What do the Signs of Trauma Actually Look Like?

Typically, people who are looking for help with trauma have suffered through one or more traumatic events. But, they may not even understand what trauma truly is. Being able to identify with traumatic events and circumstances can help people who have experienced trauma to understand the impact trauma has had on their lives. And, get the professional help they need to overcome the negative impacts of trauma. So, what do the signs of trauma look like?

Understanding What Trauma Is

One way of identifying trauma is to understand what trauma really is. Trauma can look different from person to person. But, the real characteristics of a trauma-related mental health disorder is when someone experiences something traumatic, and the effects of experiencing this trauma bring about negative symptoms in their lives.

Some examples of traumatic experiences that can bring about lasting effects of trauma can include:

  • witnessing a violent crime
  • being the victim of abuse or neglect
  • surviving a natural disaster
  • war combat
  • surviving vehicular accident
  • losing loved ones suddenly
  • experiencing physical illness or injury

Witnessing or being the victim of a traumatic event is sure to bring about negative emotions like grief, sadness, and survivor’s remorse. But, when it comes to a trauma disorder like PTSD, individuals live with these negative emotions for longer periods of time, leading to the development of symptoms that debilitate daily life.

Some Common Signs of Trauma to Look Out For

Along with experiencing a traumatic event, there are signs of a trauma disorder, like PTSD, that can help to identify it when it develops. Some of the symptoms and signs of trauma that can indicate PTSD can include:

  • experiencing flashbacks or nightmares about the traumatic event
  • avoiding others, responsibilities, or previously enjoyed hobbies/activities
  • mood swings and irritability
  • self-harming behaviors and thoughts such as suicidal ideation, drug abuse, etc.
  • trouble with sleeping (sleeping too much or insomnia)
  • negative feelings (self-blame, extreme sadness, guilt, detachment, etc.)

Getting a Diagnosis for Trauma-Related Mental Health Issues like PTSD

If you notice the signs of trauma in your life, there is help available. Professional assistance can provide you with the tools you need to overcome the effects of a traumatic experience. And, begin to live your life in a healthy way, both physically and mentally. But, before treatment can begin, a diagnosis must be made. This is done with the use of a diagnostic assessment.

During the assessment mental health professionals will:

  • ask you about your physical and mental health history
  • determine any symptoms relating to trauma in your life
  • evaluate how long you’ve been experiencing symptoms
  • identify any underlying mental or physical issues that may be causing symptoms

Throughout the assessment process, you’ll be asked what triggers trauma-related symptoms. And, about the behaviors and emotions you experience on a daily basis that may be related to any traumatic experiences. Finally, once a diagnosis is determined, you may be provided with trauma treatment planning that can help you take the next step toward healing.

What Does Trauma Treatment Look Like?

There are a number of therapeutic tools that can be helpful for people diagnosed with PTSD or mental health issues that are developed in response to experiencing trauma. Not every type of therapy will work for every person, so it’s important that every individual who is dealing with the negative effects of trauma find the therapy that works for them. Some examples of trauma therapies include:

  • Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
  • Individualized Therapy (CBT and DBT)
  • Trauma Resilience
  • Trauma-Informed Yoga
  • Group Therapy

Getting Help for Trauma at Delray Beach Psychiatrist

If you relate to the signs of trauma and believe that you’re having trouble processing trauma that you’ve lived through in your own life, help is available at Delray Beach Psychiatrist. We offer outpatient approaches to therapy for PTSD and other mental health issues developed as the result of trauma. Find out how we can help on our website today.

Dr. Raul J. Rodriguez

Dr. Raul Rodriguez


Existing patients, please text 561-409-7296 for follow-up appointment requests or if you have medication concerns please text 561-409-7296.