Psychological trauma is damage to a person's mind as a result of one or more distressing events which caused overwhelming amounts of stress that exceeded the person's ability to cope or integrate the emotions involved, eventually leading to serious, long-term negative consequences.

Given that trauma differs between individuals, according to their subjective experiences, people will react to similar traumatic events differently. In other words, not all people who experience a potentially traumatic event will actually become psychologically traumatized. 

However, it is possible for some people to develop post-traumatic stress disorder(PTSD) after being exposed to a major traumatic event. This discrepancy in risk rate can be attributed to protective factors some individuals may have that enable them to cope with trauma; they are related to temperamental and environmental factors from among others. Some examples are resilience characteristics and active seeking of help.