In any loss, such as in rape, violent deaths, accidents, health problems, wars, adultery, incest, family devastation etc., people can develop a syndrome called PTSD or "post-traumatic stress disorder." In PTSD, the psychological and emotional damages on the person linger for years even way after the event and recovery from the physical effects of the trauma.
Symptoms of PTSD may include difficulty in sleeping, hyper-alertness, irritability, difficulty concentrating, physical or emotional distress when something reminds one of the traumatic event, recurring dreams, intrusive thoughts and images, isolation or detachment, reducing range of interests and activities, sense of hopelessness, narrow and restricted emotional expressions, among others.
Clinical evidence shows that PTSD is worse if the person had chaotic life experiences prior to the traumatic incident. If so, these much earlier events will also need to be revisited and included in the story of what had happened. Thus, trauma demands skillful attention and process in order to heal. Those who recover successfully from any trauma or loss are those who grieve completely, understand the events, and respond to them in a meaninful, healthful way.