Signs of unresolved trauma.
Trauma refers to the emotional response of the mind to a disturbing or dreadful experience. Trauma which has occurred in childhood gets stored in our unconscious mind, since the young mind of a child tends to block those memories through denial or suppression. Oftentimes, these emotions come back to the conscious mind, in adulthood through a series of symptoms.
First let us understand what can cause trauma. Any form of abuse: sexual, physical, or emotional, neglect by parents, loss of a parent, parent’s unresolved trauma or an emotionally unavailable primary caregiver (mostly, the mother), hospitalization, illness, abusive relationship between parents etc.
There is no definite type of trauma. Any event which causes immense stress on the young and weak mind of the child to an extent that those memories get blocked by the subconscious mind, can result in having PTSD-like symptoms in adulthood. PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) is the psychological term for the aftereffects of unresolved childhood trauma.
Unresolved Trauma can be identified from the following symptoms –
1. Chronic depression.
2. Sudden anxiety or panic attacks in the absence of a trigger.
3. Low self-esteem (feelings of worthlessness or shame).
4. Sleep problems (difficulty falling or staying asleep).
5. Flashbacks from the traumatic event.
7. Coping through substance abuse or addiction.
8. Hypervigilance (constantly being on the edge or restlessness).
9. Apathy (inability to feel emotions, feelings of loneliness).
10. Suicide ideation or actions.
11. Self-harming behavior.
12. Dissociation (feeling detached or mentally absent while being physically present in the moment).
13. Anger management issues.
14. Behavioral problems (inability to tolerate conflicts, unreasonable expectations, and frustrations).
15. Developing an irrational fear of objects or circumstances which might be remotely related to the traumatic event).
If you feel you have any of the above symptoms and they have started affecting your daily life, understand that you have some unresolved trauma which needs to be treated. Seek a therapist to help you face those blocked memories and emotions which your mind suppressed, as a child. Sometimes, PTSD gets misdiagnosed as depression or anxiety due to common symptoms. Seek a therapist who specializes in childhood trauma and therapy.
Do not lose hope. Learn when to seek help. You will get through this!