Traumatic events affect you in more ways than you can imagine. This is why it is very common for many signs to go unnoticed. Also, many people might not be aware of different signs of trauma.
Every person is unique and has a different way of reacting to trauma. You can read this article and learn about:
- Recognizing Signs of Trauma in Yourself and Others.
- How to Treat Traumatic Symptoms.
- Examples of trauma and more!
Recognizing Signs of Trauma in Yourself and Others
Trauma is a very tricky thing to understand. You can experience changes in emotions and behavioral reactions. It is also common to have physical symptoms and cognitive changes.
|Types of Signs||Signs of Trauma|
|Emotional||Feeling numb and/or feeling overwhelmed|
|Behavioral||Outbursts and/or Avoidance|
|Physical||Hypervigilance, Exaggerated Startle, Sleeping Disturbance, Nightmares and Fatigue|
|Cognitive||Difficulty remembering, Difficulty concentrating, Flashbacks, Intrusive Thoughts and Dissociation|
Trauma can cause people to feel too much or too little. In many cases, you can feel both ways. Some days you might feel too much and it feels like you’re unable to control it. On other days, you feel nothing:
Experiencing a traumatic event can challenge your basic beliefs about being safe in this world, and every person reacts differently to it.
- Anxiety: Some people might not feel safe anymore and feel anxious when thinking about the future and their safety.
- Guilt and Embarrassment: People can also feel guilty and embarrassed about what happened. They tend to blame themselves for being unable to do anything during the traumatic event.
- Hopelessness and Confusion: The traumatic event can make you feel like you are no longer safe in this world. You might also experience a lot of confusion about yourself and where you stand. Because of this, people tend to feel hopeless when thinking about themselves and the future. They might think that they cannot be helped and nobody can be trusted.
Not being able to feel anything is another normal reaction to trauma. You can see it as not being able to feel anything when thinking about the trauma. Numbing can also look like an inability to experience positive emotions like happiness, joy, satisfaction, and many more.
This happens because our mind and body unconsciously separate our emotions from the traumatic experience. It is a way our body naturally tries to protect itself from the stress caused by thinking or experiencing a traumatic event.
Feeling too much or too little of emotions can result in outbursts or avoidance. Here are some of the ways these could manifest:
- Outbursts – Feeling too much anger or depression might make you very irritable, that is a normal reaction to trauma and stress. You can end up reacting angrily to a situation that might not have been so irritating. Outbursts can also show up in the form of reckless behavior like excessive use of alcohol and drugs.
- Avoidance – Feeling too much fear or hopelessness about a situation can result in avoidance. This can look like a person trying to avoid things or memories that remind them of the traumatic event or experience. Also, you might not want to meet people and avoid interacting with family and friends.
There are many signs of trauma that can show up physically, some of them include:
- Hypervigilance – Being extremely aware of your surroundings and on the lookout for danger. Feeling like you are always being “on edge”.
- Exaggerated Startle – Unconscious and extreme reaction to a sudden noise or movement.
- Sleep Disturbance – You might experience difficulty falling asleep and/or staying asleep. Also, your quality of sleep can be affected (restlessness).
- Nightmares – Having nightmares about the incident.
- Fatigue – Feeling tired all the time.
Experiencing trauma can also affect the way your mental processes work. It sounds complicated but there are many ways of looking out for signs of troublesome processing:
- Difficulty remembering – People can have a really hard time remembering traumatic events. In fact, they might have forgotten about it completely.
- Difficulty concentrating – A lot of stress and worry means that you are unable to concentrate on a lot of things. This is another reason why people who have experienced trauma think they forget things sometimes.
- Flashbacks – People can feel like they are experiencing the traumatic experience all over again. They can complain about hearing sounds from the experience or seeing images of moments from their traumatic event.
- Intrusive Thoughts – This includes thoughts and memories about the event that are really hard to ignore. They are uncontrollable and happen frequently which can lead to a lot of distress.
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How to Treat Traumatic Symptoms
There are many treatments that can help with your symptoms:
Dealing with trauma is a complex process. There are different kinds of therapy that are scientifically proven to help you process trauma. One of them is:
2. Trauma-Focused CBT
This form of psychotherapy focuses on your experience of the event and how you react to it. Therapists will work with you to learn about how you think of your trauma and what symptoms you are experiencing.
You and your therapists can work together to learn more about how trauma causes you to think differently. You will also learn how this faulty thinking causes your symptoms. Also, both of you will work on ways to help reduce your symptoms.
You can work with a psychiatrist or any other medical professional to get medicines for your traumatic symptoms. There isn’t any medicine for traumatic experiences, but there are medicines for your symptoms. There are many medicines that help with anger outbursts, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.
4. Yoga and Alternative Treatments
Alternative treatments like yoga are amazing with traumatic symptoms! They help reduce a lot of our reactions and emotions that happen because of traumatic events.
Trauma is a very complex topic and experience. A person who has experienced trauma might show it in many different ways. This is why it is very important to learn about the signs of trauma. Luckily, there are many ways to treat your signs of trauma. Contact medical professionals to see what is right for you.