At some point, virtually everyone will experience an event in their lives which is traumatic. This could be an accident, life threatening illness or the death of a loved one. All these events can cause emotional trauma, and the manner in which it affects some individuals can be much more severe than others. Below are some signs that you may be struggling with emotional trauma:
Thinking About Past Traumatic Events Causes Unpleasant Physical Reactions
Individuals who are suffering from emotional trauma may display a number of symptoms. These symptoms will sometimes manifest themselves when you remember past traumatic events, and will include things such as nausea, rapid heart rate, high blood pressure, vomiting and headaches. Even though these symptoms may not be life threatening they are an indication of serious problems.
You Have An Irregular Sleep Pattern Or Diet
Traumatic experiences typically cause increased arousal, and this will result in problems with sleep and diet. Researchers recommend maintaining a set pattern when it comes to when you sleep and eat, but people with emotional trauma will have difficulty sleeping and may eat either too much or too little. Physical fitness is one way to improve the anxiety or depression which results from traumatic experiences.
You Feel Disconnected From The People Around You
Another characteristic of someone who is undergoing emotional trauma is becoming disconnected from the people around them, particularly friends or loved ones. For such individuals forming or maintaining existing relationships will become challenging. Some people who have undergone traumatic events in their lives will place an invisible, emotional barrier around themselves wherein they prevent people from getting too close so they don’t have to relive the unpleasant events that they went through in the past.
The problem with this strategy is that it can create feelings of shame, emptiness and a sense of hopelessness. Extensive isolation can also make it harder to perform at work or school, leading to job loss or the inability to sustain a career.
You’re Consistently Despondent or Afraid
Those who have experienced something truly awful, such as abduction, torture, rape or combat, will often relive the event many times over in their minds. Though the event happened in the past the memory will be so vivid that the victim can still smell, hear, taste and feel the experience all over again. The event will typically manifest itself in nightmares or flash backs, and certain events in the present may trigger it. This places the victim in a state where they are either despondent or afraid and constantly on edge. Others may appear withdrawn.
Few people can overcome emotional trauma on their own, and often resort to the usage of drugs and alcohol. Doing this will naturally make the situation far worse. The best way to cope with emotional trauma is to seek the help of a professional. While friends and loved ones may sympathize with your situation and genuinely want to help, few will have the experience and skill that is needed to deal with such a challenging condition.