How Are We Affected by Trauma?

Many of us experience some kind of trauma in our lives, and we’re all affected differently by it. We each develop unique thought patterns, behaviors, fears and emotional responses that can all be impacted by our trauma. What are some of the ways in which we are affected by our traumatic experiences?

Trauma can be so destabilizing that it can cause us to develop mental health issues such as depression, anxiety and panic attacks, as well as accompanying toxic thought patterns such as anxiety disorders and neuroses. We might begin to display paranoia pertaining to the trauma we experienced. We might have obsessive thoughts and compulsions relating in some way to our trauma. We might start developing behavioral patterns that reflect in visible ways just how deeply trauma can impact us. We might experience shifts in our outlook, our perspective, even our personality traits. We might be increasingly more hostile, volatile, or even violent. We might push our loved ones away and sabotage relationships. We might become withdrawn, isolate ourselves and retreat inward, shutting other people out. Drastic changes in our thought patterns and behavioral patterns are common when we’ve experienced trauma.

Many of us develop acute fears and limiting beliefs as a result of our traumatic experiences. If we sustained a loss, we might come to have an acute fear of being alone. If we experienced abuse or neglect, we might have a very hard time trusting other people and fear opening up to them. The limiting beliefs we develop from our trauma often have to do with an underlying fear that we are inadequate, unworthy and undeserving. Many of us grew to believe that our trauma was our fault, that it was a reflection of us as bad people, that we are inherently unworthy because of it. We can experience drastic shifts in our emotional responses. We might experience heightened anxiety. We might be easily triggered by things people say and do around us. We might be more reactive and aggressive.

When we reflect upon ourselves and our lives with honesty and courage, we can start to see how our trauma has informed everything in our lives – our thoughts and feelings, our behaviors, our fears and beliefs. This kind of reflection is an important step in undoing the psychological and emotional damage caused by trauma.

Riverside Recovery’s treatment programs include multiple kinds of therapy, support meetings and mindfulness education to support you as you work to heal your trauma. Call (800) 871-5440 today.