4 signs of trauma that you’ve been avoiding

A girl watches the sunrise. This reflects concepts discussed in trauma therapy in Colorado Springs, CO.

We know, we know. You don’t want to talk about it. And hey, that’s fine. Who are we tell you what you should or shouldn’t talk about? That’s the beauty of autonomy: decisions galore. This is your life, and you know what’s going to be the best. But, there’s something that we can’t help but notice.

You picked this blog for a reason.

Something about it caught your attention. Perhaps it’s the title. There’s at least one word you recognize, right? At least one word someone else has used to describe your experience. Or, maybe you’ve used it to describe your experience(s). Or, you could have just been bored and that the featured image looked neat. Even with all of this in mind, you still chose to read this blog. And, at this point, you’re choosing to stick around.

So, let’s cut to the chase.

There’s a decent chance something…less than great happened to you. Maybe this something only happened once. Or, maybe it happened more than would like to admit. With this, you could be at many different stages. Some of you are reading this and are hunky-dory. You’ve got all your ducks in a row and you’re ay okay with all of the things going on. If this you- congrats! Good for you. Sounds like you’re doing well.

But, we know this is not most of you.

A boy sits looking upset. He is contemplating starting trauma therapy in Colorado Springs, CO. Altitude Counseling offers quality counseling services through in person counseling and online therapy in Colorado.

Most of you reading this blog are struggling with something that’s eating you up inside. It feels like situations are more challenging than you know they should be. But, challenging doesn’t quite capture it.  It’s more accurate to say that many situations are dreadful, exhausting, and debilitating. So many areas of your life are affected that it’s hard to determine what’s easy anymore. Or, what should be easy. It’s a lot. And if you’re honest with yourself for just 9 seconds, you KNOW it’s a lot.

You’re afraid. It feels like the past is haunting you. You do your best to forget but nothing works. It always comes back. You’re at the end of your rope.

If this sounds familiar, you likely have experienced trauma.

Yep, we did it. We named it. We pulled out the ‘t’ word. Very forward, very spicey. We called the experience what it is. This is not news for some of you. Some of you have known this. For others, this is the first time. Maybe calling it trauma never crossed your mind. Maybe you thought that bad things happen to everyone, and this is my bad thing. If something bad happens to everyone, does that make mine any worse? Sure, there’s some validity to that. And, the bad thing that happened to you ‘that happens to everyone else’ is really freaking hard for you.

So let’s get real about trauma.

A girls sits on a couch. This represents concepts discussed in trauma therapy in Colorado Springs, CO. Altitude Counseling offers trauma therapy, along with other counseling services to individuals living in Colorado.

This is next piece is for the folks that are still on the fence about this whole trauma talk. And that’s okay! Our goal is not to get you to drink the “kool-aid.” Instead, we would rather give you some information about trauma. Specifically, what trauma can look like. What we know about trauma is that it presents differently in everyone. What does that mean? It means that two people can experience a traumatic event and have different impacts. Even if it’s from the same event! Pretty crazy, right? And what we also know as trauma therapists is that these impacts are often ignored. So, with all of that in mind, here is a list of four signs of trauma that you probably have been ignoring.

1.Sytmpom of Trauma #1: Feeling like you’re on an emotional rollercoaster.

We’re not talking about stereotypical moodiness.  We’re talking about extreme and severe moods that you’re experiencing. Often, folks say that they feel like aren’t in control of how they feel. And, that they find themselves overreacting in situations that don’t call for it. Many times, our clients share that they regularly ruminate about situations after the fact. Thinking back to how they responded makes them never want to show their face again. For some it’s embarrassment, feeling mortified that they acted that way. For others, it’s anger and self-depravationWhy am I so stupid? I should have never acted that way. Well, looks like it’s all my fault. If I don’t have friends after this it would definitely make sense. Literally, no one would want to be around someone like me. Sound familiar?

2.Symptom of Trauma #2: Avoiding anything that reminds you of the experience.

Literally anything. Taking different routes homes, not listening to certain songs, avoiding certain smells, not going outside of your home, avoiding particular establishments, you name it. It often takes a great effort to completely avoid these triggers. But, you’re not always successful. Some things just really can’t be avoided. The times that you find yourself in these situations, it’s completely awful. It takes everything in you to be able to get through them.  In these moments, you’re convinced that no breathing exercise 0r mindfulness practice that can get you through it. On top of that, it feels like it takes you forever to recover from those situations. It feels like an emotional hangover. But unlike a regular hangover, ibuprofen and greasy food don’t help.

3.Symptom of trauma #3: You’re really jumpy.

A man sits in the woods by himself. It appears that he is considering different possibilities. This reflects discussions fostered in trauma therapy in Colorado Springs, CO.

We don’t mean walking while texting and jumping a bit when you almost run into someone else. We’re talking about having an over-the-top response. Like being in your kitchen and jumping out your skin when the person you live with walks, even if you heard them coming. Or, feeling like your heart is about to burst out of your chest when you get a text message. In the trauma therapy world, we call this an ‘exaggerated startle response.‘ And no, that does not imply that we think you’re doing it on purpose. We, and you, know that it’s out of your control. But, it means that your ‘jump response’ is 1,000 times more extreme than it used to be for most situations.


4.Symptom of trauma #4: You can’t stop thinking about it.

No. Matter. What. It’s like the memory is running laps in your mind. At this point, it’s run 16 miles. It feels like you’re replaying the memory on repeat in your mind. But, you really don’t want to! So, you try to ignore it. But, ignoring only works temporarily at best. And if you ignore it for too long, it shows up everywhere. In your dreams, streams of consciousness, and in the social media hole we all find ourselves in. Sometimes, you just replay the experience. Everything goes the same way it happened. Other times, it’s the experience plus all of the things you wish that would have happened differently. Over and over again. While you’re awake. While you’re asleep. It doesn’t take time off.

If you’re experiencing any of these, know that you’re not alone.

The side of a woman's face is shown. Resilience is captured in the photo. This demonstrates topics discussed in trauma therapy in Colorado Springs, CO. In addition to counseling for PTSD, Altitude Counseling offers many services for therapy in Colorado Springs, CO.

Life after trauma is exhausting, debilitating, anxiety-provoking, and other SAT word that fits the description. There are many days that you wish things were different. And, there are many days you feel alone. Our trauma therapists want you to know that you’re not alone. Trauma therapy is an option for you. Our trauma therapists have worked with many different people who have experienced a variety of different traumas. We often incorporate CBT, EMDR, and other treatments.  They are trained, certified, and experienced in providing you the highest quality trauma therapy in Colorado Springs, CO. Or, anywhere in the state through online therapy in Colorado. 

The burden is no longer yours to carry on your own. We’re here to help. So, let us do that.

Begin Trauma Therapy in Colorado Springs, CO

We know that you’re going through a lot. And, our trauma therapists are here to help. We can work with you either in our Colorado Springs-based group practice or through online therapy. Either way, we’ll be providing you quality services. When you’re ready to begin trauma therapy, follow these steps:

  1. Get to know our team of trauma therapists.
  2. Learn to manage the symptoms you’ve been ignoring.

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300 Garden of the Gods Rd, Ste 200
Colorado Springs, CO 80907

(719) 428-2952

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