Recognizing the signs of psychological trauma is necessary to help a person heal. Trauma can lead to long-term consequences for mental health and physical health. Symptoms may develop immediately and last for shorter or longer periods, depending on the impact of the trauma.
Major traumatic events such as sexual assault or military combat can result in post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD mainly involves intrusion and avoidance behaviors. Intrusion may affect flashbacks, nightmares, or unwanted thoughts about the trauma. Avoidance behaviors include avoiding thoughts and feelings about the trauma, avoiding people and places associated with the trauma, and withdrawing from activities that were once enjoyable. Here is a list of seven signs indicating a repressing unsolved trauma.
Anxiety is a widespread reaction to trauma. Traumatizing events can lead to feelings of helplessness, fear, and horror. It can also be associated with complaints of irritability, restlessness, and insomnia. These symptoms may be experienced by people who are constantly seeking reassurance that they are safe from the threat of future attacks. Anxiety over what could happen if current symptoms worsen can lead to depression.
2. Low Self-Esteem
A person with a healthy sense of self-esteem will generally have a positive attitude and confidence in the face of life’s challenges, but those who have experienced traumatic events have a different outlook. They may feel shame, guilt, or embarrassment over their actions. They may also feel isolated and alone, especially if they are unwilling to discuss the event with others.
3. Self-Destructive Behavior
Self-destructive behavior is common among people who have experienced traumatic events. In extreme cases, survivors have reported suicidal thoughts and attempts. Recognizing the symptoms of trauma is essential to increase the chances of healing.
4. Mood Swings and Chronic Stress
Trauma can lead to extreme mood swings and chronic stress, including depression. Several studies have linked depression and PTSD with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and stroke. The link between pressure and heart disease is medically known but less linked to psychological traumas such as those experienced by combat soldiers or sexual assault survivors.
5. Trust Issues
The inability to trust other people can be a response to traumatic events. Survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, or childhood abuse have difficulties trusting people. This can lead to hesitancy in sharing personal thoughts and feelings with others, even close family members.
6. Inability to Concentrate
Traumatic events can be so disturbing that they interfere with an individual’s ability to concentrate. Traumatic events may also lead to physical ailments like headaches, nausea, and back pain. These changes in the body can lead to distraction and poor concentration.
7. Physical Symptoms
The presence of physical symptoms is used to diagnose various medical illnesses. However, depending on the source, there is a link between trauma and physical symptoms such as headaches, gastrointestinal issues, sleep disturbances, sensitivity to light and noise, chronic pain, and numerous others. It is important to discuss your mental health implications with a professional.
Trauma takes an extensive physical and mental toll on a person, leaving them vulnerable to various disorders, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and substance abuse. Recognizing the signs of trauma is important in preventing further health problems from developing.