Trauma can be caused by any emotionally distressing or threatening event, and it can occur in any given situation. It may not always be easy to identify the presence of trauma, especially if it isn’t accompanied by physical injuries. As a result, many people struggle to identify the signs and symptoms of trauma when it has happened to them. If you are questioning whether or not you may have experienced trauma, read on to learn how to identify it.
Changes in behavior
Trauma can manifest in various ways, but one of the most apparent indicators is changes in your behavior. As you may notice, it can show up as outbursts of anger, irritability, or difficulty handling stress or anxiety. You may experience a loss of interest in the activities that used to bring you pleasure or, on the other hand, engage in high-risk behaviors, such as consuming drugs and/or alcohol. You may become more aggressive, withdrawn or exhibit personality changes. If you notice changes in your interactions or the way you behave, it may be an indicator of trauma.
Trauma can result in a variety of physical symptoms that may or may not be immediately noticeable. You may experience an increase in heart rate, breathing rate or fatigue. Panic attacks, dizziness, and even body aches or pains are also common after experiencing a trauma. If you find yourself experiencing any of these symptoms without an obvious physical cause, it’s best to consider the possibility of trauma.
Many people who have experienced trauma often have persistent nightmares. These nightmares can be disruptive and can affect your sleeping pattern and mental state. If you’re having difficulty sleeping or find yourself experiencing nightmares regularly, it is best to speak to a professional to determine if you’re experiencing trauma and how to deal with it.
Avoidance can be another common indicator of trauma. It can take the form of avoiding specific people, situations or objects that trigger memories of the traumatic experience. You may find it difficult to talk or think about what happened or avoid any reminders of the event. The process of avoidance may seem like it lessens the impact of the trauma, but it only prolongs the distress that you’re dealing with.
Trauma can lead to an array of emotional responses, including depression, anxiety, or generally feeling overwhelmed. It can also result in mood swings, particularly in instances of anxiety or depression, where you can feel incredibly low one minute and then feel overwhelmingly anxious the next. If you find yourself struggling to regulate your emotions, it’s worth speaking with a professional to know if you may be experiencing trauma.
Trauma may not always be easy to identify, but it’s essential to pinpoint signs and symptoms for the wellbeing and health of an individual. The effects of trauma can be debilitating and can have long-lasting impacts on your life. If you’re struggling with any of the signs we have listed above, consider seeking out a healthcare professional’s help. Remember, there is no shame in acknowledging or seeking help to deal with a traumatic experience. The sooner you can identify and address the problem, the faster and easier it will be to regain control of your life.