20 Signs of Unresolved trauma

I started counseling with my husband in marriage counseling.  After several ‘failed’ homework assignments, the counselor asked me about my childhood.  I chirped, “It was great, we went to the park, we went to the zoo.  It was a great childhood.”  He shook his head and persisted, “Tell me an average day.”  He knew before he asked that I had no idea.  Of the 20 signs of unresolved trauma, I demonstrated 14 of them.  A couple of others were buried in my deepest secrets.  My counselor knew before I did how messed up I was.  He also knew that with work on my part and willing to listen he could guide me to a healthier way of interacting with others, a healthier way of living.  When you read through this list you will recognize that most of these are symptoms of PTSD.  No surprise with that one.  I do recommend counseling with someone that understands trauma and PTSD.  I had counselors that just didn’t get it.  One was very nice but I felt constrained from opening up and exposing her to the darkness that I live with every day.  No, I don’t get time off for good behavior.  It is like a dark thread that etches itself on every day.  Blessedly now I get a few moments of reprieve from thinking about PTSD but it is always there in the background.

1.  Addictive behaviors

2. An inability to tolerate conflicts with others

3. An inability to tolerate intense feelings, preferring to avoid feeling by any number of ways

4. An innate belief that they are bad, worthless, without value or importance

5. Black and white thinking, all or nothing thinking, even if this approach ends up harming themselves

6. Chronic and repeated suicidal thoughts and feelings

7. Disorganized attachment patterns

8. Dissociation, spacing out, losing time, missing time,

9.  Eating disorders – anorexia, bulimia, obesity, etc

10. Excessive sense of self-blame

11. Inappropriate attachments to mother figures or father figures, even with dysfunctional or unhealthy people

12.   Intense anxiety and repeated panic attacks

13. Intrusive thoughts, upsetting visual images, flashbacks, body memories / unexplained body pain, or distressing nightmares

14.   Ongoing, chronic depression

15.   Repeatedly acting from a victim role in current day relationships

16.   Repeatedly taking on the rescuer role, even when inappropriate to do so

17.   Self-harm, self-mutilation, self-injury, self-destruction

18. Suicidal actions and behaviors, failed attempts to suicide

19. Taking the perpetrator role / angry aggressor in relationships

20. Unexplained but intense fears of people, places, things

Before going to this web page, please, be aware that some of the images are graphic and triggering.


20 Signs of Unresolved Trauma

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