When you think about someone experiencing trauma, incidents such as a violent or sexual assault or a terrible car accident might come to mind. But other, subtler forms of trauma can negatively affect our lives and hinder our relationships.
Emotional trauma is often overlooked and minimized, and we may think we’ve “gotten over” some emotional pain that we’ve buried and not dealt with. A breakup, being passed over for a promotion at work, or even a simple but negative childhood experience can cause emotional trauma. Read on to see if you recognize any of these four subtle signs of trauma in yourself.
Anxiety and stress may develop in the aftermath of trauma, causing you to feel overwhelmed in numerous ways. For example, you might feel out of control, like there is too much to do or that people in your life are taking up too much of your time and attention. If you often feel as though your life has become unmanageable, this could be a sign that you have some unresolved emotional trauma.
Emotional overreactions are a common symptom of trauma. Victims of trauma might redirect their overwhelming emotions towards others, such as family and friends. Because these undealt emotions are always bubbling under the surface, any incident that brings feelings forward can unleash these pent-up emotions. If you recall times when you’ve overreacted and perhaps have even been surprised at your reactions, this may be a sign of trauma.
It’s not uncommon for people suffering from emotional trauma to have feelings of shame and self-blame. If you feel ashamed because of a traumatic event, you may devalue yourself or see yourself as weak. You might feel a stigma from what you endured, and this may prevent you from admitting that you may be traumatized or prevent you from seeking help.
Another subtle sign of trauma is “zoning” or “spacing out.” You might feel disconnected from others or have difficulty staying present in social situations. Emotional trauma can cause you to slow down internally, numbing your emotions or causing you to feel exhausted. Because of the trauma you experienced, you may be averse to the expression of painful emotions, so you turn those emotions off. As you withdraw, your relationships with others suffer, causing further psychological pain.
If these signs seem familiar and you believe you may be suffering from trauma, help is available. A caring, licensed professional trained in trauma treatment can help. So take the first step by giving me a call today, and let’s set up a time to talk.