Most people will experience some form of trauma during their lifetime. About 60% of men and 50% of women go through at least one traumatic event in their life.1 Though it’s not a rare occurrence, it’s important to note that there is a spectrum of trauma, and it affects each individual differently. For example, two people may experience the same event, yet each processes it differently. Your trauma is your trauma, and it’s completely valid.
As trauma happens, troublesome symptoms are common during the days and weeks following the event. Feelings of shock and denial are strong. Unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, psychosomatic symptoms, and strained relationships are also expected. After a few weeks, though, these symptoms typically diminish, and people return to normal.
However, some people have trouble moving on after experiencing trauma. They may return to “normal life” but often experience underlying difficulties fueled by the residual effects of trauma. What are some unresolved trauma symptoms, and how can people find help and healing?
What Is Trauma?
Trauma refers to the emotional, mental, and physical effects that occur after an unexpected and terrifying event. Some examples of events that can lead to trauma include acts of violence, accidents, natural disasters, neglect, or the loss of a loved one. Trauma ranges from mild to severe depending on the type of event or length of the experience.
Some people are more at risk of experiencing certain traumatic events than others. For example, women are more likely to experience sexual assault during adulthood or childhood sexual abuse. On the other hand, men are most likely to experience physical assault, combat, disaster, accidents, or witness injury or death.
Common Reactions to Trauma
After experiencing trauma, most people feel anxious, angry, or sad. They may have trouble with memory, concentration, or sleep. Most people continuously think about the experience or shut it out of their minds entirely. These responses may be immediate or delayed and brief or prolonged.
The reactions to trauma typically diminish after a few days or weeks. Some people may need therapy or counseling to work through their symptoms. There may be some lasting fear or worry, but people usually come back to themselves eventually.
What Are Some Unresolved Trauma Symptoms?
Sometimes people return to their normal lives after a traumatic event but do not properly process what happened. They may avoid thinking about it, turn to alcohol or drugs to numb out, pour themselves into working excessively, or some other faulty form of coping.2 But using these methods to cope only delays the healing process.
Eventually, these individuals will experience some unresolved trauma symptoms, such as:
- Excessive worry, anxiety, sadness, or fear
- Frequent and unexplained crying episodes
- Troubles thinking clearly
- Experiencing terrifying thoughts or flashbacks
- Intense mood swings
- Feelings of anger, irritation, or resentment
- Avoiding certain situations, locations, or people
- Isolating from friends, family, or colleagues
If you notice these signs in yourself or a loved one, it’s best to reach out for help.
Healing From the Effects of Trauma
While unresolved trauma symptoms are difficult to work through, healing is possible. Treatment programs like those at Pasadena Villa offer an avenue to overcoming your symptoms of trauma and rebuild your life. It often takes time to work through the effects of a traumatic event, but reaching out for help is the first step toward taking back control.
To learn more about the programs available at Pasadena Villa, please reach out to us today at 407-565-8942. You can also fill out our online contact form, and an admissions specialist from our team will reach out to you!
- U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (2022). How Common Is PTSD In Adults?.
- National Institute of Mental Health. (2020). Coping With Traumatic Events.