Adult and Child Psychiatrist located in Lancaster, PA


Trauma can take on many forms and often brings unwanted changes to your mental health. Residents of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, have a trusted resource in board-certified adult and child psychiatrist Sarah Gatumu, MD, of New Direction Functional Psychiatry. If you’re ready to explore options for addressing the role that trauma plays in your life, call or click to schedule an initial visit. 

Trauma Q & A

What is trauma and how is it caused?

Trauma is a term used to refer to the way people react to distressing experiences. While occasional distressing events are a normal part of life, traumatic events create a serious, often life-altering threat, and tend to occur with little warning. 

Many different things can provoke trauma in people of all ages and from a variety of backgrounds. Some of the common sources of trauma include:

  • Vehicular accidents
  • Violent crime
  • Domestic violence
  • Environmental disaster
  • Loss of a loved one
  • Military combat experiences
  • Childhood abuse or neglect

Trauma can develop based on a wide range of experiences and can influence your life in a variety of ways. 

How can trauma create difficulties in daily life?

Trauma creates both physical and psychological responses, and some of those reactions can complicate how you feel and function each day. Some of the issues caused or exacerbated by trauma include:

  • Feelings of worthlessness
  • Extreme fear reactions
  • Feeling as though you must constantly protect against threats
  • Survivor’s guilt
  • Anger and resentment
  • Extreme anxiety


Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop as a result of exposure to traumatic events. This condition involves strong negative reactions to triggers that remind you of the original trauma. It can make it challenging to hold down a job or maintain a relationship. 

How can treatment help me manage the symptoms of trauma?

Psychotherapy, also called talk therapy, can help you improve your coping skills and resiliency, giving you the tools needed to fight off the symptoms of trauma. An approach called trauma-informed care recognizes the role that trauma plays in shaping your current thoughts and behaviors, and strives to help you change those reactions. 

Depending on the way your body and brain react to trauma, medications might help you cope. Drug therapy is never the sole approach, so expect a combination of talk therapy and medication, as well as ongoing medication management services. 

Your practitioner can also guide you toward lifestyle modifications that can help you manage trauma. Improving your diet, getting more exercise, improving sleep quality, and controlling stress can all go a long way toward reducing your experience of trauma. 

When you’re ready to learn more, call New Directions Functional Psychiatry to book a visit, or spend a few moments online.