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5 Long-Term Effects of Emotional Trauma

5 Long-Term Effects of Emotional Trauma

Reacting to a traumatic experience is normal. Whether someone was a victim or a witness, they might feel fear, shock, anger, sadness, or any number of emotions in the aftermath of trauma.

Trauma creates an emotional impact that can sometimes be very difficult to ignore or otherwise feel impossible to overcome. Humans are however very resilient. With the right support, people find that trauma symptoms gradually resolve over time and realize that it’s possible to fully recover without long lasting symptoms. 

Long-term symptoms of trauma can be treated with psychotherapy, such as cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)mentalization-based therapy (MBT), and somatic therapy. You don’t have to continue living with the aftereffects of trauma, our psychology team at Psychology Beverly Hills is ready to help. 

Identifying the long-term effects of emotional trauma

The effects of emotional trauma can be far-reaching, whether someone experiences trauma in their childhood or as an adult. Trauma, unfortunately, often affects people’s self worth and self esteem, which then could interfere with people’s relationships, affect their behaviors negatively, and generally impede their ability to enjoy life or to be content with one’s self.

The longer symptoms persist, the more likely people may experience heightened emotions such as:

1. Anxiety

Anxiety is characterized by persistent feelings of worry, fear, or dread. Suffering emotional trauma can lead to anxiety because it can make you feel afraid or worried that something bad will happen again.

You may experience realistic flashbacks where you relive the traumatic event or your reaction to it. You may also have recurring, unwanted thoughts about it.

2. Depression

Depression is another common long-term effect of trauma. Depression is a feeling of deep sadness that lasts several weeks at a time. It may make you withdraw from family, friends, and your usual activities. 

3. Sleep disturbances

Emotional trauma can have a significant impact on your ability to get restful sleep. You might develop insomnia, which is the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep at night. You might also experience recurring nightmares.

Both of these symptoms can contribute to fatigue and decreased cognitive performance in your waking hours.

4. Changes in behavior

Emotional trauma can change your behavior in daily life. You might feel edgy and unable to relax, or you might find that you’re more irritable and quick to anger.

Sometimes, trauma can make you go out of your way to avoid activities and sensations that are linked to the event, even if the link is distant.

5. Physical ailments

The effects of emotional trauma can even impact your physical health. Long-term effects can include chronic fatigue, muscle pain, headaches, stomach aches, and more. When linked to trauma, these symptoms often have no clear physical cause.

Seeking help for emotional trauma

Emotional trauma can change the way people think and feel, but the good news is that those changes don’t have to be permanent. Our team is skilled in working with people who have experienced trauma, and we can help you move towards a brighter future.

Our therapists and psychologists utilize evidence-based therapy models that are personalized to meet the individual needs of each client to ensure best outcomes. We help people who have suffered from trauma make better sense of their thoughts and feelings, help them develop healthy coping skills, and support them (re)establish their sense of self and confidence, thereby allowing them to develop healthier relationships with themselves and others. 

To learn more about trauma and the ways we can help, request a therapy appointment online or call our Beverly Hills, California, office at 424-331-1570 for more information.

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