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20 Signs of Unresolved Trauma


1. Addictive behaviours – excessively turning to drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, gambling as a way to push difficult emotions and upsetting trauma content further away. 

2. An inability to tolerate conflicts with others – having a fear of conflict, running from conflict, avoiding conflict, maintaining skewed perceptions of conflict 

3. An inability to tolerate intense feelings, preferring to avoid feeling by any number of ways 

4. An innate belief that they are bad, worthless, without value or importance 

5. Black and white thinking, all or nothing thinking, even if this approach ends up harming themselves 6. Chronic and repeated suicidal thoughts and feelings 

7. Disorganised attachment patterns, having a variety of short but intense relationships, refusing to have any relationships, dysfunctional relationships, frequent love/hate relationships

8. Dissociation, spacing out, losing time, missing time, feeling like you are two completely different people (or more than two) 

9. Eating disorders – anorexia, bulimia, obesity, etc. 

10. Excessive sense of self-blame – taking on inappropriate responsibility as if everything is their fault, making excessive apologies 

11. Inappropriate attachments to mother figures or father figures, even with dysfunctional or unhealthy people 

12. Intense anxiety and repeated panic attacks 13. Intrusive thoughts, upsetting visual images, flashbacks, body memories / unexplained body pain, or distressing nightmares 14. Ongoing, chronic depression 

15. Repeatedly acting from a victim role in current day relationships 16. Repeatedly taking on the rescuer role, even when inappropriate to do so  

17. Self-harm, self-mutilation, self-injury, self-destruction 

18. Suicidal actions and behaviours, failed attempts to suicide 

19. Taking the perpetrator role / angry aggressor in relationships 20. Unexplained but intense fears of people, places and things, 

Stop ignoring child abuse. 

These same symptoms can be applied for survivors already working in therapy. 

Attending regular therapy does not mean the clients have resolved their trauma issues or that they are even working in that general direction. Many therapy clients will continue to deny, dissociate, and refuse to look at their trauma even if they are aware of their daily struggles. 

If you are experiencing a number of the symptoms listed above, ask yourself if you are truly ready to address your trauma issues, or if you find it more comfortable to continue living with these struggles. Is it harder to face how you were abused and who abused you? Or is it harder to live a life full of depression, anxiety, thoughts of suicide, troubled relationships, extreme fears, physical pain, and addictions? 

Running from your trauma history will not help you feel better. In the short-run, you might not have to face the issues, but the cost in the long-run of unresolved trauma weighs more heavily than you might suspect. 

Your life can be better than it is. 

Be brave – face your trauma issues!


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