emotional trauma

15 Signs of Unhealed Emotional Trauma

15 Signs of Unhealed Emotional Trauma


Trauma sucks. Most people have experienced some sort of trauma at some point in their life, and if they haven’t they’re probably a magical unicorn! After we experience a stressful event, emotional neglect growing up, high levels of criticism, or not having reliable support, our survival brain kicks into gear and does whatever it needs to keep us safe.  It can feel like we are stuck in that stressful time and have a hard time letting go of it. Like even though we can talk about the event, there’s still something there and we can see how the trauma is still showing up in your life. This is a called a trauma response – a survival tactic you learned to protect yourself from the traumatic event. An example of this could be feeling that you’re not okay unless the people around you are okay. That trauma response of pleasing other started somewhere in your life and it kept you safe. Even though it isn’t happening any more, the trauma response still shows up just in case you need it to feel safe. This is all happening unconsciously of course. You might not even realize it started a long time ago because of your circumstances. Let’s see if any of these resonate with you.


Here are some signs of unhealed trauma:

  1. Feeling not good enough.
  2. Over-explaining.
  3. Difficulty with making decisions for yourself.
  4. Not the best boundaries in relationships.
  5. Not knowing what your boundaries are.
  6. Fear of abandonment, so you avoid intimate relationships altogether or people-please.
  7. Putting your needs aside for others.
  8. An innate feeling of shame.
  9. Personalizing things often.
  10. Always fearing what might happen next.
  11. Resisting positive change – including healing.
  12. Tolerating abuse from others.
  13. Overextending yourself when you don’t have it to give.
  14. Being overly agreeable.
  15. Feeling overwhelmed by conflict leading to zoning out, high levels of anxiety, or anger.


Can you relate?

I feel ya. Carrying fear and doubt can make you feels weighed down and gets old pretty fast. You probably aren’t used to feeling heard, so having a space to sit with the pain can feel vulnerable and scary. Healing can happen whenever you feel ready. You’re in the driver’s seat here. You probably notice that trauma can show up at the worst times and as much as you try to cope, it doesn’t feel like enough.  Trauma therapy can heal and get those old memories refiled, almost like putting them in the proper drawer of your mental file cabinet. Stay tuned to learn more about how trauma therapy is different from regular old CBT or talk therapy in my next blog. As an Atlanta therapist offering online counseling across GA, I use evidenced-based therapy like EMDR where we can get those memories unstuck from your mind and body. We can dig deeper to get to the root of the problem because let’s be real, putting a bandaid on it eventually wears off.  Together, we can shine a light on the parts of you that need healing so that you can let go of the things holding you back in life. You’ve held it together for a long time – your whole life to be exact. Ready to find your place and find your peace in the world? I’ve got you. Curious how trauma therapy can help? Contact me for a free consultation here.

Zulaikha Straight, MA, LPC, NCC, NCIAC, NCLC

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