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Trauma’s Lingering Shadow: Understanding the Signs and Seeking Help

Trauma's lingering shadow

Life can throw unexpected curveballs, and sometimes, those experiences leave a lasting impact. We’re talking about trauma – those events that shake us to our core and leave us feeling overwhelmed, frightened, or helpless. While it’s natural to feel shaken after a difficult experience, it’s important to recognize when these feelings might be signaling a deeper issue.

So, how do you know if you’re dealing with trauma? And when should you seek help? Let’s dive in and explore the signs, symptoms, and steps towards healing.

Recognizing the Signs of Trauma

Trauma can manifest in various ways, and everyone experiences it differently. Here are some common signs to watch out for:

Intrusive Thoughts and Memories

Flashbacks, nightmares, or unwanted thoughts about the traumatic event can pop up unexpectedly, leaving you feeling distressed and anxious.

Emotional Numbness and Avoidance

You might feel emotionally disconnected from yourself and others, or you might avoid people, places, or activities that remind you of the trauma.


Feeling constantly on edge, easily startled, or having difficulty sleeping are common signs of hyperarousal, a heightened state of alertness.

Physical Symptoms

Trauma can manifest physically as well, with headaches, stomachaches, fatigue, or unexplained aches and pains.

Changes in Mood and Behaviour

You might experience irritability, anger outbursts, difficulty concentrating, or changes in your appetite or sleep patterns.

It’s important to remember that these are just some of the potential signs of trauma. If you’re experiencing any distressing symptoms after a difficult experience, it’s worth seeking professional help to get a proper assessment.

When to Seek Help

If you find that the symptoms of trauma are interfering with your daily life, relationships, or overall well-being, it’s a good idea to reach out for support. Here are some specific scenarios where seeking help is crucial:

Symptoms are Persistent or Worsening

If your symptoms haven’t subsided after a few weeks or are getting worse, it’s important to seek professional guidance.

Struggling to Function

 If you’re having difficulty sleeping, concentrating, or fulfilling your responsibilities at work or home, therapy can help you develop coping skills and regain a sense of control.

Feeling Isolated or Alone

Trauma can leave you feeling disconnected from others, but therapy can provide a safe space to process your experiences and rebuild relationships.

Turning to Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms

If you’re using alcohol, drugs, or other unhealthy behaviours to numb the pain, therapy can help you find healthier ways to cope.

Open Door Therapist: Your Partners in Healing

At Open Door Therapist, we understand the profound impact that trauma can have on your life. Our team of trauma-focused therapists is dedicated to providing compassionate and effective care to help you heal and thrive.

We offer a variety of evidence-based approaches tailored to your unique needs, including EMDR therapy, internal family systems (IFS), somatic approaches, dialectical behaviour therapy (DBT), emotion focused therapy (EFT), and cognitive-processing therapy (CBT). Our therapists create a safe and supportive space for you to explore your experiences, process difficult emotions, and develop healthy coping skills.

Take the First Step Towards Healing

If you’re ready to embark on your healing journey, we encourage you to reach out to us at Open Door Therapist. We offer free consultations to help you determine if our services are right for you.

Remember, you don’t have to face trauma alone. With the right support, you can heal, grow, and reclaim your life.

Get Started With Open Door Therapist

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