Of the services called out on this site, trauma is probably the most subjective. There are scales to rate trauma based on subjective criteria; "How do you feel?" There are also scales that attempt to quantify trauma based on physical measurements like blood pressure, heart rate and the like. Of course, what makes trauma so subjective is that people experiencing the same event can have widely varying reactions to that event. Some people seem to have an amazing capacity to absorb the impacts of trauma, while it takes very little to overload others. There's no "right" or "wrong" to this. We ALL experience some degree of trauma in life, but even our capacity to cope may vary with time. Sometimes we don't think we are traumatized, or we feel we shouldn't be, but we are just the same.
Nobody can tell you that you are or are not suffering from the effects of trauma, though sometimes it takes someone else, perhaps a friend or maybe a professional you see, to put it into terms that allow you to recognize what might be more evident to others. Simply put, if you feel traumatized, you probably are. There's no "shouldn't be" about it, though that is a natural pattern to fall into.
Quoting from Wikipedia:
Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the mind that occurs as a result of a severely distressing event. Trauma is often the result of an overwhelming amount of stress that exceeds one's ability to cope, or integrate the emotions involved with that experience. A traumatic event involves one's experience, or repeating events of being overwhelmed that can be precipitated in weeks, years, or even decades as the person struggles to cope with the immediate circumstances, eventually leading to serious, long-term negative consequences.
However, trauma differs between individuals, according to their subjective experiences. People will react to similar events differently. In other words, not all people who experience a potentially traumatic event will actually become psychologically traumatized. This discrepancy in risk rate can be attributed to protective factors some individuals may have that enable them to cope with trauma. Some examples are mild exposure to stress early in life, resilience characteristics, and active seeking of help.
Hypnosis is uniquely suited for dealing with the after-effects of trauma, often without having to relive the trauma as is done with other some counseling methods. In general, hypnotherapy is more concerned with modifying how you react in the present time than what happened in the past. Sometimes it's useful to desensitize a person to an event to help soften the memory and build distance from it, but that is done by observing the event from a safe distance and never from reliving it.
Diagnosed PTSD will always require the consent of a mental health provider before hypnotherapy can be used. In general, mental health providers are open to hypnosis and happy to provide a referral. I am certified in using hypnosis to help deal with the after-effects of trauma, as well as with PTSD. Please see my "credentials" page for more information.
When you are ready to try hypnotherapy, contact me and let's discuss your situation. There is hope.
Note: Trauma & PTSD may require coordination of services with your mental health provider. Hypnosis should be an adjunct therapy.