Know the signs of... Trauma

Unfortunately, oftentimes people go through awful experiences that interfere with their brains' abilities to function as they did prior to the trauma. Living with an untreated trauma disorder is extremely difficult and requires treatment.

Trauma happens when someone:

  • Is exposed to a life-threatening experience

  • Goes through a serious injury

  • Is sexually abused

  • Witnesses a traumatic event happening to someone else

  • Finds out that a close family member or friend went through trauma

  • Repeatedly experiences or witnesses trauma in the home or through one's employment (for example, a paramedic who is frequently exposed to fatalities brought on by gun violence)

Keep in mind that not everyone who goes through trauma ends up with a trauma-related disorder. Trauma-related disorders include (but are not limited to): Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and disorders brought on by abuse and/or neglect. It is very difficult to identify signs/symptoms of trauma disorders in ourselves and other people, especially loved ones. If you think something might be wrong, it is always best to reach out to a mental health professional and get your questions answered. There is no fee for a consultation via telephone at Guada Psychological Services PC.

“Living with an untreated trauma disorder is extremely difficult and requires treatment. ”

Signs of Trauma-Related Disorders​

  • Experiencing trauma in one of the ways described in the bullet points above

  • Getting easily agitated by things that were not always agitating prior to the trauma

  • Being overly aware of the environment (hypervigilance)

  • Being "jumpy"

  • Having difficulty focusing or concentrating

  • Difficulty with sleep

  • Having bad dreams about or related to the trauma. In children, this could be frightening themes they cannot recognize.

  • Feeling like you have constant memories of the trauma that are intrusive or unwanted

  • Being distressed when seeing or hearing signs/symbols of the trauma

  • Flashbacks where you feel or act as if the traumatic event is recurring

  • In children, trauma themes can often be seen in the way that they play

  • Trying to avoid distressing thoughts and feelings related to the trauma

  • Changing lifestyle or behaviors in order to avoid people, places, events, etc related to the trauma

  • Inability to remember certain aspects of the trauma

  • Feeling guilty or blaming self for the trauma and/or being unrealistic about the trauma and the way it happened

  • Feeling detached or estranged from others or the world

  • Not being able to feel positive emotions (such as joy, hope, pride, happiness, excitement, etc.)

  • Behaving in a way that is self-destructive or that leads to poor outcomes

Please keep in mind that it can be hard to recognize whether or not certain behaviors are signs of a bipolar disorder. If you think something could be wrong, it probably is. If you are not sure, feel free to call and consult regarding any questions you have. There is no fee for a phone consultation.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Arlington, VA: American Psychiatric Publishing.

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