Omission Trauma – Its similarities and differences with PTSD

What is Omission Trauma

Omission trauma is a type of psychological damage that can be caused by the omission of an event or occurrence from a person’s life. This can lead to a feeling of unresolved pain and grief. The symptoms of this type of psychological damage can be similar to those associated with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), such as anxiety, lack of emotion regulation and fear. However, most experts agree that PTSD and omission trauma are different conditions with different causes. Treatment approaches for both conditions however remain quiet similar.

Causes of Omission Trauma

There are many different causes of omission trauma. One of the most common is the death of a loved one, which can lead to complex grief, if not treated. It can also be caused by the loss of a job or a serious illness in someone close to you. These events can have a powerful impact on your life and can cause you to suffer from symptoms similar to PTSD. For example, you may experience feelings of sadness, depression, and anxiety, and you may also experience sleep disturbances and flashbacks to past events in your life.

Another cause of Omission Trauma are the needs of the person, which simply were missed or not met in childhood. As examples, children who were raised with limited emotional attunement, were treated differently to siblings or were encouraged to hide emotions, or children who faced poverty, cultural or systematic discriminations can all suffer from Omission Trauma.  

Omission Trauma is often much harder to pinpoint to a particular incident in life, as it covers the ongoing impact of the needs that were never met.

How Omission Trauma Differs from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

While the causes of these mental health problems are similar, there are some important differences. In particular, the symptoms of PTSD tend to be more severe than those of omission trauma. Some people with PTSD are unable to function normally in their daily lives, but people with symptoms of omission trauma are more likely to return to normal living relatively quickly. In addition, some treatments for PTSD aren’t very effective for people suffering from omission trauma.

Recovery from Omission Trauma and PTSD

Similar to PTSD, treatment for omission trauma usually involves a combination of psychotherapy and at times medication. Medication can help to relieve your symptoms and makes it easier to engage in psychotherapy. It’s important to discuss treatment options with your doctor before making a decision about the treatment that’s best for you. Although many people recover from their symptoms of omission trauma after a period of time, it’s important to continue with your treatment throughout the recovery process to reduce the risk of relapse.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a common type of psychotherapy used to treat patients with symptoms of post-traumatic stress and omission trauma. During CBT sessions, you’ll be encouraged to use healthy coping strategies to manage stress and avoid triggers that may cause you to revert back to negative behaviour patterns. For example, during CBT you may learn techniques to help you cope with anxiety more effectively or develop healthier ways of responding to stressful situations.

Mindfulness Meditation is a specific type of meditation that involves focusing on your breathing as a way to increase awareness and reduce stress. Research has shown that mindfulness meditation can help treat a wide variety of psychological conditions, including anxiety and depression. Many people with symptoms similar to post-traumatic stress disorder find that mindfulness meditation helps reduce their stress levels and improves their overall quality of life.

Hypnosis involves inducing a state of deep relaxation in the patient through the use of direct suggestion and focused attention. It can be used to help people cope with a wide range of conditions, including addiction, depression, and anxiety, which could have been caused by childhood trauma. Recent studies have shown that hypnosis may be an effective treatment for patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or omission trauma. Studies have found that patients undergoing hypnosis experience significantly reduced levels of anxiety and negative thinking after each session. Patients also reported feeling less depressed and having greater feelings of general well-being after receiving hypnosis treatment.

Exposure therapy is another common type of psychotherapy used to treat the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. The goal of exposure therapy is to help patients identify and overcome any underlying fears or anxieties that they may be experiencing as a result of their traumatic experiences. During an exposure session, the patient is asked to confront the source of his or her fear and engage in an activity that would normally make them anxious. The patient is then given the opportunity to confront the fear in a safe and controlled environment and gradually increase the intensity and duration of each exposure over time. This type of therapy is very effective for PTSD symptoms and allows the client to overcome their fears and return to a normal life. Exposure therapy is not usually used for omission trauma, but there are always exceptions in any situation.

Another form of therapy is the use of EMDR therapy. This is a form of therapy that helps patients deal with the emotional pain caused by a traumatic event, whilst directing the client to raise dual awareness of the event. Clients are then asked to focus on a sliver of the traumatic memory, which often represents the worst image of that particular memory, body sensations and their cognition at the same time, whilst being mindful of their presence in the here and now. Unlike traditional talk therapy, which usually requires the patient to discuss details of their trauma, EMDR therapy does not require the patient to talk excessively about their trauma or discuss their memories in detail. Instead, the therapist simply asks the patient to focus on the worst image within a particular disturbing memory while the therapist uses eye movements, sound or tapping in order to stimulate the brain’s sensory and motor functions, preparing for the memory to be processed. Patients typically report feeling more relaxed and less stressed after undergoing this type of therapy.

To find out more about the above or seek assistance from our staff at Mind Matters Health contact page or

co-authors: Nasim Yazdani (Mental Health Therapist) and AJ Missaghi (Chief Technology Officer – Healthcare & Life Sciences APJ – Dell Technology)

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The Guest House by Rumi – This being human is a guest house.Every morning a new arrival. A joy, a depression, a meanness,some momentary awareness