When a physical injury is sustained, for example, a broken leg or fractured skull, it may be described as a trauma (to the body). Similarly, an emotional shock, especially one that has a lasting effect, may also be described as a trauma. In the United States, and possibly in the United Kingdom as well, it is considered, at least by some, that childhood trauma including abuse and neglect is probably the single most important public health challenge (Benamer and White, 2008, p. 45). However, although trauma can be caused by events other than abuse or neglect, there may be an important difference in the subjective experience of trauma when it is caused by the actions (or inactions) of a person who is meant to care for, protect and nurture us. Emotional neglect and abuse by an attachment figure, for example, may be far more traumatic than even very catastrophic physical events.
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