to Safe Trauma Recovery W.W. Norton

If you are in a crisis...

If you are in a crisis, if another person may be in danger, or if you are experiencing suicidal or homicidal thoughts, don’t use this site. Call 000 or the following resources can provide you with immediate help.

Beyond Blue

Talk to a trained mental health professional any time of the day or night. Calls are confidential.


24-hour crisis support telephone service. Lifeline provides 24/7 crisis support and suicide prevention services.

Mental Health Access Line

NSW Health's 24/7 statewide phone service which links people with NSW Health mental health services. It is a free service.

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