Experiencing Trauma Directly
People who fear for their own or others’ safety can have difficulty processing traumatic events; at times, this can lead to post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR) (American Psychiatric Association, 2000) specifies these events as:
1. military combat; 2. violent personal assaults (physical attacks, robberies, muggings, and sexual assaults,
including developmentally inappropriate sexual experiences without threatened or actual violence or injury);
3. kidnappings; 4. hostage situations; 5. terrorist attacks; 6. torture; 7. incarcerations as prisoners of war or in concentration camps; 8. natural disasters; 9. man-made disasters;
10. severe automobile accidents; or 11. being diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.