What Are Some Symptoms of Trauma?

What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Trauma?

Trauma is a heightened emotional response to a traumatic event. It can be difficult to process and work through trauma, but it is important that you do. 

People who have experienced trauma are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, or other mental health conditions.

In addition to the negative mental health consequences of not working through your trauma, there are also physical health effects such as the increased risk of heart disease and stroke. 

This article will teach you what symptoms you might have if you have experienced a traumatic event.

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Katie Bennett, LPCC, NCC

Katie Bennett, LPCC, NCC

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Sarah Webster, SWC

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Seth Boughton, SWC

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Joseph Anders, LPCC

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Randal Thomas, SWC

Randal Thomas, SWC

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What is Trauma?

Trauma is the feeling of intense fear, horror, and helplessness. 

Trauma can be caused by a variety of events, but it is most commonly associated with things like wars, natural disasters, sexual assault, or the death of someone close to us. 

A traumatic event can make you feel vulnerable and powerless. 

The term trauma can often be overused and misused, however, in psychology, it refers to a life-altering event that causes severe distress. 

What are the emotional symptoms of trauma?

Trauma can result in a variety of symptoms, but there are some common ones. 

They include flashbacks, nightmares, trouble sleeping, feeling constantly on guard, lack of interest in things that were previously pleasurable (e.g., hobbies), emotional numbness, or depression.

You may have these symptoms when you are experiencing trauma or when you are triggered by something that reminds you of the event. 

For example, if someone says your name and it sounds like the person who hurt you, it could trigger what is called a "flashback." 

It could feel like you are re-living the event or simply reacting to hearing your own name spoken. 

If you experience any of these signs or symptoms after a traumatic event, it is important to get help from someone who can guide you through them and help process them for what they mean to you - whether that is your therapist or another health care provider.

What are some physical signs of Trauma?

In addition to the emotional scars, trauma can also cause a wide range of physical symptoms.

Some common physical symptoms of trauma are a weakened immune system, fatigue, racing heart, digestive disorders such as IBS, and sleep disturbances.

It is just as important to address your overall physical health when healing from trauma. 

Since a lack of sleep can be a contributing factor to many health issues, it can also help to work with a sleep doctor if you are experiencing nightmares or difficulty sleeping after a traumatic event.

It is important to discuss your physical and emotional response with your therapist so they can get you the full support you need.

Not everyone who experiences trauma will have ongoing physical symptoms. 

They may be temporary depending on how recent the traumatic event took place.

How can I cope with my trauma?

There are many ways to cope with your trauma. For example, you can use cognitive behavioral therapy to help you process your trauma.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a method of psychotherapy that helps people change the way they think and behave in order to manage their emotional responses.

There are also other types of treatments such as art therapy, somatic therapies, and other forms of psychotherapy that can be beneficial. 

It is important that you find a treatment that works for you and that makes you feel comfortable.

You should also consider talking to someone about your experience. 

Talking about what's happened can be an effective coping mechanism because it allows you to express how the traumatic event has impacted your life and lets others know how they can support you in coping with it.

You could talk to a trusted friend or family member who will listen without judging or giving advice, or reach out to a professional therapist who specializes in PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).

How can I find help for my trauma?

If you are experiencing symptoms of trauma, there are many places to find help. One option is to talk with a mental health professional.

A therapist can talk with you about what symptoms you might be experiencing and help you work through your feelings.

Additionally, therapy may allow you to process the event more fully and help you return to your baseline level of functioning.

Another option for finding help is joining a support group. 

A support group will allow you to share your feelings with people who have gone through similar experiences.

You will also be able to learn how others cope with their trauma. 

If these first two options don't work for you or if they make things worse, consulting a psychiatrist might be the best option for getting the help you need.


Trauma is a serious matter. If you think you or a loved one may have experienced a traumatic event, it is important to seek immediate help. 

The earlier you get help, the more successful the treatment will be.

If you are experiencing any of these signs and symptoms, it is important to reach out to someone for support. 

You can talk to a friend, family member, or even a medical professional. 

There are also therapists that specialize in helping people with trauma issues, such as therapists who specialize in PTSD.

The traumatic memories may never fully go away, but working with a therapist can ensure that emotional and physical symptoms are managed and you can feel more in control over your current reality. 

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June 21st, 2024

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