Emotional & Psychological Trauma | What Are Trauma Signs & Symptoms?

Trauma is often experienced when there is a threat to your life or safety, but many situations that leave you feeling overwhelmed and alone, can be traumatic even if no physical harm was involved.

Your subjective emotional experience of an event, will determine if you have been traumatised. The more scared and helpless you feel, the more likely it is that you have been traumatised.

Emotional & Psychological Trauma

Emotional and psychological trauma is the result of extremely stressful events that have shattered your sense of security, making you feel in a state of helplessness, where the world is experienced as a very threatening and unsafe place. It can be caused by:

  • One off events such as an accident, natural disaster, or violent attack
  • Ongoing, relentless stress such as living in a crime ridden neighbourhood or battling a life threatening illness
  • Surgery, especially in the first three years of life
  • The sudden death of someone close, breakup of a significant relationship, or a humiliating or deeply disappointing experience
  • Sexual abuse or rape
  • Emotional Abuse or bullying
  • War Related Trauma

The trauma can be more acute if it happened suddenly, you were unprepared for it, you felt powerless to prevent it, it happened repeatedly, someone was intentionally cruel, or it happened in childhood.

Experiencing trauma in childhood can have a severe and long-lasting effect. When childhood trauma is not resolved, a sense of fear and helplessness carries over into adulthood, setting the stage for further trauma.

Trauma Signs & Symptoms

If you have experienced a trauma, you may be struggling with upsetting feelings, frightening memories, or a sense that you are in constant danger.

Alternatively, you may feel numb, disconnected and unable to trust people. Here is a checklist of anxiety symptoms that you may be experiencing:

Emotional Symptoms

  • Shock or denial
  • Anger, irritability or mood swings
  • Guilt, shame, self-blame
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating
  • Anxiety and fear
  • Feeling disconnected or numb

Physical Symptoms

  • Insomnia or nightmares
  • Fatigue
  • Being startled easily
  • Racing heartbeat
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Being on edge and agitated
  • Aches and pains
  • Muscle tension

Social Symptoms

  • Withdrawing from others
  • Difficulty trusting people
  • Finding it difficult to meet new people
  • Forming relationships with an imbalance of power

If you are experiencing symptoms of trauma, it is important that you seek treatment.

At EmotionMatters we have a multidisciplinary team who can provide you with a safe and supportive environment where you are able to share your emotions and feel better about yourself: