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  • Writer's pictureKaley Sinclair Jiawon

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

  • anger

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  • feeling isolated or withdrawn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

  • constant fatigue

  • 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

  • confusion

  • low self-esteem or negative self-talk

  • memory problems

  • 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

  • avoid sex

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.

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