What does trauma look like?

by | Apr 14, 2022

Have you ever wondered, “Why does my parent or spouse act like that?” This is a question that plagues a lot of relationships. Before vilifying your loved one, I would like for you to ask yourself,” What is/was it like to walk a mile in their shoes. What kind of life have they lived to this day? . Most of you have heard the pop psychology term, “trauma.” 

Basically, trauma is anything deeply distressing that you can’t stop thinking about and often it causes adverse reactions, avoidance and/or ineffective communication patterns that hurt relationships. It could even be unconscious or a protective factor that keeps a person safe because they are afraid of being reinjured. Trauma can be mild, moderate, or severe in nature and can affect every area of a person’s life. Everyone has experienced something traumatic at some point.

These are a few signs and symptoms that you or a loved one is suffering from a trauma:

  • Low sense of self worth
  • Repeated disturbing memories, thoughts, or images of a stressful experience from the past
  • Avoiding thinking about or talking about a stressful experience from the past or avoiding feelings related to it
  • Feeling as if your future will somehow be cut short
  • Irritability
  • Hypervigilance, super-alert, watchful or on guard with or without a jumpy, startled response
  • Codependency in relationships
  • Fear of being abandoned
  • Putting your needs aside for other people
  • Craving for external validation
  • Not being able to tolerate conflict
  • Always fearing what might happen next
  • Resisting positive change
  • Tolerating abusive behaviors from others
  • Being overly agreeable
  • An innate feeling of shame
  • A clustering of these symptoms would suggest that you or your loved one is functioning at a not so healthy emotional level.

If trauma is left untreated, a personal could develop a serious conditions known as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). PTSD, according to the DSM V, is an anxiety disorder that may develop after a person has experienced one or more traumatic events and it can be acute or chronic in nature. Traumatic events such as direct or indirect exposure to death, serious injury, abuse, neglect, sexual violence and/or chronic invalidation.

This is a treatable condition. Using evidence-based treatment protocols, our clinicians can help guide you through a series of sessions aimed at the reduction or total elimination of symptoms.