How Trauma Affects You: The Costs of Ignoring Trauma

How Trauma Effects You

Trauma is something that we all face in our lives but can be healed. How trauma effects you depends on your experiences with the trauma event and how they are triggered. Trauma triggers will affect how you react to yourself and others around you. This blog post will discuss what happens when trauma isn’t dealt with properly and why ignoring this reality will cost you relationships and self-worth.

What is a Traumatic Event

A traumatic event is anything that causes psychological or physical stress on a person. How trauma affects you depends on the severity, duration, and type of trauma experienced and your emotional state before it happened. You may experience one episode of trauma in your life, such as witnessing violence, resulting in post-traumatic stress (PTSD).

No one is immune to the effects of trauma. It can even be said that our personalities are nothing but a conglomerate of reactions based on learned trauma responses. Yes, your quirky little laugh is due to a childhood nervous response to a situation you could not control; nervous fear made you smirk and laugh.

“Trauma comes back as a reaction, Not a memory.”

--Bessel Van Der Kolk

How Trauma Affects Your Brain

Trauma forms in our bodies, making permanent changes to our ability to think and make decisions. Scans can detect trauma changes to the brain. (“Trauma Triggers: The Brain Science Of Trauma And Healing,” 2020). Here are three areas of the brain in which you might find changes:

  1. The right and left halves of the brain communicate less.
  2. The Fear Center becomes overactive.
  3. Our thinking brain (front part) shrinks. 

For the purpose of this post, we will focus on human interaction and the effects of that interaction on the brain through traumatic exposure. Or human on human exposed trauma. 

Trauma on Fight or Flight

Stress and High Impact events cause your brain to up fight and flight responses and lower rational thinking (Allene, Kalalou, Durand, Thomas, & Januel, 2021). The reason you can’t remember your childhood is because you had a traumatic early life.

Traumatic situations can cause you to have a very easily excitable nervous system. So you respond to a typical day by using your fight or flight system way too much. When you are so used to living in fear, you tend to be and act anxious and nervous. (JR Thorpe, 2021).

The Adrenaline Effects of Fight or Flight

Your body cannot sustain life with such an adrenaline high-demand system. I compare this to eating sugary and fatty foods daily and eventually getting diabetes. The consequences of a poorly regulated fear center lead to anxiety, depression, and even suicidal ideations.
Trauma can even cause you to shrink your working memory while at the same time helps you remember the trauma (sometimes even the trauma gets erased depending on the situation). (JR Thorpe, 2021)

Signs of Unhealed Trauma

If you’ve ever experienced trauma, there are a few signs that indicate it’s still affecting your life. Do any of these symptoms sound familiar?

Trauma Personality Responses

Trauma can impact your personality in many ways. Here are a few Trauma Personality Resposes you might notice in yourself.

The Triggers of Trauma

Our trauma becomes “triggered” or confronted when a similar situation to the original traumatic event occurs. For example, yelling at your child might trigger a memory of your own mother yelling at you for some wrongdoing. Those triggers make us feel anxious, freeze, and have irrational fears.

The Best Way to heal your brain from the effects of trauma is to find the triggers then begin healing the trauma.

First Steps in Healing

The first step in healing yourself is first to find your triggers. Finding your triggers can help you find the root of your trauma. How does it make you feel? What do you think about when that trigger comes up? Who else might have insight personally into what triggers you? Often those closest to you can shine light into what things make you react.

Identifying the Triggers

Identify and talk about what triggers us emotionally to start processing those feelings from our past. We have to work through them before they come out as anger or violent towards them.

Considering these therapies may lead you to a better life without the fear of anxiety or other trauma-related symptoms. 

Healing can be done through various healing mechanisms, including: 

  • cognitive-behavioral therapy
  • theta healing
  • meditation
  • mindfulness
  • brain synchronicity
  • yoga
  • Heart Rate Variability Training (HRV)
  •  hypnotherapy
  • regular therapy
  • emotional regulation exercises

It is essential for us to engage in activities that will create new neural pathways and synapses. The best modes for treated trauma are simple, doable, and free. Try using mindfulness, bodywork such as massage or physical therapy sessions with therapists who specialize in trauma-related work, go for walks, talk to friends, do physical activity, or journal.

The simple act of going on walks with your family or playing with your kids in the park has excellent therapeutic value. Studies show that these activities produce neurochemical changes that affect mental health by reducing symptoms associated with trauma.

We Are All Impacted by Trauma

It is hard to believe that trauma can be so prevalent in the lives of many, but it’s true. We are all impacted, and no one escapes the effects of trauma. How trauma affects you is a personal reality. How we react to and handle, it is an individual journey.

Trauma healing and the costs of ignoring this reality is a subject we should all be talking about. How Trauma Affects You is an important and prevalent part of life that can lead to many negative personal effects if left untreated.

The Cost of Untreated Trauma

How you react to your trauma will depend on what happened first, so there’s no one way to handle it. But one thing is for sure, How Trauma Affects You will cost you relationships and self-worth if left untreated, and that is a massive cost of ignoring the reality trauma creates.

Here are a few ways trauma causes you to ruin your relationships;

  1. How Trauma Affects, You can make it difficult to focus on yourself and your needs. This lack of self-care can strain your partner to meet a need you might not even know you have.
  2. When you’re in a relationship, give and take is an important part that makes relationships work. Without this give and take, you have a lack of boundaries.
  3. Without seeing what you need from your partner, How Trauma Affects You will cost you any sense of close personal bonds. Maybe you push your lover away because of the hidden trigger being held holds.
  4. Trauma Affects your moods by creating an up and down effect as you heal a little and regress a little. These up and down moods can take a toll on relationships.
  5. Trauma affects jobs and what we perceive to be dead-end situations. It makes you feel like you are up against a wall when a boss or co-worker confronts you.
  6. Family dynamics become entangled, and you feel like you have no say in your own family position. You take abuse and keep going back for more because of obligatory feelings.

Seek To Heal

You might not have been aware of How Trauma affects but I hope you begin to listen to your triggers. When you are unaware of your trauma, then it will cost you relationships and self-worth. So many people neglect to see that they have a trauma history that effects their moods and behaviors. Even though people are not fully aware of why life happens to them and how much trauma can effect their life you can still do something about it. Healing is possible and you don’t have to do it alone.

A Loving Note

Only when we choose to be aware of how our past affects us can we heal and move forward with a life full of passion, purpose, and joy. I am glad to break down how not addressing this reality may cost you relationships and self-worth, but I am more enthusiastic to begin your healing journey. Below are my best methods for your healing journey, stay, read, and heal. Or, if you don’t feel like doing it alone, book a session.

 

Are you living with trauma?

Trauma is a challenging experience to live with. It can be hard to know where to start when healing and moving on from the past. That’s why I offer trauma coaching services that are designed specifically for people who have experienced traumatic events in their lives. I want you to feel empowered, supported, and hopeful about your future again.

My goal is simple – help you heal from your trauma so that you can move forward in life without feeling stuck or overwhelmed by what happened before. You deserve peace of mind and happiness after everything you’ve been through! Let us show how we can help make this happen for you today.

Healing Your Trauma

There many ways to find the source of your trauma. From asking immediate family directly or doing deep introspection or theta meditation. Even doing hypnotherapy and even shamanic therapies or mushrooms. I used a meditation method to go deep into my subconscious and ask where my trauma laid, and I then began to heal one by one. Journaling is also a well regarded method that is simple and cathartic. Whichever method you choose, take your time and don’t hold back.

Below are three main methods to heal. They work and are safe. However even with this methods some caution needs to be had. Talk to your therapist and discuss any hesitations. One thing I do see often with very intense trauma healing is adverse side effects such as more headaches , depression gets worse (before it gets better), mood swings, and existential dread.

Method One: Meditation/Mindfulness

One of the major methods for deep-seated healing trauma is Neurofeedback. Neurofeedback is AKA mindfulness and meditation in the Spiritual world. Meditation and Mindfulness are powerful tools to loosen deep trauma.

Caution needs to be had with all unearthed trauma. Released trauma can be painful and even cause body symptoms such as headaches, nausea, actual sickness, breakouts. It can even lead to periods of depression and anxiety.

(Seek professional help if possible while going through the process of healing.)

While these responses are normal, they can make it difficult to move on with your daily life. The mind protects the body by using trauma to avoid a previous painful situation. So it’s natural for people to want to avoid fixing what the mind uses for protection.

Method Two: Healing Trauma Through Emotional Regulation

Being the observer in your own responses can help stop trauma from creating a negative response. Emotional regulation helps retrain you to see the response through an observational state rather than a responsive state.

This method is also what experts call Heart Rate Variability Training (HRV) method. You use your observation to acknowledge your body’s response to stress and take control before a full attack occurs. You put yourself in control.

Emotional regulation can be used in real-time trauma responses. It benefits individuals who have to deal with triggers more often. Being able to self-regulate and work through trauma responses is essential.

Method Three: Hemi-Sync Method

In this method, different methods are used to sync your brain’s left and right sides to help decrease the response to traumatic flashbacks or events in your brain.

My favorite Hemi-sync method is music. Music is played in waves that move from the right and left sides of your ear to meet at the center—creating a third synchronized sound that helps the brain work together.

This method is similar to Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).

Science evidence illustrates that meditation develops the ability to use the whole brain in a synchronized way. In fact, research has indicated this type of synchronization is present in the brain at times of intense creativity, clarity, and inspiration. History is full of brilliant scientists, technologists, and artists who showed whole brain synchronization.

Healing Trauma Happens in Phases:

As you begin your healing, you will notice a similar path as those described below. This path occurs in phases most people who heal go through. The phases are needed to foster safe and effective healing. 

Phase one: Stay Grounded

In trauma healing, you need to feel safe and grounded. Trauma makes you feel so lost and disconnected that you will think it unsafe to move into recovery if you don’t find safe ground. So safety is first. It would help if you found a WHY to feel connected to something. Finding your WHY is your safe ground. That’s why it’s crucial.

I often read that the number one reason people refuse to give up and commit suicide is that they had a WHY—the WHY is a deal-breaker to suicide. When you feel suicidal, the WHY has to be written down and remembered; without it, the mind will have a greater chance of failing you. But here is the dilemma, when you are feeling suicidal, the WHY is muted; it’s so low and squashed within you that you can barely hear it. Please write it down; look at it daily.

Phase Two: Healing

Once you are feeling safe, you can deal with your trauma. This part was hard for me, and I didn’t see my past trauma being an issue. I thought I was doing fine the way I was going. But I can guarantee you, if you don’t heal that trauma, you will hit the stopping point after stopping point. If you want to see the most significant change within you, you must start with the trauma.

This phase is the messy phase, the healing phase. You will deal with the issues and learn to recognize what truly was a big deal and why? You will learn to dig into your dirty laundry of trauma and begin to analyze each article. And why it made you feel unsafe and how to heal it properly.

Phase Three: The rebuild

Building your infrastructure after you have torn it down to heal is essential. It’s very cathartic to be at the end of a healed path and see the distraction it’s left. This is the phase where you see that trauma affected every area of your life and relationships. You are choosing to heal and work on those connections.

The rebuild can often leave you feeling lonely. Ofen people tend to get rid of failed relations, friendships, and things that no longer serve them.

As with anything new, it might feel vast and overwhelming to see how much work you have to do. But It’s a beginning, and you have all the joy of creating as you please with this newfound peace that trauma healing brings.

How Trauma Effects You: Video Version

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Citations: 

Allene, C., Kalalou, K., Durand, F., Thomas, F., & Januel, D. (2021). Acute and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorders: A biased nervous system. Revue Neurologique177(1-2), 23–38. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neurol.2020.05.010

JR Thorpe. (2021, March 21). How Trauma Changes The Brain, According To Experts. Retrieved August 5, 2021, from Bustle website: https://www.bustle.com/wellness/how-trauma-changes-brain-experts

Trauma Triggers: The Brain Science Of Trauma And Healing. (2020, February 11). Retrieved August 10, 2021, from Unapologetically Surviving website: https://unapologeticallysurviving.com/educational-series/trauma-triggers-the-brain-science-of-trauma-and-healing/

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A former nurse and life long self-help learner, I have a passion for teaching the fundamentals of life. I never stop learning, but most of all I never stop being okay with being taught. I am a mom, a wife, and an awakened soul. Welcome! You are never lost, you are just on a quest.

Lucia Stakkestad

A former nurse and life long self-help learner, I have a passion for teaching the fundamentals of life. I never stop learning, but most of all I never stop being okay with being taught. I am a mom, a wife, and an awakened soul. Welcome! You are never lost, you are just on a quest.

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