Causes of emotional or psychological trauma
An event will most likely lead to emotional or psychological trauma if:
• It happened unexpectedly.
• You were unprepared for it.
• You felt powerless to prevent it. • It happened repeatedly.
• Someone was intentionally cruel.
• It happened in childhood.
Emotional and psychological trauma can be caused by single-blow, one-time events, such as a horrible accident, a natural disaster, or a violent attack. Trauma can also stem from ongoing, relentless stress, such as living in a crime-ridden neighborhood or struggling with cancer.
Commonly overlooked causes of emotional and psychological trauma
• Falls or sports injuries
• Surgery (especially in the first 3 years of life)
• The sudden death of someone close
• A car accident • The breakup of a significant relationship
• A humiliating or deeply disappointing experience
• The discovery of a life-threatening illness or disabling condition
Risk factors that increase your vulnerability to trauma
Not all potentially traumatic events lead to lasting emotional and psychological damage. Some people rebound quickly from even the most tragic and shocking experiences. Others are devastated by experiences that, on the surface, appear to be less upsetting.
A number of risk factors make people susceptible to emotional and psychological trauma. People are more likely to be traumatized by a stressful experience if they’re already under a heavy stress load or have recently suffered a series of losses.
People are also more likely to be traumatized by a new situation if they’ve been traumatized before – especially if the earlier trauma occurred in childhood.

Source- Emotional Intelligence Tool Box 2012