A traumatic experience is any event that causes a real or perceived threat to emotional, physical, or spiritual safety. Signs of trauma, or indicators, can show up immediately after the experience, or weeks, months, or years later.
These indicators include:These indicators are normal reactions to a traumatic experience. However, if you experience several of these indicators, and if they cause impairment and do not lessen over time, it may be beneficial to seek professional help. Most of us have not been taught how to manage our feelings and navigate through suffering. Our emotions can be overwhelming and suffocating, and lead to unhealthy behaviors to avoid them. These behaviors become problematic patterns that take us away from ourselves, the people we care about, and our values. You do not need to suffer alone.
- Feeling overwhelmed and emotionally drowning
- Feeling trapped, shut in, or crowded
- Extreme impatience, anger, irritability, rage, or restlessness
- Lost sense of security and safety
- Fears of injury or death of yourself or family members
- Strong emotions associated with the traumatic event
- Feeling distracted, lack of concentration, and disorganized thoughts
- Inability to organize plans or problem-solve
- Emotional numbness, unable to experience emotions (other than anger, fear, frustration)
- Feeling disconnected or detached from loved ones
- Unable to feel love, joy, or positive emotions