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Dec 12

Do you have trauma and not know it?

It’s possible to have trauma and not know it. Younger people may not show very obvious symptoms. Some less severe symptoms that can show, but aren’t always obvious indicators of trauma include; passivity towards life, depression, difficulty concentrating, shallow breathing, and tension to name a few. Until the symptoms become acute, they’re often dismissed as unimportant, and there’s no investigation to find an underlying cause.

As we age some stronger symptoms may begin showing up; these may include anxiety, insomnia, addictions, unexplained aches and pains, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and others. In many cases, even with acute symptoms the cause may be misdiagnosed or unrecognized. Note that several of the symptoms listed here are considered and treated as the core issue. In some cases this may be true, but often they are symptoms of trauma. This doesn’t mean they aren’t serious and shouldn’t be treated. At the same time, a root cause of trauma should be considered and when present also treated. If this isn’t done, a full recovery and a life of wellness are unlikely.

Sometimes the root cause of trauma isn’t obvious. This is especially true in the case of developmental trauma, but can also happen with other types. An estimated 70 percent of adults in the United States have experienced a traumatic event at least once in their lives and up to 20 percent of these people go on to develop posttraumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. This isn’t counting people with developmental trauma stemming from relational situations of neglect or abuse. In these cases diagnosis can be elusive.

Regardless of the cause, trauma will always be accompanied by a dysregulated nervous system. This means people with trauma spend more time than is normal or healthy in high-energy states of anxiety and overwhelm, or low-energy states of shut-down and depression. If you spend an inordinate amount of time in either or both of these modes, then it’s possible that you have unresolved trauma.  You may want to do some further research and also consider speaking with a professional who is trauma-informed.

In most cases people with trauma respond well to treatment and can recover. That’s not to say it’s easy or quick. It’s almost always challenging and takes time, but it’s well worth it to not only reduce and eliminate symptoms but to move into a life of wellbeing and greater wholeness.

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