What Does Trauma Look Like? Explore the Symptoms of Trauma
While many people have a specific idea of what trauma looks like, the truth is the symptoms of trauma can take on many different forms. In my practice, I specialize in Trauma/PTSD counseling based on a Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy approach, and I’ve found many clients are suffering from trauma and don’t necessarily realize it. Why? Because their symptoms don’t always fit into a neat little box.
Today, let’s take a closer look at what trauma is, what the many symptoms of trauma are, and how you can achieve healing, transformation, and peace through the right therapeutic techniques.
What Is Trauma?
Trauma is typically defined as a psychological and/or emotional response to a disturbing or distressing event; the event or experience can overwhelm the individual’s ability to cope and often leads to feelings of powerlessness and helplessness. It can diminish the individual’s sense of self and ability to feel a wide range of experiences and emotions.
Now, what that definition doesn’t touch on are the numerous gray areas and uncommon symptoms of trauma. As we all know, perception of events is subjective–everyone processes a traumatic experience differently.
For example, one person may have experienced a tornado destroying their hometown and is now fearful and has traumatic flashbacks of the day. Another person may have gone through the same tornado but lost family members and/or their home. Each person may suffer from the symptoms of trauma as a result, but it may look different and have varying degrees of severity and life disruption.
Understanding the Symptoms of Trauma
Keeping in mind that one person’s trauma will vary greatly from another person’s, and this list is by no way all-encompassing, here are some of the more common symptoms of trauma:
- Anger and/or fearfulness
- Flashbacks of the traumatic event or experience
- Emotions that follow no predictable pattern
- Disbelief and denial
- Emotional detachment and dissociation
- Intense feelings of despair, sadness, and powerlessness
- Persistent feelings of guilt, shame, and feeling responsible
- Isolation and feeling like no one understands
- Self-medication or self-harming behaviors
- Physical symptoms including, but not limited to, nausea, headaches, insomnia, muscle tension, racing heartbeat, agitation, dry mouth, and fatigue
Whether the trauma is a result of abuse, an accident, natural disaster, or events experienced in the line of duty, the symptoms can be debilitating, creating a roadblock to healthy relationships and positive life experiences. It isn’t something you can just “get over” or “move on” from. Nearly all people who experience trauma need extra support and therapeutic strategies to make it to a place of peace and healing.
Get Help for Symptoms of Trauma
If you think you may be suffering from symptoms of trauma, please know you are not alone and help is available. As a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional, I’m honored to provide counseling guidance, strategies, and the compassionate, nonjudgemental support you need in League City, Texas.
There’s no need to struggle through each day and battle with painful memories on your own. I’m committed to helping you find healing so you can regain control of your life. Connect with me online now to schedule a Trauma/PTSD therapy session.