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4 Subtle Signs of Trauma: When You’re Dealing with More Than You Think

Updated: Jul 23, 2022

When you think about someone experiencing trauma, incidents such as a violent or sexual assault or a

terrible car accident might come to mind. But there are other, subtler forms of trauma that can negatively

affect our lives and hinder our relationships.

Emotional trauma is often overlooked and minimized, and we may think we’ve “gotten over” some

emotional pain that we’ve simply buried, and not dealt with. A break-up, being passed over for a

promotion at work, or even a simple but negative childhood experience can cause emotional trauma. Read

on to see if you recognize any of these four subtle signs of trauma in yourself.


Anxiety and stress may develop in the aftermath of trauma, causing you to feel overwhelmed in numerous

ways. You might feel out of control like there is too much to do, or that people in your life are taking up

too much of your time and attention. If you often feel as though your life has become unmanageable, this

could be a sign that you have some unresolved emotional trauma.


Emotional overreactions are a common symptom of trauma. A victim of trauma might redirect their

overwhelming emotions towards others, such as family and friends. Because these undealt with emotions

are always bubbling under the surface, any incident that brings feelings forward can unleash these

pent-up emotions. If you can recall times when you’ve overreacted, and perhaps have even been

surprised at your own reactions, this may be a sign of trauma.


It’s not uncommon for people suffering from emotional trauma to have feelings of shame and self-blame.

If you have feelings of shame because of a traumatic event, you may devalue yourself or see yourself as

weak. You might feel a stigma from what you endured, and this may prevent you from admitting that you

may be traumatized, or prevent you from seeking help.


Another subtle sign of trauma is “zoning” or “spacing out.” You might feel disconnected from others or

have difficulty staying present in social situations. Emotional trauma can cause you to slow down

internally, numbing your emotions or causing you to feel exhausted. Because of the trauma you

experienced, you may be averse to the expression of painful emotions, so you turn those emotions off. As

you withdraw, your relationships with others suffer, causing you further psychological pain.

If these signs seem familiar and you believe you may be suffering from trauma, help is available. Our team of caring, licensed professionals trained in trauma treatment can help. Take the first step by giving us a call today, and let’s set up a time to talk.


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