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What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Stimulant Abuse and WithdrawalTrauma can present in many different ways. Our minds often jump to more “extreme” examples such as violence, natural disasters, child abuse or sexual assault, but trauma can also be more subtle. It can result from any situation or experience that makes us feel unsafe, powerless and alone, emotions that we may end up carrying with us through the years.

The effects of these experiences can impact people in different ways. Some individuals are more willing to ask for help and talk about what happened. Others compartmentalize, keeping their troubles locked inside. In many cases, people aren’t even sure whether their experience qualifies as traumatic — for example, abuse victims sometimes internalize the idea that the mistreatment was their own fault, or people who were deeply impacted by the death of a loved one feel as though their trauma is less “real” than someone who has served in a war.

However, trauma is less defined by the experience itself and more by the lingering effects it has on our mental, physical and emotional health, as well as observable changes in the brain. There are definite signs of trauma that can be seen after it occurs or during an individual’s coming-to-terms process. There are also symptoms of trauma that can last far beyond the initial event, particularly when trauma goes unrecognized or untreated for many years.

At The Guest House, we specialize in helping individuals process their trauma in a safe healing environment. The treatment we provide focuses on helping you overcome everything that is ailing you, no matter how small or deeply rooted it may seem. We approach all trauma with a highly personalized approach and work closely with each guest to identify their symptoms and understand the trauma behind them. Learn more about trauma symptoms — or contact us to learn more about our programs and how we can help you or your loved one heal.

Types of Trauma

At The Guest House, we know that trauma comes in different forms. From acute incidents to prolonged exposure, each type of trauma has its own unique characteristics and challenges, shaping the way individuals respond and relate to the world. By recognizing and addressing these distinct experiences, we foster a comprehensive understanding of trauma that enables us to provide highly personalized, holistic care and facilitate the journey toward healing.

Trauma’s Impact on the Brain & Body

Trauma leaves many symptoms in its wake. When we experience trauma, the body’s natural stress response is activated and we go into survival mode. This is often referred to as the fight-or-flight response, but it also includes other options, such as freeze or fawn. After the threat has passed, the brain and body gradually return to a normal state, allowing us to rest, recover and process what has happened. However, for some people, especially those who have experienced significant or repeated trauma, recovery may be more complex.

The effects of trauma can extend beyond the immediate aftermath of the event, leaving a lasting imprint on our mental and physical well-being. The brain often struggles to process these traumatic experiences because they are out of the ordinary and exceed what we are typically equipped to handle on a daily basis. As a result, we can get “stuck” in survival mode and find ourselves unable to relax, continuing to receive distress signals that trigger extreme emotional, psychological and physical responses that can have a significant impact on our daily functioning and overall quality of life.

Emotional/Psychological Symptoms of Trauma:

  • Shock
  • Numbness
  • Panic
  • Anxiety
  • Anger
  • Confusion
  • Hopelessness
  • Isolation
  • Guilt

Physical Symptoms of Trauma:

  • Insomnia
  • Muscle tension
  • Body aches
  • Headaches
  • Exhaustion
  • Increased heart rate
  • Increased blood pressure

These symptoms may fade over time or vary in intensity depending on the person. This can cause some people to never seek professional help after a traumatic experience. However, the effects of trauma often return unexpectedly in response to triggers or episodes, or they cause changes in our behavioral patterns. In the long run, unresolved trauma can result in the development of mental health concerns and give rise to self-defeating behaviors such as substance use, disordered eating or self-harm that we use as coping mechanisms.

Mental Health Concerns

Trauma causes interruptions in neurological function that can change the structure of certain pathways in the brain. A traumatic experience might flood the brain with chemicals that cause stress or fear while lowering feelings of contentment and security. The lingering symptoms of trauma can cement these new patterns in place, making it more difficult for someone who has experienced trauma to regulate their moods, feel happy or feel motivated. Mental health concerns can arise as a result of the imbalances that trauma leaves behind.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

PTSD is an umbrella disorder that may include symptoms of several other mental health concerns. Those who struggle with PTSD might experience flashbacks of the traumatic event, uncontrollable thoughts about their trauma or anxiety that something similar could happen at any moment. The symptoms of PTSD are unpredictable and may occur at any time, which can make it difficult for people with PTSD to get through a normal day.


Depression is characterized by a deep sense of sadness, accompanied by feelings of fatigue, worthlessness, apathy and low self-esteem. When traumatic events occur, it can make those involved feel helpless, as though there was nothing they could do to prevent it. In turn, they may feel guilty — as though they should have been able to do something about it, but couldn’t. The accompanying sense of deep despair is a precursor to depression, especially if the affected individual does not seek help for the thoughts of sadness and self-blame.


Trauma can instill a sense of fear and panic. People who experience trauma may feel that at any second, something else could befall them and they would not be able to protect themselves or their loved ones. They may fear that they will see someone or something that reminds them of their trauma, and feel worried about how they will react. Living with this constant tension is a key indicator that an anxiety disorder is developing.

Compulsive Disorders

Those who experience trauma often feel as though their world is spiraling out of control. Developing compulsive behaviors is a common coping mechanism since repetitive actions or regular rituals use the same self-control pathways and trick the brain into feeling better. But compulsive disorders such as substance use, gambling addiction or sex and love addiction arise when the associated behaviors become disruptive or harmful, and when psychological and physical reactions occur if behaviors can’t be completed.

Personality Disorders

People who have lived through trauma, especially trauma involving the loss of a loved one or harm at the hands of someone they trusted, may feel as though they can’t trust others or cling to people in their life because they don’t want to lose them. The result might be the presentation of a personality disorder such as borderline personality disorder, narcissistic personality disorder or avoidant personality disorder, with symptoms that may include poor self-control, insecurity, unstable relationships, unpredictable moods and more.

Self-Defeating Behaviors

Trauma affects both the conscious mind and the physical structures of the brain. Regardless of the chemicals that regulate moods, reactions and mental health, people react to trauma by feeling a certain way. Since these feelings are often negative and difficult to live with, those who struggle with them search for ways to cope in the hopes of feeling better and achieving a sense of normalcy again. Unfortunately, in the absence of professional guidance, these coping strategies can manifest as self-defeating behaviors that only worsen the situation.

Substance Use

Substance use — both drug and alcohol addiction — is, unfortunately, an incredibly common reaction to experiencing trauma. The illusion of pleasure derived from being drunk or high can make someone struggling with trauma feel like they can finally forget their worries. But this is of course only a temporary solution, since the effects of drugs and alcohol wear off after a short time. In an effort to maintain the pleasurable feelings of being drunk or high, people will use substances constantly — which in turn leads to dependency and addiction.

Eating Disorders

Disordered eating can arise after trauma, usually as a type of compulsive disorder with roots in control pathways and self-soothing or as a means of dealing with poor self-image. Exercising control over food, meal times and body weight, however, can be very dangerous for physical health. Eating disorders can involve overeating, undereating, eating only certain foods, avoiding certain foods or any strict eating patterns that are abnormal or unhealthy.


Many people describe a feeling of numbness after a traumatic event. The overwhelming task of emotionally confronting trauma leads people to shut away their thoughts and feelings rather than addressing them head-on. But this also means that they don’t feel emotions — positive or negative — toward anything else, either. Many people self-harm as a way to “feel something” after trauma, even if that something is pain. Self-harm can also be a compulsive behavior, allowing the subconscious to exercise control over one’s actions and feelings.

Trauma Treatment at The Guest House Ocala

Trauma is not something that should be ignored. Holding unprocessed memories inside of you and allowing them to influence your thought patterns and behaviors can lead to many problematic symptoms, both soon after the traumatic event and over the following months or years. If you or your loved one is struggling with the effects of trauma, we encourage you to reach out to us for help. We specialize in treating trauma and the concerns, symptoms and self-defeating behaviors that it can result in. We offer high-quality residential treatment programs for men and women who are dealing with the effects of trauma and provide a safe space so our guests can heal and process their experiences.

At The Guest House Ocala, we employ a variety of effective, holistic and evidence-based techniques to address the effects of trauma and facilitate the healing process. Our treatment programs are highly personalized and tailored to meet the unique needs of each individual, providing a comprehensive approach to recovery. Some of the therapies we use include:

We recognize the healing process is deeply personal, so our approach is tailored to the unique needs and preferences of each individual. Our compassionate team of professionals is committed to providing a nurturing and supportive environment where clients can discover the tools, techniques and strategies that empower them to make positive changes in their lives and embark on a path of lasting recovery. If you’re seeking help for yourself or a loved one, contact or call us today at 855-979-8446 to learn more about our treatment programs.

Our Highly Qualified and Dedicated Staff

At The Guest House, our compassionate and qualified staff is what truly sets us apart from the rest. Our co-founders, Judy Crane and John West, have years of personal and professional experience in trauma and continue to play an integral role in the development and improvement of our treatments and amenities. They have assembled a team of licensed therapists and clinicians with diverse backgrounds who are dedicated to providing the highest quality of care to our guests. Together, our staff creates a nurturing and transformative environment where individuals can find the tools and support they need to heal and thrive.