Trauma Signs: What It Looks Like, the Symptoms, Types, and Treatment

Trauma signs of anger

What is Trauma?

Trauma is the emotional response to events that cause a high level of stress. There are three main types of trauma and they can look different in every person. Some people may not develop trauma signs that emerge after a devastating event, some may have symptoms that go away after a while, and still, others may have long lasting effects (also known as PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder).

Symptoms of Trauma

As mentioned earlier, trauma can look different in every individual and its severity can be mild to extreme. Several things can contribute to how trauma looks in an individual, such as the type of trauma and the characteristics of the person (including previous trauma or preexisting mental health issues).

The physical responses to trauma may present themselves as:

  • Anxiety attacks
  • Digestive issues
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches

While the emotional responses can be any of these:

  • Anger and irritability
  • Denial and frustration
  • Fear and confusion
  • Guilt and shame
  • Hopelessness and numbness

Types of Trauma Signs

types of trauma signs
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There are three main types of trauma, with a fourth type that can also be identified.

1. Acute Trauma Sign

This type of trauma usually occurs after a dangerous event. Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes can cause acute trauma. Other events such as car accidents, house fires, and even a home invasion can cause acute trauma. Acute trauma generally lasts for a short period of time and those who have suffered from it can overcome it, but it can also lead to PTSD in others.

2. Chronic Trauma Sign

While acute trauma results from a devastating, usually one time event, chronic trauma is a devastating event that happens repeatedly over a period of time. Abuse (and neglect) is the most common type of chronic trauma, as it tends to occur over a long period of time, often going unnoticed by others. Unfortunately, abuse involving children is one of the most common types of abuse because children often don’t have the vocabulary to speak up, and it can also happen in the most unlikely of places and be at the hands of someone the child trusts.

3. Complex Trauma Sign

It is a combination of different types of terrible events all happening to one person. An example of this could be a child experiencing bullying at school while also witnessing domestic violence at home.

4. Vicarious Trauma Sign

Also known as secondary trauma, this type describes a person developing symptoms of trauma when someone close to them has experienced a traumatic event, even though they have not suffered this trauma themselves. This can be found in family members of a person who has experienced a traumatic event and even in mental health professionals who are counseling those who have experienced trauma.

Treatment of Trauma Signs

treating trauma signs
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Treating someone who has experienced a life changing event looks different in everyone, and the treatment process should be based on one’s individual needs. Two people who have experienced the same trauma may need different types of treatment to cope with it.

Therapy and Medication of Trauma Signs

Currently, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is the most effective way to treat PTSD as a result of severe trauma. The premise of CBT is to change how a person thinks about a certain situation in order to alter their emotions and behavior.

PTSD often manifests itself in the form of anxiety or depression, and medication is often prescribed to help alleviate these symptoms, though it does not cure PTSD. Some people may need a combination of both therapy and medication.

Clinical Care

There’s no shame in seeking clinical or spa treatments. Obtaining specialty care at a reputable medi spa clinic is attainable for people from all walks of life. From helping with basic healthcare needs to providing specialty services, you can get the treatments and therapy you need easily through your provider.


Self care means something different to everyone, but it’s usually defined as doing something enjoyable that benefits your mental and even your physical well being. It can look like exercising, getting enough sleep, aromatherapy, and even making time to talk with someone (friends, family, a therapist, etc.).


Even if you haven’t experienced it, it’s still a good idea to talk to a therapist. Therapy is always viewed as a treatment for something that’s wrong – which it is, but it can also be a preventative tool.

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