The Four Signs of Trauma
Going through something traumatic might have a detrimental effect on your mental health; in this blog, we’ll talk about four ways a person might respond to trauma. However, note that everyone is different and symptoms might vary depending on the severity of the event and individual differences.
Even though the danger that caused trauma is no longer present in your life, your body might remain in a high alert state that makes you more sensitive to various stimuli. For example, you might startle when you hear sudden noises and be constantly on guard, scanning your environment for signs of threat. This kind of state might also manifest itself as increased muscle tension, irritability and difficulty concentrating.
2. Sleep problems
As a result of hyperarousal, it’s common for trauma survivors to experience sleep difficulties. Since being constantly vigilant makes you tense, it’s harder to relax enough to fall asleep. Additionally, a person who went through trauma might suffer from nightmares about the upsetting event and wake up in panic or sometimes fear falling asleep to avoid experiencing flashbacks.
If something bad happens to you, it’s only natural that you want to avoid anything that reminds you of trauma. You might not only refuse to talk about it but also remove yourself from environments that might be potentially triggering. As a result, you’re likely to become socially withdrawn; you might avoid meeting your friends because you might worry about them bringing it up or because your self-esteem suffered to the point you don’t believe you’re good enough to have friends anymore. Additionally, you might rely on emotional avoidance to prevent the occurrence of thoughts about trauma or experiencing difficult emotions. Emotional avoidance typically refers to using drugs or alcohol to cope.
4. Feeling of guilt
A feeling of guilt after a traumatic experience is extremely common. If you experienced something traumatic, you might feel like you should have done things differently and blame yourself for not being able to prevent it from happening. Additionally, if you went through something traumatic and survived while others didn’t, you might suffer from a ‘survivor guilt’ that makes you feel like you did something wrong and even that you shouldn’t have made it alive.
Unfortunately, trauma isn’t something your brain can process on its own and no matter how much we wished we could just forget it and move on, postponing getting help will only make it more challenging to recover in the long run. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help: contact My Family Psychologist today and see how we can help