Symptoms of trauma

It’s not easy to know or recognize the symptoms of trauma (whether emotional or psychological). When we live with trauma we don’t always know it is trauma. Obviously it depends on the severity of the trauma, but the symptoms if you have them, may last from days, to weeks or even months and years.

Emotional trauma symptoms

There are many emotional symptoms that relate to trauma, such as shock, disbelief and irritability, mood swings, anger, denial, guilt and self-blame. Other feelings include hopelessness or feeling sad, or both, difficulty concentrating on a particular job, confusion as to why what happened, happened; fear and anxiety and withdrawing from family and friends, or just feeling numb or disconnected from life.

Anything and everything that changes how we feel about ourselves.

Physical trauma symptoms

Physical symptoms of trauma may include not being able to sleep or having re-occurring nightmares, a racing heartbeat, tiredness, living on the edge all the time, or just being agitated by someone or something.

There may also be times where painful memories begin to resurface, particularly where birthdays and anniversaries are concerned, or through a situation where we are reminded of our trauma.

Once we begin to address trauma, we will and can start to feel better.


25 Jul, 2010

6 thoughts on “Symptoms of trauma

  1. You have been giving out some great information Ilana. It is a big help to everyone I’m sure.

    Sometimes as you said we don’t know its a traumatic experience. And we have these symptoms and don’t know where they come from right away, we just know we have them. But if we think back we may discover why we are having them. Some trauma can hide for years and we only know of it because something has jarred a memory. I know a girl that was a victim of date rape and didn’t realize it for years. She kept have anger issues and being a little skiddish when going out on a date. But once she started to think about what had happened she found the answers to all the symptoms she had been going through.

    She’s doing much better and her symptoms are lessening because she dealt with what happened to her. Another great post Ilana. Your doing so good with this site. Lisa

    1. You are absolutely right Lisa. Something normally triggers something that brings back a memory we would rather forget but know we have to deal with it.. and as you say she began to get better once she started dealing with her trauma.I don’t believe anyone has to live with it.

  2. My father gives me some of these symptoms. Not good. That is why I give the two of us as much space as possible so that we can co-exist.

  3. I agree that some traumas stay hidden to ourselves and probably for good reason, to be dealt with later when we have the strength and skill to do so. I don’t think all traumas can be fully recovered from. Some things just are and there’s nothing we can do but our level best to cope and if some of the pain from the trauma is still there, well we have to just get used to it. Sometimes accepting certain life conditions is just a part of maturity but I think we all know that here.

    1. In my own experience I think the majority of trauma can and should be dealt with, but I see that there are different types of trauma.

      If you are referring to something like Bipolar, which would be seen as trauma, then I think somehow we have to be more accepting of it. We cannot change the outcome of some trauma, we just have to be able to manage and live with it, as you point out.

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