Unresolved Trauma - All You Need To Know!

Past traumatic memories and events define us in many ways. Sometimes, they can stay with us for a long time. Letting go of these memories can be difficult.

This can lead to unresolved trauma. To understand unresolved trauma better, we first have to define trauma.

What is Trauma?

Trauma is a response to a horrifying or distressing situation or event. When a person has trauma, they might experience shock, flashbacks, and denial.

Physical symptoms might include dizziness, nausea, or vomiting. Most times, trauma fades after a few days or weeks.

However, it can also be prolonged and last for years. Post-Traumatic stress disorder is a good example of prolonged trauma.

What is Unresolved Trauma?

Unresolved traumas are traumatic experiences you have not let go of. You might have gotten treatment or seen a therapist for it. However, it still lingers.

Most times, unresolved traumas are childhood traumas. They can also be gotten from heartbreaks, divorces, or accidents. However, childhood traumas are harder to spot and treat for many reasons.

First, children are not as expressive as adults. So, they might feel their traumatic experiences deeply but have no words to express the hurt.

Even when traumatic experiences are treated, therapists might find it difficult to find the root causes. This leads to treatment of only the symptoms.

So, even when the symptoms fade, the root cause of the trauma remains. These problems stay with the child until adulthood.

Eventually, they become unresolved trauma.

What Does Unresolved Trauma Feel Like?

A person suffering from unresolved trauma might experience flashbacks of the traumatic experience.

They might also feel depressed and confused. Feelings of worthlessness are also very common.

Why Does Unresolved Trauma Happen?

Unresolved trauma can happen for various reasons. It can happen when the trauma was never treated. When people are traumatized during their childhood, it might not be spotted.

These people grow up thinking they have to take care of themselves. They might ignore the traumatic experiences and “move on” from them.

It might also happen when trauma is treated but the root cause was never addressed. Unresolved trauma is not just about the traumatic experience. Other qualities such as trust can be affected.

If time and attention are not directed towards repairing the damage, it can remain unresolved.

What are Signs of Unresolved Trauma?

Signs of unresolved trauma include

  • Flashbacks
  • Panic attacks
  • Nightmares
  • Irritability
  • Consistently on high alert
  • Hero complex
  • Excessive self-pity
  • Difficulty managing relationships and new bonds
  • Suicidal or self-harm thoughts

If you’re experiencing any of these signs, you should seek help. Golden Gate Recovery is a good place to start. They have mental health professionals who understand the struggles that come with unresolved trauma.

Contacting them can kickstart your recovery.

What Are the Impacts of Unresolved Trauma?
Impact on Physical Health

Trauma invokes the same response as stress. When the body feels stressed, it produces cortisol, noradrenaline, and adrenaline.

These three hormones provide the flight or fight response in dangerous situations. When stress or danger disappears, so do these hormones.

When someone has unresolved trauma, their body is always on high alert. This means that these three hormones will be secreted regularly.

This can reduce the body’s ability to perform efficiently. It can also lead to other physical health problems such as burnout.

Burnout, in turn, leads to fatigue, dizziness, and low productivity.

Other physical health challenges include stroke and high blood pressure. Obesity and some types of cancer can also be caused by unresolved trauma.

Impact on Mental Health

Unresolved trauma also takes a toll on your mental health. You have a higher chance of having other mental health problems. This includes depression, anxiety, PSTD, and bipolar disorder.

Impact on Social Life

Unresolved trauma also takes a toll on people’s social lives. People who suffer from this condition find it difficult to form new friendships and ties.

They might also find it hard to trust others or fully express themselves. If their unresolved trauma is a result of separation from their parents and guardians, they might have problems with clinginess and commitment.

People with unresolved trauma might also isolate themselves. They might also not want to take part in social gatherings or activities.

How is Unresolved Trauma Diagnosed?

Unresolved trauma is usually diagnosed by a doctor and mental health professional. The doctor might ask you some questions to rule out other physical health issues. You might also be asked to run some tests.

A psychological evaluation will be necessary. Here, a mental health expert or doctor will ask you questions about your feelings, symptoms, and previous traumatic experiences.

To accurately diagnose unresolved trauma, the doctor will have to consult DSM-5. This serves as a guideline for diagnosing mental disorders.

What are Likely Treatment Options for Unresolved Trauma?

Different therapies can be used to treat unresolved trauma. This includes

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy- This helps to transform negative thinking into positive ones. It is a form of talk therapy and is usually combined with exposure therapy.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing- Also known as EDMR, it aims at helping people access past memories and traumatic experiences. By doing this, it helps patients to change their reaction to these memories

Exposure therapy is also used to help you combat nightmares and other traumatic experiences.

If you feel therapies will help, Golden Gate Recovery is a great option. Their aim is to help anyone struggling with unresolved trauma to get care and attention.

This will surely help you through your recovery process.

Natural Remedies
  • Meditating
  • Exercising
  • Eating healthier
  • Practicing yoga
  • Learning more about unresolved trauma
  • Prazosin/Placebo – This medication helps to reduce nightmares. However, this drug can only be taken with a doctor’s prescription
  • Anti-depressants – These drugs reduce depression levels. It can also help manage and regulate serotonin levels in the body.

Other drugs can also help with anxiety levels. Make sure you contact your doctor before taking any medication.

Can Unresolved Trauma Be Cured?

Yes, with enough treatment, unresolved trauma can be cured. To get the needed help, you should contact the right mental health experts.

Experts in Golden Gate Recovery is an excellent place to begin. It might be worth checking them out.

Contacting Your Doctor

If you have signs of unresolved trauma, contact your doctor immediately.

  1. https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/traumaptsdblog/2016/06/15-common-signs-of-unresolved-trauma
  2. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/compassion-matters/201803/dealing-unresolved-trauma

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