Man looking through binoculars. Dealing with trauma is hard, especially when you don't know what is trauma and the common effects of trauma. Ready to make that change? Learn more from a trauma therapist.

One of the main goals of the Trauma Chat Podcast, created by Laura Reagan, LCSW-C, is to help listeners identify whether or not trauma is impacting their lives so that they can take control of their own healing journeys. This trauma podcast episode will help to explain more about the effects of trauma.

On last week’s episode of Trauma Chat, Laura explained:

“Trauma can be very insidious and show up in a lot of ways in these repeating patterns in our lives.”

Laura Reagan, Trauma Chat Episode Two

In this week’s episode, Laura went into more depth surrounding how trauma shows up in people’s lives.

Effects of Trauma and Common Ways That it Can Show Up In Our Lives

1. Feeling angry, depressed, or anxious.

Experiencing a traumatic event can have long-term effects on our mood. An inability to integrate the experience into the rest of our life can leave us feeling hopeless and worried about whether or not we will ever be able to move on from the event.                                                                 

2. A sense of isolation.

A sense of isolation is a feeling that you are very alone in the world. Those with a sense of isolation can feel like there is no one that cares about them, no one wants to hear about their problems, and that there is no one who can help them to feel better. Oftentimes those with a sense of isolation feel this way despite having friends and family who do care about them. 

3. Issues with sleep.

Those who have undergone trauma often experience long-term sleep disturbances. Sleep disturbances include waking up in the middle of the night with a sense of panic, trouble falling asleep or staying asleep, having nightmares when you are finally able to sleep, and more. Childr3en who have undergone trauma can frequently experience sleepwalking and have night terrors, however, these things can happen with adults as well.

4. Physical aches and pains and muscle tension

People tend to really begin feeling the physical effects of trauma in middle age as a result of repeatedly holding in their feelings. Physical effects of unaddressed trauma can include headaches, migraines shoulder, back pain, hip pain, and other forms of muscle tension. 

5. Chronic pain, chronic illness, and autoimmune disorders.

The development of chronic pain, chronic illness, and autoimmune disorders have all been shown to be highly correlated with the experience of childhood trauma. To learn more about this connection.

6. Experiencing flashbacks and intrusive thoughts/memories.

A flashback is when you are remembering something that you went through that was emotionally painful and it feels like you are being forced to watch the event playback, despite a strong urge to stop thinking about the event. Flashbacks can fall into the category of intrusive thoughts and memories, which is when you have repetitive, unwanted thoughts popping into your head for seemingly no reason. 

7. Depersonalization and derealization.

Woman with back turned rubbing back of neck. Do you know about the effects of trauma on the body? This is the place to learn from a skilled trauma therapist. Fill in the gaps and understand what is trauma.

Depersonalization and derealization are types of disassociation. When experiencing depersonalization and derealization, you may feel like you are not in your body or feel as if you are unreal. To learn more about dissociation, listen to episode 212 of Therapy Chat titled, All About Dissociation.

8. Feeling on edge, hyper-alert, watchful, or on guard.

Those who have undergone trauma often feel like they have to be on alert for the next time they are in a dangerous situation. This can make it really hard to focus and can lead to problems with attention. 

9. Self harming behaviors.

Self-harming behaviors include cutting, burning, skin picking, and trichotillomania, which is an obsessive urge to pull your hair out.

10. Eating disorders.

It is very likely for someone who has undergone trauma to develop an eating disorder later in life. To learn more about the relationship between trauma and eating disorders, listen to Episode 229 of Therapy Chat, titled: “Eating Disorders and Disordered Eating During Covid.”

The above list represents ten ways that trauma can show up in our lives, but it is nowhere near all-encompassing. If you recognize some of the symptoms mentioned above, it is possible that you may be affected by trauma.

Learn more about our qualified trauma therapists with a range of different specialties.

Yellow quote from Laura Reagan, who runs a trauma therapist podcast and a trauma therapist. Ready for change? Learn about the effects of trauma on the body today or find a therapist near me for support.

Resources to Learn More About The Effects of Trauma:

Additional Resources on The Trauma Therapist Network

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Publish Date

October 11, 2021

About the Author

Laura Reagan, LCSW-C

Laura Reagan, LCSW-C is an integrative trauma therapist and owner of a group practice, the Baltimore Annapolis Center for Integrative Healing. She is also the host of Therapy Chat and Trauma Chat podcasts and the founder of the Trauma Therapist Network, a website for learning information about trauma and finding resources and help for trauma.

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How Trauma Shows Up In Our Lives