Trauma is an individual experienceTrauma is an emotional reaction to an unexpected event. In addition to severe events such as witnessing a tragedy, experiencing a natural disaster, and witnessing or experiencing sexual or physical abuse, recent research has revealed that emotional trauma can also result from such common occurrences as auto accidents, the breakup of a relationship, or the discovery of a life-threatening illness or disabling condition.


We also know that it is not the event that determines whether something is traumatic to someone, but rather it is the individual’s experience of that that event. Trauma does not only affect us emotionally, but can affect us physically and cognitively as well. Some common symptoms of trauma are:

  • Emotional
    • Depression, spontaneous crying, despair and hopelessness
    • Anxiety
    • Panic attacks
    • Fearfulness
    • Compulsive and obsessive behaviors
    • Feeling out of control
    • Irritability, angry and resentment
    • Emotional numbnessWithdrawal from normal routine and relationships
  • Physical
    • Eating Disturbances (more or less than usual)
    • Sleep disturbances (more or less than usual)
    • Sexual dysfunction
    • Low energy
    • Chronic, unexplained pain


    • Memory lapses, especially about the trauma
    • Difficulty making decisions
    • Decreased ability to concentrate
    • Feeling distracted

Extreme symptoms can include:

  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Flashbacks or nightmares
  • Sudden flood of emotions or images related to the traumatic event
  • Avoidance of situations that resemble the initial event
  • Depression
  • Guilt feelings
  • Grief reactions
  • Jumpiness, an extreme sense of being "on guard"
  • Overreactions, including sudden unprovoked anger
  • General anxiety
  • Insomnia

Experiencing emotional trauma can also have an affect on our relationships with others. This may show up as:

  • Inability to maintain close relationships or choose appropriate friends and  mates
  • Sexual problems
  • Hostility
  • Arguments with family members, employers or co-workers
  • Social withdrawal
  • Feeling constantly threatened

At A Peaceful Balance, our counselors specialize in treating the symptoms of emotional trauma. If you have experienced a trauma and want to start getting your life back to “normal”, call us today at (603) 577-5551.