Symptoms of Trauma


The “symptoms” of trauma that sometimes arise, maybe even years after the experience, are normal physiological, psychological and emotional responses to the trauma. You are not “losing your mind”. You are not “fundamentally damaged”, weak, at fault or any of the other things people suffering from trauma sometimes mistakenly tell themselves.

The excellent news is, we know what happens in the brain and body of a traumatised person. This can be explained and it will start to make sense to you. We also know the mechanisms that will help you through alarming, distressing and seemingly uncontrollable symptoms and states you may experience. It is possible to heal completely from the impacts of trauma.

Some of the signs of trauma are:

• Feeling disconnected from your body or numb, also known as “zoning out”.
• A sense that normal life around you is not real or that you are watching it from a distance.
• Confusion, difficulty concentrating, difficulty sleeping or excessive sleeping.
• Uncontrollable flashbacks.
• Sudden, or uncontrollable anger, irritability, mood swings.
• Anxiety and fear (includes being fearful of harming those you love).
• Shame, self-blame, guilt.
• Withdrawing from others, being distant, not trusting others, not letting people get close to you emotionally.
• Feeling sad, hopeless, useless, worthless.
• Shock, denial, or disbelief.

Some of the things you may understandably have done/be doing, in an attempt to cope:

• block/shut it out of your conscious awareness.
• “soldier on”, hide symptoms, suck it up as “part of the job”.
• numb out with alcohol, drugs, gambling, food, self harming.
• compulsive, shopping, cleaning, fitness or any other excessive activity such as work.
• placing the self at risk.
• excessive focus on achievement.
• withdrawing from your partner/social company/society
• excessive controlling

Trauma can be healed and it can help a great deal to have specialised, experienced counseling. I have specialized training and considerable experience in this area. I work with private clients, those who are referred by their GP via the Better Access to Mental health initiative and those who can access victims services counseling. Please contact me if you would like to arrange counseling with me.