Are You Struggling With These Lesser-Known Trauma Symptoms?

Research shows that 70% of Americans have endured at least one traumatic event in their lifetime. Trauma can impact your physical and emotional health. It can also affect your self-esteem, relationships, and sense of safety in the world.

But while some reactions are apparent, it’s just as important to recognize some of the subtle, lesser-known trauma symptoms. Let’s get into what some of them are.


Do you struggle with making everyday decisions? Do you need reassurance from others before committing to something?

If so, this issue may result from adverse experiences in your past. New research suggests that childhood trauma may have a direct link with indecisiveness and impulse control. This data makes sense- we know that trauma can profoundly impact confidence and affect judgment.

As a result, you may feel emotionally stunted when faced with a challenging decision. You might rely on others to make that choice for you. Or, you might avoid coming to a conclusion altogether.

Unfortunately, indecisiveness can become a frustrating, self-fulfilling prophecy. The more you believe you can’t make decisions effectively, the less likely you are to take risks and be independent. Therefore, you maintain a stance of feeling helpless and uncertain.

Memory Problems

Some people find it challenging to remember some or all of their traumas. They may also struggle with memory and recall in other parts of their lives.

Memory problems and trauma can go hand-in-hand. Trauma can fundamentally change the brain’s neurochemistry, and it acts on the parts of the brain associated with learning, memory, and emotional regulation.

Research shows that trauma may impact four dimensions associated with memory. This includes:

  • semantic memory: memory associated with general facts and knowledge
  • episodic memory: memory associated with the specific details associated with an experience
  • emotional memory: memory associated with how you felt during an experience.
  • procedural memory: memory associated with remembering how to engage in a specific task or activity without thinking about it.

Unexplained Pain

Chronic pain and trauma can coincide with one another. Trauma may trigger overactivity in the nervous system, leaving the body stuck in a state of arousal and stress. Over time, this state can result in inflammation and related pain.

Furthermore, trauma may impact your ability to engage in healthy lifestyle habits that can reduce pain. For example, chronic stress often makes it challenging to exercise, sleep well, or eat a nutritious diet. As a result, unhealthy habits may aggravate existing pain and intensify the problem.


Do you feel frustrated more than usual? Are you snapping at your loved ones or feeling generally pessimistic?

We all experience irritation from time to time, but persistent anger can represent a lesser-known trauma symptom. Often, it emerges from feeling powerless over what happened to you. It can also occur if your life became disrupted after the trauma- it’s your body’s way of telling you things feel unfair or unjust.

Identity Disturbances

Trauma can profoundly impact how you feel about yourself and the world around you. Therefore, complex, long-term trauma may affect your entire identity. After all, if you were chronically abused, neglected, or otherwise harmed, there wasn’t much room for you to focus on your needs.

When children experience trauma, they may grow up feeling insecure or uncertain about themselves. They might look for validation in the wrong places. Or, they may fall into codependent relationships because they want someone else to support them.

Other times, they may struggle with impulse control, substance problems, or seemingly erratic behavior. Often, these patterns emerge because they are trying to protect themselves from further pain.


Do you generally feel blah about how things are going in life? Do you no longer really care about what happens in your future, or do you just assume that life will end soon, anyway?

Apathy can be a depression symptom, but it can also emerge from trauma. Apathy refers to a general disinterest in life. Someone who becomes apathetic may seemingly stop caring about themselves, their passions, or their relationships.

Trauma may cause apathy because people may feel extremely hopeless after what happened. Even if they aren’t actively suicidal, they may doubt that life is worth living. Or, they may just assume something wrong will happen soon, so they don’t see the point in trying to make things better.

Unfortunately, some people may dismiss their apathy as a sign of laziness. They may just assume they need to “think positively” or “get over it” rather than reflect on the potential root causes.

What If You’re Struggling With These Lesser-Known Trauma Symptoms?

No matter the circumstances, unresolved trauma symptoms can exacerbate shame and suffering. As a result, you may find it difficult to trust others, focus at work, or feel confident about yourself.

Fortunately, trauma recovery is possible. You can learn how to reclaim your identity and live a meaningful life. I am here for you during this journey. Contact me today to learn more!

4601 Spicewood Springs Road Building 3, Suite 200
Austin, TX 78759
(512) 988-3363

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