4 Lesser Know Trauma Symptoms
Trauma occurs when a person is faced with an overwhelming experience of fear and helplessness. Psychological trauma can shape the way a person sees the world. Any event a person finds physically or emotionally threatening or harmful can be considered traumatic. Examples include a car accident, assault, natural disaster, loss of a loved one, or any similarly stressful experience. If you are or think you might be experiencing trauma symptoms you are not alone even if it feels that way. According to the National Council for Behavioral Health, 70% of adults in the U.S. have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives. Trauma can have both long- and short-term effects on a person’s emotional and physical well-being.
The Lesser Known Trauma Symptoms
People who experienced trauma often describe feeling disconnected from themselves or their surroundings. Dissociation is a term used to express these feelings of disconnect. Dissociation is often our brain’s attempt at protecting us from pain. Separating our conscious mind from uncomfortable feelings or memories can be helpful. For instance, if you notice you are feeling overwhelmed and decide to close your eyes and imagine you are walking along a calm beach. This is using Dissociation to your advantage!
When it comes to trauma symptoms the problem arises when we dissociate without meaning to in unhelpful situations. Dissociation can feel different for everybody. Some describe a sense of unreality and loss of connection to their current time, place, or identity. Others describe being “zoned out” or daydreaming. Dissociation can involve feeling numb, distant, detached from your emotions, or that the world seems unreal and distorted. For some dissociation may even include flashbacks and memory loss. Practicing identifying dissociative triggers and discussing these with your trauma therapist can help you learn to use dissociation to your advantage. Rather than have it negatively affect you as a trauma symptom.
Impulse Control Difficulties
Multiple studies have highlighted the association between experiencing trauma and difficulties with impulse control. Impulsive or Reactive Behavior can look different for everyone. This may include irritability, unexpected outbursts, self-destructive behavior, or impulsive urges. These behaviors are more likely to happen because trauma, especially childhood trauma, strengthens our sympathetic nervous system. With a strong sympathetic nervous system, we are more prone to racing thoughts, fast heartbeat, feeling stressed, and other potentially overwhelming feelings. It is more difficult to think things through when we feel overwhelmed or stressed than it is when we feel calm and present. Understanding that this is a normal reaction to traumatic experiences is key!
Struggling with concentration can be a frustrating experience. Many individuals who have experienced trauma describe difficulties staying focused in conversation, forgetting important dates or appointments, and feeling like their head is in a fog. These are all examples of what happens when a person experiences difficulties concentrating as one of their trauma symptoms. A traumatized mind is a busy mind. It is dealing with stimulation, memories, flashbacks, hypervigilance, hyperarousal, and other factors associated with trauma. Concentrating is hard to do when your mind and body are busy filtering through these experiences. Mindfulness is an approach that can help improve concentration after experiencing a traumatic event. By practicing focusing on the present moment and your current sensory feelings we can help free our minds of some of that busyness and improve concentration.
Skin-Related Trauma Symptoms
Stress and trauma symptoms can affect us both physically and mentally. The skin is the largest organ in the body and is visible to the naked eye making it easier to notice when things go awry. Our skin holds a dense network of nerves and cells that can reflect our overall health. Because our skin holds afferent sensory nerves, they carry information from the outside world to our brain like feelings of heat, cold, and pain.
This means our skin is strongly linked to our sympathetic nervous system which becomes engaged when we experience feelings of pain or stress. Due to this, individuals who experience trauma are more likely to develop skin-related symptoms. This can include profuse daytime sweating, unexplained night sweats, pruritis (skin infection), flushing, dry skin, psoriasis, rosacea, and other skin problems. If you were looking for a sign to start including skin care in your self-care routine, this is it!
Start Addressing Your Trauma Symptoms With Trauma Therapy in Orlando, FL
If you are experiencing these or any other trauma symptoms then PTSD treatment and trauma therapy can help. At The Mindful Practice, we offer several counseling approaches including Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy and EMDR Therapy. With the help of an Orlando Therapist, you can start improving concentration, reduce impulse control difficulties, utilize dissociation positively, and decrease skin-related issues. To start either in-person counseling or online therapy follow these steps:
- Call or contact us to speak with a staff member
- Schedule your first trauma therapy appointment
- Start addressing your trauma symptoms with support and understanding
Other Counseling Services At The Mindful Practice in Orlando & Winter Park, FL
You can receive other counseling services at our Winter Park, FL-based counseling practice besides trauma therapy and PTSD treatment. Our Orlando therapists also offer treatment for depression and anxiety. As well as therapy for teens, life transitions, grief, and bariatric therapy. All services are offered in person near Orlando and online throughout Florida.
About the Author
Avonlea Veilleux is one of the caring trauma therapists at The Mindful Practice. She received her master’s degree in social work from the University of North Florida. Avonlea is dedicated to helping people address and reduce their traumatic symptoms and is especially passionate about helping survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. As well as members or allies of the LGBTQ+ community. Valuing a holistic approach she integrates trauma-based counseling approaches with the evidence-based benefits of connecting with nature, creativity, animals, music, and other forms of expression.