When faced with traumatic events, such as those identified in the section What Is Trauma?, we form what is called a "Trauma Response" which is simply our emotional and physical response to our trauma. Trauma responses vary greatly from one person to the next, but are rooted in the pain of the experience and not often times how we want to act.
What might a response to the pain of trauma manifest as?
Emotional responses, such as:
- Anxiety and depression
- Chronic unhappiness
- Shame and guilt
- Anger and rage
- Control and caretaking
- People pleasing
- Self-hate & loathing
Physical responses, such as:
- Unhealthy or binge use of alcohol and/or drugs
- Unhealthy sexual behaviors
- Unhealthy or disordered eating
- Unhealthy amounts of time spent gaming or gambling
- Unhealthy amounts of time spent shopping or spending beyond available funds for such
- Social isolation
Furthermore, negative trauma responses can spiral into ongoing and chronic negative coping behaviors, which keep us engaged in unhealthy relationships with unhealthy behaviors if left untreated. This can include unhealthy:
- Relationship with ourselves, which can include self-esteem issues, struggles with perfectionism (or feelings of "never good enough"), and more.
- Relationships with other People, which can include struggles with any interpersonal relationship: intimate relationships, friendships, and family relationships.
- Relationships with substances, which can include not just substance abuse, but engaging in unhealthy overindulgence with any alcohol, prescribed medications, and/or illicit substances.
- Relationships with sex & intimacy
- Relationship with food
- Relationship with work & career
- Relationship with finances