The Lasting and Debilitating Effects of Trauma

A traumatic experience is one that takes a person by surprise and is often threatening to a person’s wellbeing. Trauma can be something that happens to you or something that you witness. Unfortunately, living through trauma is a common occurrence. According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, 60% of men and 50% of women experience a traumatic event sometime in their lifetimes. While experiencing trauma is debilitating to everyone, when the effects of trauma linger, it can develop into a mental health issue, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Reports indicate that 8% of women and 4% of men who experience a traumatic event end up developing PTSD. The lasting effects of trauma are debilitating to those who develop PTSD. However, this condition can affect anyone who experiences trauma regardless of their race, culture, gender, etc. Fortunately, treatment can help people who are struggling with the lasting effects of trauma and PTSD. But, it’s important that these individuals understand that they’re not alone and that help is available for them to seek treatment that’s available to them.

Exploring the lasting and life-changing effects of trauma can help people who have experienced trauma identify whether or not they have developed PTSD. This can help them gather the information and confidence they need to seek help. Some of the lasting effects of trauma can include:

Avoidance Behaviors

One of the most common lasting effects of trauma is avoidance behaviors. People who have lived through a traumatic event and have developed PTSD, as a result, may feel like no one understands them. And, they may feel unsafe or uncomfortable in certain settings or around certain people. The response to these feelings is avoidance. Along with avoiding people and places, people with PTSD can often avoid their own feelings that are brought on by stress. So, if you feel yourself avoiding how you feel, the people in your life, or certain places, this may be due to the effects of trauma.

Mood Swings and Emotional Dysregulation

The effects of trauma also impair mental and emotional health. Trauma can actually affect how the brain functions and result in a reduction in neurotransmitter levels. These neurotransmitters are responsible for mood management, so this can lead to mood swings and mood dysregulation. Therefore, people with PTSD may experience intense shifts in mood, irritability, anger, and depression. Some of the other emotional effects of trauma can include:

  • feelings of shame or guilt
  • a lack of interest in past hobbies/passions
  • negative emotions and unwanted thoughts
  • memory loss (specifically about the traumatic event)

The mental and emotional effects of a traumatic experience can be especially debilitating to daily life, impacting career paths, personal relationships, and social life.

Impairing Physical Health

Along with emotional and mental health, trauma can also negatively affect physical health. These lasting physical symptoms of trauma can make daily life more challenging. Some of the physical effects of trauma that can end up impacting a person long-term include:

  • trouble going to sleep or staying asleep
  • difficulty with eating and drinking
  • being frightened or surprised easily

Dealing with the physical impacts of trauma can be frustrating, so many people who experience them may find themselves having outbursts of anger as they come about. For example, becoming angry when something startles you.

Getting Help With the Effects of Trauma

Find that you are experiencing some of these effects of trauma in your life? Treatment can help you to develop the coping skills necessary to manage trauma. If you’re ready to seek help and overcome the impacts of trauma, Dr. J. Raul Rodriguez MD at Pyshicatrist Boca Raton can help.

Dr. Raul J. Rodriguez

Dr. Raul Rodriguez


Existing patients, please text 561-409-7296 for follow-up appointment requests or if you have medication concerns please text 561-409-7296.