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What is Trauma?

In ordinary, everyday language trauma is an experience that causes severe emotional distress. In professional language, is the emotional or behavioral state that results from that type of difficult experience.

Difficult experience and Trauma

Not every unpleasant or even difficult experience is traumatic in the professional sense of the word. A traumatic event is when a person experiences a combination of:

A sense of immediate threat to the physical and/or emotional well-being of himself or another.
Flooded by emotions of the helplessness or fear.

In addition, the influence of the traumatic event is intensified if we were not prepared for it. In most cases, a traumatic event occurs suddenly and unexpectedly.

According to this definition, the traumatic experience does not necessarily have to happen to me.
Correct. If we are observers of the difficult event or even just hear about it – we can still be flooded by feelings of fear and helplessness. This kind of experience can be traumatic for us.

If so, anyone in this country could experience trauma.
Any person, anywhere might encounter or hear about a traumatic event. In Israel, because of the Israeli-Arab conflict, we are more exposed to traumatic events caused by situations of terrorism and war. In other words, in Israel we are more exposed to trauma with a national background.

National trauma

“National trauma” is the term that NATAL uses for trauma that occurs to an individual as a result the Israeli-Arab conflict in all of its various manifestations.

How does trauma affect people

Each person responds to traumatic situations in different ways. On one hand, the way in which an individual responds to a traumatic event depends on the type of event, its intensity and duration; one the other hand, it is dependent on the individual’s personal history, the amount of social and familial support he has and his natural ability to cope.
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