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What Is Forgotten Trauma?

The word trauma is thrown about, often without regard to its meaning. Trauma is not seeing a spider or not having your favorite food available when you want it. Distressing events or frightening experiences can create psychological or emotional responses that disrupt a person’s life. While most people can recall the events or person who caused their trauma, some can’t.

What Causes Trauma?

Past traumatic events like sexual assault, violence, or witnessing a disturbing event can increase the risk of experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Those with PTSD develop the condition after being threatened or going through intense psychological or physical harm. If you’re directly affected by repeated harm to your physical or mental well-being, you can develop complex trauma.

Another form of trauma is developmental trauma. Developmental trauma describes traumatic events within the first three years of life. Whether a child experiences abuse, neglect, or abandonment, the effects of the traumatic experience can interfere with a child’s psychological, neurological, or cognitive growth.

What Are the Symptoms of Trauma?

If you experience or witness a traumatic event, you may not know how to react. Some are shocked by or deny the event. After a while, your initial reactions can fade, but for a person with PTSD, their reactions remain over an extended period of time. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Anger
  • Fear
  • Depression, sadness, or loss of hope
  • Flashbacks
  • Physical illnesses
  • Shame or guilt

Why Can’t I Remember a Traumatic Event?

Your mind can try to protect you from disturbing or distressing memories by suppressing a memory or event. But, that doesn’t mean you won’t remember why you have a fear of or try to avoid a specific place, person, or object. With the help of a therapist, you can discover how to integrate healthy coping skills into your routine.

Forgotten or hidden trauma is not the same as other types of trauma. Hidden trauma is less obvious and can cause depression, anxiety, or disturbances in your daily routine. Because the symptoms of trauma may not have developed, you can’t always make a connection between an event and your behavior.

For example, a person constantly believes a sneeze, tickle in their throat, or cough means they’re deathly ill. While their doctors may say they’re healthy and loved ones no longer pay attention to reports of aches or pains, that person believes they are sick. After a few sessions with a therapist, they may discover their belief that every illness is deathly is linked to a death of a childhood friend or acquaintance. The death affected how they viewed sickness.

Because hidden trauma doesn’t present the same symptoms as other types of trauma, your behaviors or emotions may be hard to connect with a traumatic event. However, talking with a therapist about your behaviors or feelings can help. Therapists can guide you to understand the connection between unexplained physical or mental behaviors and past trauma. The Guest House provides comprehensive care that focuses on your unique needs. Our therapists will help you explore events from the past and reconcile them with current behaviors or emotions. We want to help you heal. For more information, call (855) 483-7800.