The 4 Most Common Emotional Signs of Trauma

Man looking down, very sad from trauma

People experience trauma in different ways and with different severities. Someone might be more impacted by a certain event than others. 

With that being said, the signs and symptoms of emotional trauma can vary, too. 

It’s important to remember that there are no right or wrong signs of trauma. There is no “correct” way to feel or act after you’ve been through a specific event, even if the symptoms are showing up years later. 

You might deal with physical symptoms, including fatigue, insomnia, or aches and pains. But, the emotional signs of trauma can often feel much more overwhelming. 

If you’ve been through a traumatic experience and you notice any of the following emotional signs, it could be time to seek out help. 

1. A Feeling of Disconnect

One of the biggest signs of emotional trauma is feeling disconnected. This is a broad term, of course, and it covers a lot of things. You may feel emotionally numb, which is often a defense mechanism. 

You may also feel disconnected from other people. This often causes other symptoms of emotional trauma to occur such as withdrawing from others. 

When you’ve been through a traumatic experience, it can sometimes feel safer to be alone and not let others in. Unfortunately, that’s one of the worst things you can do to help yourself. 

2. Sad, Anxious, Scared

woman on board walk, traumaIt’s normal to feel a variety of emotions after going through a traumatic event, but many people feel a level of anxiety or fear, or a sense of sadness and hopelessness. Feeling these things all at once can be incredibly overwhelming, but it can also cause you to feel like there’s no chance of getting any help. 

When you’ve gone through something traumatic, you might experience flashbacks of the situation. Flashbacks or uncomfortable memories can make it scarier to tell anyone about it. Processing what happened isn’t easy and can bring that fear to the forefront of your mind once again. 

3. Irritability

Another defense mechanism is showing signs of irritability or anger toward others after a traumatic event. You might feel an intense need to protect yourself. Or, if you’re having trouble fully processing and working through what happened, you can become easily frustrated and act out in anger. 

If you’re not typically an angry or irritable person, this sign should be fairly easy to spot and recognize that it’s not normal for you. Getting help to deal with the trauma can help you to release some of that anger and feel more like yourself again. 

4. Shame and Self-Blame

It’s not uncommon for victims of trauma to feel shame or to blame themselves for the event. This is especially true with childhood trauma or if you’ve been through something very personal, such as domestic abuse. 

Trauma is often hard to understand. In an effort to justify why something happened, it’s easier to blame yourself than to get to the root of the issue. Your abuser could have also conditioned you to take the blame and feel guilty about what’s happened to you. 

All of these emotional signs of trauma connect to one another in some way. If you blame yourself, you might withdraw from others. If you withdraw from others, fear and sadness can take over. When that happens, you’ll feel even more disconnected. 

It’s an unfortunate, vicious cycle that will rarely go away on its own. 

Thankfully, there’s hope when it comes to getting through these symptoms and finding some peace. 

If you’re suffering from the effects of trauma, please don’t hesitate to contact me. You’re not alone in the way you feel, and things can get better when you’re willing to get the help you deserve.