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7 Subtle Signs You May Be Dealing with Unprocessed Trauma


Subtle Signs You May Be Dealing with Unprocessed Trauma

Unprocessed trauma can stealthily weave its way into our lives, affecting our mental and emotional well-being without us even realizing it. Whether stemming from childhood experiences, a recent traumatic event, or ongoing stressors, unprocessed trauma can manifest in various ways, often masquerading as other issues.


Understanding the signs of unprocessed trauma is crucial for initiating the healing process. In this post, we'll explore seven subtle signs that may indicate you're grappling with unprocessed trauma and how seeking therapy can help you navigate this journey to healing.


  1. Persistent Anxiety and Hypervigilance: Individuals with unprocessed trauma often experience persistent anxiety and hypervigilance. You may find yourself constantly on edge, anticipating potential threats even in seemingly safe situations. This hypervigilance can exhaust your mental and emotional resources, leaving you feeling drained and overwhelmed. Therapy in Denver can provide you with coping strategies to manage anxiety and cultivate a sense of safety and security.

  2. Flashbacks and Intrusive Memories: Flashbacks and intrusive memories are hallmark symptoms of unprocessed trauma. You may find yourself re-experiencing traumatic events as if they're happening in the present moment, causing intense emotional distress. These intrusive memories can disrupt your daily life and make it challenging to focus on tasks or maintain relationships. Therapy can help you process these memories and develop healthy coping mechanisms to reduce their frequency and intensity.

  3. Avoidance of Triggers: Individuals with unprocessed trauma often go to great lengths to avoid triggers associated with their traumatic experiences. You may avoid certain places, people, or activities that remind you of the trauma, limiting your ability to fully engage in life. While avoidance may provide temporary relief, it ultimately perpetuates the cycle of trauma. Therapy can support you in gradually confronting and processing these triggers in a safe and supportive environment.

  4. Difficulty Trusting Others: Unprocessed trauma can erode trust in oneself and others. You may find it challenging to trust others, fearing betrayal or abandonment. This distrust can strain relationships and contribute to feelings of loneliness and isolation. Therapy can help you explore the root causes of your trust issues and rebuild trust in yourself and others through therapeutic techniques such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal therapy.

  5. Emotional Numbing: Emotional numbing is a common coping mechanism for individuals with unprocessed trauma. You may find yourself disconnecting from your emotions as a way to avoid feeling pain or distress. While emotional numbing may provide temporary relief, it can hinder your ability to experience joy, intimacy, and fulfillment in life. Therapy can help you reconnect with your emotions and cultivate greater emotional awareness and resilience.

  6. Self-Destructive Behaviors: Unprocessed trauma can manifest in self-destructive behaviors such as substance abuse, self-harm, or reckless behavior. These behaviors may serve as maladaptive coping mechanisms to numb emotional pain or regain a sense of control. However, they often exacerbate the cycle of trauma and contribute to further distress. Therapy can provide you with alternative coping strategies and support you in breaking free from destructive patterns.

  7. Chronic Physical Symptoms: The effects of unprocessed trauma aren't confined to the realm of mental and emotional health—they can also manifest in physical symptoms. Chronic pain, headaches, gastrointestinal issues, and other physical symptoms are common manifestations of unprocessed trauma. Therapy can help you address the underlying emotional factors contributing to these physical symptoms and promote holistic healing.


Unprocessed trauma can have far-reaching effects on your mental, emotional, and physical well-being, but you don't have to navigate this journey alone. Therapy offers a safe and supportive space for you to explore your experiences, process your emotions, and embark on a path to healing and recovery. Our team of licensed therapists and psychologists are here to help.


By recognizing the subtle signs of unprocessed trauma and seeking professional help, you can reclaim control of your life and cultivate a greater sense of peace, resilience, and self-compassion.


If you think you may be struggling with unprocessed trauma, we welcome you to book a free 20 minute initial phone consultation or first appointment with one of our licensed clinical therapists for trauma therapy. Contact us by booking your appointment directly, or you can email us at support@elevationbehavioraltherapy.com or call or text us at (720) 295-6566 if you have questions or concerns.


Take the first step toward healing today.


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