Common Reactions to Trauma 

Some of the most common reactions one may experience following a trauma include:

  • Re-experiencing of the trauma including flashbacks and vivid images
  • Intrusive thoughts and memories of the trauma
  • Avoidance of reminders of the trauma (internal-emotions/thoughts and external- people, places, things relating to the trauma) 
  • Manifestations of the traumatic experience in your physical body including tension, pain or numbness
  • Sudden and unexpected shifts in mood
  • Intense emotions including fear, terror, anger, rage, despair, guilt, shame, disgust
  • Feeling increasingly withdrawn and isolated from others
  • Experiencing memory lapses, difficulty concentrating, or remembering 
  • Feeling disconnected from yourself or feeling as though the world is distorted or not real 
  • Negative view of self, other people, the world
  • Thoughts of suicidal ideation or harm towards self or others

Trauma often shows up as different diagnoses including depression, anxiety, addiction, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and dissociative disorders (e.g., depersonalization, derealization, dissociative identity disorder(DID). An accurate diagnosis is crucial. If you are being treated for depression, but the trauma history has been overlooked, then the benefits of treatment will be limited. It’s also important to note that diagnoses can co-occur. For example, someone could be dealing with PTSD and depression or PTSD and DID.

Treating Trauma

© Joanne Regina Counselling and Psychotherapy