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Does My Confusion Indicate Underlying Trauma?

When you have gone through a traumatic experience, it can present in odd ways. One such way is confusion.

Confusion Possibly Caused by Trauma

Confusion does not automatically equal trauma. As such, you may wonder how you can distinguish trauma-related confusion from confusion caused by something else. If you want to figure out whether you experienced trauma, you can look for confusion caused by the following:

  • Blanks in memories not related to substances
  • Questioning who you are or where you are
  • The feeling that your surroundings are not real
  • Inability to tell if your experiences occurred in the way you remember them
  • Forgetting what you are doing quickly
  • Working memory problems (this can look like poor object permanence)
  • Struggling to focus on one thing

If your confusion stems from these issues, it could relate to trauma. They could indicate gaslighting—a type of mental abuse and manipulation in which an abuser inflicts self–doubt and uncertainty. These problems can also indicate intense dissociation, dissociative amnesia, and memory impairment.

Other Causes of Confusion

While the list above includes indicators of trauma, you should not take it as a foolproof method of determining trauma. All of these issues could come from trauma. These symptoms could also come from other mental illnesses. For example, depersonalization-derealization disorder can cause the feeling that your surroundings are not real. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder can cause working memory issues and the inability to focus.

Without consulting a trained mental health professional, you could unknowingly misdiagnose yourself with trauma and leave a different mental health condition untreated, hurting you in the long run.

Dangers of Repressed Memory Recovery Therapy

If you and your mental health professional agree that you likely experienced a trauma of some kind, it is crucial that you do not try to force the repressed memories back to the surface. Therapeutic practices that intentionally try to bring out repressed memories can cause false memories in impressionable people. The phenomenon of false memories is well-documented. Rather than trying to coerce memories out, it is better to treat what you presently know, your symptoms, and then address repressed trauma as it surfaces on its own.

If you experience mental illness symptoms that could be explained by trauma, it’s best to address the problems in a qualified mental health facility specializing in trauma. The Guest House is a Florida treatment center that staffs trauma-trained mental health professionals. We employ traditional therapeutic modalities as well as holistic treatments to help our patients heal. Unpacking your trauma can happen as slowly or as quickly as you need. We are here whenever you’re ready to start healing. Please call The Guest House at (855) 483-7800.