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Why are some people more affected by a traumatic experince than others who experienced the same thing ?

11 Answers
Last Updated: 05/03/2018 at 5:14pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Jennifer Fritz, LMSW, PhD

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

Day to day life can be stressful and overwhelming and my strength is assisting my clients in a supportive, empowering and practical manner.

Top Rated Answers
November 2nd, 2015 5:03pm
I work in a Bank and was robbed once by two men who held us all up; we literally experienced the same event but all had different reactions to it. One coworker went away that night to enjoy a weekend of fun, another brushed it off and I had PTSD for a year. Just because we are exposed to a traumatizing experience doesn't mean we cope or feel it in a different, more devastating way. You are entitled to feel and heal in a process that works for you. We all have had different life experiences leading up to these events as well as employ different coping skills. There is no right or wrong answer in how long or how deep you feel a pain. Your experience is your own, and how you choose to cope is well. Seeing that you are reading this on 7 Cups is an immensely positive sign; you are choosing to heal. One of our listeners, or myself =), is happy to walk you through the pain you are feeling. You are never alone.
January 12th, 2015 8:10am
We are all hard-wired from birth to react in certain ways and to be affected differently. Some people are just born with an innately higher threshold for distress and pain. Some, not so much. But it's all good. Each human being is a unique combination of strengths and vulnerability. One person's strength is another's weakness. It just reinforces the fact that we are put here to help each other out. No one can truly go it alone.
April 19th, 2015 3:32pm
Some don't have a foundation on which to lay their hurt and grief. Although we all treat trauma differently, some people have something in which to lay it and an emotional place to put harder times in coping better, those who do not have a more difficult time trying to figure out where the trauma puzzle fits in their life- Thus they have a harder, longer more difficult time in which to figure out what to do with this foreign and painful emotion,
May 7th, 2015 6:34pm
It's like that Tennyson poem, "We are part of all that we have met." When you meet and experience, the mind holds that in storage because it might need it again some day. All of the experiences make us who we are, but, perhaps more importantly, it gives us our coping mechanisms. When trauma comes, those with experience shoulder it easier than those with less. The good news is is that, once you have experience that trauma, the next time will be easier . . . . it wills till hurt, but the coping skills will be there.
June 23rd, 2015 4:17am
I think that's because some people can handle it better than others. Or maybe because some people got the opprtunity to go to therapy, and others might've not, so that can be a reason too.
July 14th, 2015 8:21pm
Everyone responds differently to traumatic events, I think that this is due to many different reasons. Each person processes events in their own personal way, and each of us have our own way of understanding and coping with these events. I think that some people who are greatly affected may in fact be far more sensitive or attached to the person or situation causing a greater trauma for them. A persons personal past and history also plays a role in how someone will respond to traumatic situations.
September 21st, 2015 5:14pm
It depends on how much you get involved with your emotions I guess. Some people hurt more than others. Hugs.
January 26th, 2016 12:46am
There are many factors to this. For one, person A could simply be more sensitive than person B. They might take things harder and have more trouble getting over them. Other times, it can be their personal coping methods. Person C may choose to distract themselves with other activities, Person D may feel the need for therapy and group support. Person E may suppress the feelings. And person F may choose to hide their trauma from the public. Everyone is unique and has different psyches.
July 11th, 2017 1:20am
This is the million dollar question! Nobody really knows why trauma affects certain people in certain ways and others in different ways. There's a lot of research out there; that maybe it's to do with our genes or the way we were raised, but no firm conclusions yet! So far we just know that even though trauma affects us in different ways, essentially it's the same in the way our brain responds.
April 10th, 2018 1:10am
Some people are more affected by a traumatic experience than others who experience the same thing because it may hurt them more than it did to you and feel elapsed feelings over the traumatic experience they were put into.
May 3rd, 2018 5:14pm
everyone is different. that's the bottom line of it all. some say it's biology, and others say it's how we are brought up. consider roller coasters. some people love them. some are terrified