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How Trauma Can Affect Our Behavior

Trauma is something we are deeply affected by, often long after the initial traumatic experience. We store the emotional memory of our trauma within our subconscious mind, which then directs the majority of our thoughts and actions. Our behavior, therefore, can be greatly impacted by our traumatic experiences.

Many of us develop strong fears, phobias, neuroses, complexes and sensitivities as a result of trauma. When we have been hurt or scared in a certain way, we might then be easily triggered by anything that is similar or reminiscent. We might find ourselves being reactive or agitated. We might be easily frightened, disturbed or angered. We may react to other people with defensiveness. We may behave in erratic or volatile ways. Some of us may escalate and become aggressive, even violent.

The people who come into contact with us might be confused by our behavior. They might be overwhelmed, surprised or alarmed by it. To them our behavior might seem irrational or illogical. We might make them uncomfortable. Our behaviors may be extremely bothersome or even scary to other people, especially if they don’t know where they are coming from, or if they don’t have prior knowledge of our trauma and trauma responses. If we become violent, we often scare the people around us, who may fear for their safety as well as ours.

Trauma can cause us to develop behaviors that we use to distract ourselves from our pain, to try to forget, to numb ourselves. These behaviors often become addictive, and we struggle to heal not only our initial trauma but all the residual trauma incurred by our addictions. We can also develop toxic thought patterns as a result of our trauma, such as limiting beliefs about ourselves. These thought patterns can cause us to behave in all sorts of harmful ways, such as lashing out at other people or isolating ourselves.

When we’ve been traumatized, our behavior can have destructive effects on our relationships. It can cause us to separate and distance ourselves from other people. It can also cause them to want or need to separate themselves from us.

When we are working to heal from our addictions and mental health issues, there are many factors at play, our behaviors being one of them. The more we learn about ourselves and our behaviors, the more we can help ourselves heal.

To help you and your loved ones deal with the many effects of trauma, the community at Enlightened Solutions offers therapy, mentoring, intervention services and more. Call (833) 801-LIVE.