Unconscious Ways You May Be Responding to Trauma

Posted by  Soribel Martínez

Trauma responses happen naturally within the brain and body. While some people end up working through their traumatic experiences years later, you could already be responding to them in unconscious ways. 

Everyone has different responses to trauma. By developing a greater understanding of these unconscious ways you may be responding, you can address the issues. Even if you went through a traumatic experience as a child, these responses could still be impacting your daily life. 

With that in mind, let’s look deeper into these unconscious responses, what they mean, and how you can address your trauma to work through it. 

How Trauma Can Impact Your Mind

No matter how long ago your trauma occurred, it can still impact your mind on a daily basis. 

Most people understand some of the long-term effects of trauma because of the way we’ve “popularized” PTSD. Things like flashbacks and emotional triggers can be common. But, they’re not the only mental health issues someone who has been through a traumatic event will experience. 

One of the most impactful ways trauma can impact your mind is by putting you in a constant state of hypervigilance. 

It’s not uncommon for people to suppress trauma, especially if it occurred during childhood. But, even if you’re not consciously thinking about it, your mind and body never really forget. 

As a result, you could be extra cautious with your daily activities, and hyper-aware of potential threats. Trauma can make you an emotionally-reactive person, even when it comes to the simplest of situations. 

You might also experience more intense reactions when you’re triggered. Depending on what type of trauma you endured, there are things in your life that could trigger subconscious memories or flashbacks, including someone yelling at you or treating you a certain way. Even being in certain locations or scenarios can be triggering. 

You might not know why you’re triggered by those things. But, a normal trauma response includes fear, anxiety, panic, and shock. If you experience those things sometimes and you can’t make the connection as to why, it could be your mind responding to unresolved trauma. 

How Trauma Affects Your Physical Health

Again, your body doesn’t forget when you’ve experienced a traumatic event, either. 

When you experience trauma or something triggers you, you might have immediate physical responses. Some of the most common include tense, constricted muscles, exhaustion, and even things like a racing heart due to the sudden rush of adrenaline. 

The long-term physical impact of trauma can be alarming. That’s especially true if you’re experiencing health issues and aren’t sure why because you haven’t made the connection. 

In general, people who have gone through a traumatic experience can be at a greater risk of things like a heart attack or stroke. They tend to have a weaker immune system, and might regularly experience aches and pains. Some believe that the effects of trauma are “stored” in the muscles and tissue of the body, contributing to different ailments and long-term physical health problems. 

If you’re experiencing any of the mental or physical effects listed above, you’re certainly not alone. Whether you remember the trauma you went through or not, you don’t have to deal with the lasting impact it can have on your life. 

Consider contacting me for more information, or to make an appointment. Together, we can uncover the underlying root of your trauma. It’s not always easy, but it’s the best way to start officially healing and moving forward with your life. Trauma therapy can put you back in the driver’s seat. It will give you control over your mind and body, instead of letting your past experiences unconsciously control you. 

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