Trauma is a life-altering experience. It can leave people feeling isolated, ashamed, and alone. Many people who have experienced trauma don’t know where to turn for help. Here, we will discuss the psychological effects of trauma and the importance of seeking treatment. If you are struggling with the aftermath of trauma, please don’t hesitate to reach out for help. There is no shame in seeking assistance from a mental health professional.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month and National Child Abuse Prevention Month. Both sexual assault and child abuse can result in severe physical and emotional trauma, which can worsen over time if untreated.

According to the United States Department of Human Services, at least one in seven children is the victim of child maltreatment in a given year. In addition, two out of three children experience at least one traumatic event by age 16, including psychological, physical, sexual abuse, or violence.

The impact of child traumatic stress can last well beyond childhood. In fact, research has shown that trauma survivors may experience:

  • Learning problems, including lower grades and more suspensions and expulsions

  • Increased use of health and mental health services

  • Increase involvement with the child welfare and juvenile justice systems

  • Long-term health problems (e.g., diabetes and heart disease)

Trauma is a risk factor for nearly all behavioral health and substance use disorders.

Psychological effects of trauma

There are various different types of trauma, including:

-Single event trauma: where the person experiences a traumatic event once, such as a car accident.

-Repeated or chronic trauma: where the person is exposed to multiple traumas, such as growing up in a war zone.

Complex trauma: where the person experiences both single events and repeated/chronic traumas, such as being sexually abused and living in an abusive home.

-Traumatic brain injury: where the person experiences physical trauma to the brain, which can lead to psychological effects.

Each type of trauma can result in different psychological symptoms. However, some of the most common symptoms of emotional trauma include:

-Shock or disbelief: This is often the first reaction to a traumatic event, where the person feels like they are in a state of disbelief that something so awful could happen.

-Denial: The person may try to deny that the event ever happened, or that it had any impact on them.

-Anger: The person may feel angry at themselves, others, or the world in general.

-Anxiety: The person may feel anxious or on edge and may have difficulty sleeping or concentrating.

-Depression: The person may feel sad and hopeless, and may lose interest in activities they used to enjoy.

-Flashbacks: The person may relive the traumatic event through flashbacks or nightmares.

-Avoidance: The person may try to avoid anything that reminds them of the trauma, including people, places, and activities.

If you’re experiencing these symptoms regularly, it may be time to seek mental health services.

How to recognize if past trauma is affecting you

Adulthood may be influenced by childhood trauma since, no matter how a person tries to move on, there is still a part of them that is still wounded. If trauma goes unresolved and untreated, you’re still carrying your trauma and suffering.

Maybe you don’t always feel it or realize it’s there, but your childhood traumas come out when you’re stressed. Or something in your life serves as a barely perceptible or not-so-subtle reminder of what occurred to you when you were young.

Your childhood experience is reflected in your symptoms: depression, panic attacks, an eating problem.

Signs of PTSD: Obsessive thoughts, catastrophic worries, and relationship concerns are all possible symptoms of anxiety disorders stemming from past trauma. You may have trust issues, low self-esteem, fears of being judged, frequent attempts to please people, outbursts of anger, or social anxiety symptoms.

Trauma-informed counseling can be crucial for healing

Trauma-informed counseling is a type of therapy that focuses on helping people who have experienced trauma. It is based on the understanding that trauma can have a lasting impact on someone’s life and that it is often a factor in mental health issues.

Trauma-informed therapy is an effective treatment for PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. It can help people feel safer, trust again, and heal the emotional wounds of trauma. If you have experienced trauma, consider seeking out a therapist who uses a trauma-informed approach.

There are a few things to keep in mind when looking for a trauma-informed therapist. First, it is important to find a therapist experienced in working with survivors of trauma. Second, the therapist needs to understand the impact that trauma can have on an individual’s life. Finally, it’s necessary to find a therapist willing to work with you to develop a treatment plan that meets your needs.

If you are looking for a trauma-informed therapist, there are a few ways to find one. You can ask your doctor or mental health professional for a referral. You can also search online for therapists in your area who specialize in trauma-informed therapy. Once you have a few potential therapists, you can contact them to set up a consultation. During the consultation, you can ask questions about their experience and training in trauma-informed therapy. You can also ask about their treatment approach and whether they think it would be a good fit for you.

If you have experienced trauma, there is no shame in seeking help. Trauma-informed therapy can be life-changing, and it is worth taking the time to find a therapist who is right for you.

How to begin the healing process

The first step in beginning the healing process is acknowledging that you have been hurt and that you need help. It can be difficult to admit that we are not okay, but it is the first step on the road to recovery.

Once you have acknowledged your pain, it is essential to find a support system. This could be friends, family, a therapist, or a support group. These people can offer you the love and understanding that you need to begin to heal.

It is also important to start working through your trauma. This might mean talking about it with someone who understands, journaling, or doing some form of creative expression. It is important to do whatever feels safe for you and to go at your own pace.

Finally, it is important to be kind to yourself. This process can be complicated, and there will be times when you feel like you are not making progress. Be gentle with yourself, and remember that healing is a process that takes time.

These are just a few tips on how to begin the healing process. If you are struggling to cope with unresolved trauma, please reach out for help.

If you are a survivor of childhood abuse or sexual assault, know that hope and resources are available to help. The National Sexual Assault Hotline provides free, confidential support 24/ seven: 800-656-HOPE (467). You can also contact a mental health clinic or mental health services near you. There is no shame in admitting that you need assistance, and there are people who can help you through this difficult time. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is living with the effects of childhood abuse or sexual assault, contact Serene Health. Call us at 844-737-3638 or visit to schedule an appointment. We have a wide variety of mental health and behavioral health services available. We also offer late evening and weekend appointments from our telehealth platform so that you can speak to a therapist online from the location of your choice.