The concept of trauma encompasses both actual and potential threats to one’s life or personal well-being, which can trigger intense feelings of fear, helplessness, and horror. Research indicates that, in addition to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), exposure to trauma can also lead to the development of other anxiety disorders, such as generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and major depressive disorder (MDD).
What sets PTSD, GAD, and MDD apart from other anxiety disorders, notably, is the strong influence of distress. Some experts have proposed that these three disorders might be symptomatic of a broader distress-related disorder. However, a study using a dimensional approach refutes this proposition and concludes that MDD, GAD, and PTSD are distinct conditions that can emerge following traumatic experiences. Furthermore, the results affirm that GAD is a standalone disorder separate from MDD and PTSD.
Moreover, there is a significant correlation between emotional numbing and PTSD, with PTSD often following emotional numbing. This numbing response may also be associated with the presence of comorbid disorders.
Grant, D. M., Beck, J. G., Marques, L., Palyo, S. A., & Clapp, J. D. (2008). The structure of distress following trauma: posttraumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder, and generalized anxiety disorder. J Abnorm Psychol, 117(3), 662-672. doi:10.1037/a0012591