What is trauma and How is it Treated? Part 2: How do I know if trauma is impacting me?
Updated: Jan 25, 2019
Symptoms of Trauma
As I said in my last post, symptoms of trauma can really vary from person to person. However, there are some specific symptoms that often accompany trauma. In this post, I will go through some of the most common symptoms of trauma in adults.
Trauma can impact our feelings. This can include feeling:
overwhelmed with emotion
empty, or like you are "just going through the motions"
depressed or hopeless
overly anxious even when you feel there is no cause
shame and guilt
Trauma can impact our ability to have satisfying relationships: This can include:
not knowing how or if you can trust another person
difficulty feeling close, or discomfort at being close to someone else
feeling isolated or withdrawn
difficulties with sex and/or intimacy
wanting to be close to someone while at the same time being terrified of it
not knowing how to make relationships work
looking for someone to "save you"
Trauma can affect the body. One may experience:
restless sleep, or not being able to get to sleep
physical complaints (headaches, nausea, stomach aches, pelvic pain, stomach/digestive problems) for which no medical cause can be identified
body memories and flashbacks (a feeling of reliving the traumatic experience, e.g., seeing images, hearing voices or sounds, smelling odors, experiencing unexplained tastes and physical sensations)
Trauma can affect how we think. This may include:
problems with attention and concentration
low self-esteem or negative self-talk
inability to effectively recognize safety or missing red flags
Trauma can affect how a person behaves. They may:
participate in self-harm (cutting, burning)
engage in risky or addictive behaviors
be more likely to use drugs and alcohol
search for sex to feel better about self, often followed by feelings of disgust or disappointment afterwards
Does any of this feel familiar?
Are you feeling any of the above symptoms? You may or may not be. These are just some of the signs. Remember, you can still experience symptoms of trauma even if you don’t know how you were traumatized. As I discussed in my last article, little "t" traumas can build over time, and we sometimes can’t pinpoint one particular thing.
What do I do if this sounds like me?
If you or someone you care about is struggling with trauma, there is effective and evidence-based help. Call me at (407) 205-0251 for a free 15 minute phone consultation. I would love to help you start your road to healing!
Check back in next month for part 3 of this series to learn more about how trauma can look different in kids and teens.