Symptoms of Trauma

Dr. Levine does a great job of laying out different types of trauma symptoms from his book: Healing Trauma

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Early Symptoms:

  1. Hypervigilance (being “on guard” at all times)
  2. Intrusive imagery or flashbacks
  3. Extreme sensitivity to light and sound
  4. Hyperactivity
  5. Exaggerated emotional and startle responses
  6. Nightmares and night terrors
  7. Abrupt mood swings (rage reactions or temper tantrums, frequent anger, or crying)
  8. Shame and lack of self-worth
  9. Reduced ability to deal with stress (easily and frequently stressed out)
  10. Difficulty sleeping.

Symptoms show up later, even years later:

  1. Panic attacks, anxiety and phobias
  2. Mental “blankness” or spaced out feelings
  3. Avoidance behavior (avoiding places, activities, movements, memories or people)
  4. Attraction to dangerous situations
  5. Addictive behaviors (overeating, drinking and smoking, etc).
  6. Exaggerated or diminished sexual acitivity
  7. Amnesia and forgetfulness
  8. inability to love, nurture, or bond with other individuals
  9. Fear of dying or having a shortened life
  10. Self-mutilation (severe abuse, self-inflicted cutting, etc.)
  11. Loss of sustaining beliefs (spiritual, religious, interpersonal)

Symptoms that are late onset:

  1. Excessive shyness
  2. Diminished emotional responses
  3. Inability to make commitments
  4. Chronic fatigue or very low physical energy
  5. Immune system problems and certain endocrine problems such as thyroid malfunction and environmental sensitivities
  6. Psychosomatic illnesses, particularly headaches, migraines, neck and back problems
  7. chronic pain
  8. Fibromyalgia
  9. Asthma
  10. Skin disorders
  11. Digestive problems (spastic colon)
  12. Severe premenstrual syndrome
  13. Depression and feelings of impending doom
  14. Feelings of detachment, alienation, and isolation (“living dead” feelings)
  15. Reduced ability to formulate plans

These are helpful lists that will help you determine where your symptoms are regarding your trauma however be mindful to talk to your therapist and or physician about these symptoms.

PTSD symptoms

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