There’s no denying that past emotional trauma has an effect on our behavior.
Some studies suggest that past traumatic experiences are the leading cause of mental illness today.
A lot of people who suffer from past emotional trauma also experience depression, anxiety, and substance abuse problems, but is there more to it?
This article looks at the possible behaviors of someone suffering from past emotional trauma.
Let’s dive in.
7 Behaviors of someone suffering from past emotional trauma
1. They are easily startled or frightened
People suffering from emotional trauma often feel constantly stressed and anxious.
When they encounter even the slightest unusual sound, they startle easily and may even jump out of their skin.
This is because the nervous system of someone with emotional trauma is always in overdrive, ready for any potential danger.
Researchers have found that increased startle responses are often associated with early childhood trauma exposure.
2. They withdraw from social activities
It’s common for people to avoid going out with friends or doing anything that requires a social interaction after traumatizing events.
As mentioned before, emotional trauma causes a great deal of stress, which may lead to social withdrawal.
This is more so for people who have experienced horrific events like emotional abuse or assault.
Many of them feel ashamed and embarrassed after the incident, so they isolate themselves from others.
3. They have difficulty trusting people
People with emotional trauma often find it difficult to trust other people.
This is because they’ve been hurt in the past by someone they trusted.
They may feel that everyone is out to get them and that no one can be trusted.
This creates problems in their relationships, making them even more on edge.
4. They have difficulty sleeping
Insomnia or difficulty sleeping is another sign of emotional trauma.
This may be the case if someone is having a hard time coping with their past experiences.
They may toss and turn all night or have nightmares about the traumatic event.
This can be very disruptive to their everyday life and can lead to other problems such as poor concentration and fatigue during the day.
5. They suffer from stress-related illnesses
While emotional trauma can directly cause stress on the body, it can also trigger stress-related illnesses.
People with emotional trauma are more likely to experience conditions like headaches, heart disease, high blood pressure, and even gastrointestinal problems.
This is because the constant stress on the body leads to inflammation and damages the immune system, leaving it vulnerable to infections that can turn into life-threatening illnesses.
For example, studies have shown that a person with PTSD is more likely to develop chronic pain due to the chronic stress they experience daily.
6. They have self-destructive behaviors
Self-destructive behaviors are often seen in people with emotional trauma.
They may engage in risky activities like drinking and driving, using drugs, or self-harming.
This is a way for them to cope with the pain and stress that they’re feeling.
However, these behaviors often lead to more problems and can be very destructive in the long run.
7. They may have traumatic flashbacks
Flashbacks are a common symptom of past emotional trauma.
These are involuntary memories of the traumatic event that can cause a great deal of distress.
This is because the person is reliving the event all over again and experiencing the same feelings of fear, terror, or helplessness.
Flashbacks can be triggered by something like a smell, sound, or sight that reminds the person of what happened.
This can cause them to panic and act erratically, making it difficult for them to function normally.
How do you deal with past emotional trauma?
Here are some of the things you can do:
1. Get more sleep
Insomnia is a common symptom of emotional trauma, so getting more sleep can help.
Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time every day, and avoid using electronics in bed.
2. Exercise regularly
Exercise is a great way to release tension and stress.
It also helps improve mood and boost self-confidence.
3. Talk to a therapist
Talking to a therapist can be very helpful for people with emotional trauma.
They can help you understand and deal with your feelings, as well as give you tools to manage your symptoms.
4. Connect with others
It’s important to connect with others who understand what you’re going through.
There are many support groups and forums available online and in person.
5. Seek counseling
Counseling can be a great way to deal with the emotional pain of past trauma.
It can help you understand and work through the issues that you’re facing.
6. Seek medication help
If your symptoms are severe and impacting your daily life, you may need medication help.
There are many different types of medications that can be prescribed for emotional trauma.
The bottom line
Emotional trauma is a powerful and often devastating experience.
It can leave someone feeling isolated, alone, and helpless.
However, it’s important to remember that you’re not alone.
There are many people who understand what you’re going through, and there is help available.
Please seek professional help if the symptoms of emotional trauma are impacting your daily life.
Keep on reading: 7 Signs of Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)