Even if we don’t remember it, past trauma can still deeply affect our present. Whether it occurred during childhood or is more recent, traumatic events can alter our mental health and control our lives more than we can imagine. That’s why it’s crucial that we treat trauma, even if we can’t recall, it through trauma-informed therapy.
Misconceptions: What Exactly Is Trauma?
Most people believe that trauma is only defined by violent experiences such as physical or sexual abuse. Although those are significant sources of trauma, there are more common causes for trauma which are called adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). The ten examples of ACEs that are just as equally harmful include:
- Physical abuse
- Sexual abuse
- Emotional abuse
- Physical neglect
- Emotional neglect
- A family member or caretaker’s mental illness
- A family member or caretaker’s substance abuse
- Witnessing violence against a parent
- Having a relative sent to jail or prison
- Losing a parent due to separation, divorce, or death
Research has detailed that over 46% of people have at least one ACE. People who have a higher number of ACEs or trauma are more prone to physical and mental illness. Because of this, trauma-informed treatment is crucial to healing those detrimental past experiences. However, what can you do if you don’t fully remember your trauma?
Uncovering the Root of Trauma
When remembering forgotten trauma, it’s important to remember that our brain hides these traumatic experiences for a reason. The brain will hide these memories to protect ourselves from the pain they cause. However, we can still feel triggered by certain people, places, or things that our brain links back to this trauma.
Although it may feel better to live in ignorant bliss, recovering those traumatic memories can help you recover from present mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more. It’s best that you recover these memories in a safe space with a mental health professional that can help you walk through this repressed trauma.
Are you unsure if you have repressed trauma? Some signs that you may have an ACE or trauma you can’t recall include:
- Strong unexplained reactions to certain people: If you find that a random person or someone specific causes an inexplicable sense of distrust or anxiety, this may be because your brain has linked this person or someone like them to a repressed traumatic experience.
- Stress when in certain places: Similar to people, places that resemble the one where the trauma happened can cause a similar sense of fear or anxiety. This can be by a location’s sounds, smells, or appearance.
- Severe emotional shifts: Those with forgotten trauma may find that they can go from relaxed to distressed just by minor occurrences. However, these small stressors or events can unconsciously remind you of your trauma and signal negative emotions like anger or fear.
- Attachment issues: Those who have experienced trauma may, later on, have attachment issues. This can be extreme sadness or anxiety when we feel that someone close to us may leave and recreate past feelings of abandonment.
- Anxiety: Trauma and past feelings of danger can leave you feeling constantly anxious, more than just the average person.
- Childish reactions: Regressing into childish behavior can be a way to cope with the trauma that happened as a child. This regression indicates that traumatic childhood memories have yet to be unlocked.
- Constant fatigue: Untreated trauma can lead to consistent anxiety, even if you don’t realize it. As a result, you’ll find that most of your energy is drained because of this.
In order to properly cope with trauma, whether you can remember it or not, is to undergo trauma-informed therapy and treatment. Trauma-informed therapy is defined by how a trained therapist will examine how trauma has impacted your mental health and related issues rather than treating those issues alone.
Together, you and your therapist can uncover your triggers and better understand your trauma and what may have happened. A trauma-informed therapist will understand your trauma to better examine your needs, behaviors, and mindset that need to be addressed.
Trauma-Informed Care at Mindfuli
Remember, not all therapists are trauma-informed or trained to do so. When searching for treatment, it’s best to ensure that your potential therapist is trained in treating individuals with trauma and is trauma-informed. At Mindfuli, we provide trauma-informed treatment to those seeking recovery, whether they can remember their trauma or not.
The four R’s — recognizing that trauma is pervasive, recognizing its symptoms, responding to trauma, and resisting re-traumatization — are part of the trauma-informed treatment that Mindfuli offers. Support in times of need is available through Mindfuli with our trauma-informed therapists. You can use chat or live video to speak with your therapist.
Additionally, clients can express their trauma in a safe environment during weekly scheduled sessions with a designated care counselor, where they can do so in a way that feels comfortable. Clients and care counselors can then collaborate to create a plan for healing and maintaining mental health. To create a customized treatment plan to address the negative impacts of trauma, licensed clinical support can be added to a client’s care team.
Undiscovered trauma and its negative effects can keep you emotionally distressed and constantly anxious. If you’re trying to uncover repressed memories or trauma, it must be done in a safe space with a mental health professional. You can successfully overcome the underlying problems related to untreated trauma by taking advantage of tools like Mindfuli. The Mindfuli app will connect you with therapists and counselors who want to help you successfully overcome mental health issues. Call us at (866) 973-4415 to learn more about Mindfuli and how it may assist you in healing. Enjoy the advantages of working with a care team that goes above and beyond to deliver excellent mental health treatments.