9 Signs You Have Unhealed Trauma video

06.07.2020

There are moments in life when things happen to us that we don't know how to handle. It can be an accident, the loss of a loved one , a natural disaster, a robbery, being the victim of sexual abuse or having an extremely humiliating experience. These events usually generate very intense emotions and can cause psychological or emotional trauma .

What is a psychological trauma?

An emotional shock that produces lasting damage to the unconscious or a strong and lasting negative emotion or impression.

Trauma is an emotional shock that produces lasting damage to the unconscious, although it can also be a strong and constant negative emotion or impression.

It usually appears when we are exposed to a potentially traumatic situation , that is, a stressful and threatening situation that has surpassed our coping mechanisms. It arises when we have suffered a very intense fear and we have felt unable to manage it.

However, all trauma is not the result of a single episode. Sometimes "cumulative trauma" occurs , the result of having been exposed for a long period of time to situations that we have not been able to assume or have been able to manage.

In both cases, the basic mechanism is the same: emotions overwhelm us and traumatic experiences are not integrated into our "I," but remain active, usually on an unconscious level, manifesting through psychosomatic problems, concerns, or dysfunctional behaviors.

How do you know if you have emotional trauma?

After experiencing a traumatic episode, your brain goes into shock and most often you remember everything that happened to you over and over again. It can also happen that your conscious mind erases it, which will make you think that it has not left sequels. This occurs when the trauma is too painful, so a dissociation mechanism is activated to prevent you from suffering too much , although that does not mean that trauma has not occurred.

There are different symptoms that can indicate the existence of these traumas:

  • Insomnia and nightmares at night. You will probably remember the traumatic episode at night. You can remember isolated details or relive the whole experience again.
  • Increased irritability. You are more sensitive to any circumstance, fundamentally to those that resemble the situation that has caused the emotional trauma.
  • Anxiety and nervousness. In recent times you feel nervous, anxious and apprehensive about almost anything. You are likely to always stay alert, in a state of tension, as if something bad is going to happen at any moment.
  • Fear. You have developed a fear of different situations, even the most normal day to day. You're also likely to startle easily and overreact to stimuli.
  • Confusion and difficulty concentrating. You have trouble re-finding your daily rhythm, you feel confused and it is difficult for you to concentrate.
  • Feeling of guilt and shame. Sometimes victims feel a deep sense of shame because they believe that the traumatic event was their fault. Or you could be very angry and blame others for what happened.
  • Emotional indifference. Perhaps you have begun to feel that nothing matters to you, the activities that you were passionate about before have ceased to interest you and you feel disconnected from your emotions.

The causes of emotional trauma

Traumatic experiences overwhelm us, to such an extent that they break our psychological balance . This means that what may be a traumatic experience for some will not be for others.

Obviously, there are some traumatic situations that have a great emotional impact on most people, such as physical or psychological abuse, a particularly dangerous accident, abuse, the death of a very close person and diseases that have serious consequences.

Still, it is estimated that 64% of people who are exposed to traumatic episodes will not develop a psychological disorder. There are some factors that increase the chances of suffering a trauma:

  • Existence of psychological problems prior to the traumatic situation, such as suffering from chronic stress, anxiety or depression.
  • Experiential avoidance , which involves an effort to avoid the memories, feelings or thoughts related to the traumatic episode, so that only suffering is perpetuated.

How is trauma to the brain recorded?

Traumatic experiences are sustained by a kind of emotional short circuit. When we experience a traumatic episode and do not have the necessary psychological tools to deal with the problem, the emotional part of our brain sounds the alarm and disconnects the rational part.

In some cases that disconnection is so great that the memory is erased from the conscious memory . However, that does not mean that emotional trauma goes away. Neuroscientists from Harvard University found that painful fingerprints remain etched on the brain, but in the wrong area.

In practice, people who fail to leave behind their traumatic past relive painful experiences as if it were a real situation . That is the reason why, to overcome a trauma it is necessary to turn it into a narrative experience, which means that you must process what happened, subtract emotional impact and store it in the part of the brain destined for autobiographical memories.

The consequences of emotional trauma

The origin of many psychological problems lies in emotional trauma. When we are not able to overcome a trauma, different disorders may appear that will affect our performance and quality of life.

  • Anxiety . Anxiety is a disorder linked to fear, so it is usual that after a traumatic episode you develop a hyper-vigilant and apprehensive attitude that gives way to anxiety.
  • Depression. When the trauma is very large, you can experience a deep feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. You can lose the joy and the reasons to live, so you could develop a depressive picture and even have suicidal thoughts.
  • Post traumatic stress disorder . The trauma is relived in the form of recurring and involuntary distressing memories that cause great discomfort. In some cases dissociative reactions may appear in which you lose touch with reality and believe that the traumatic events are actually taking place.
  • Social isolation. Due to fear of a similar event happening again, you are likely to gradually limit your social activities and isolate yourself.
  • Dissociative disorders . Dissociation is a clear symptom of having suffered emotional trauma, because it is an automatic response of our brain to disconnect from pain.

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