We all react to situations we face in life differently. Some of us may face a situation, like being fired, deal with it and move on. Others may be unable to get past it. We may then experience stored trauma symptoms.

When we experience trauma, our minds and bodies often react in ways to protect us, such as triggering the fight, flight, freeze or fawn response. But the traumatic experience doesn’t have to be a significant or ongoing event, like growing up with an abusive parent or being on the frontlines during a war. It can also be something as seemingly trivial as being laughed at by classmates for stumbling over words while giving a speech at school.

The humiliation felt can create a lasting emotional imprint and be stored in the body. This stored trauma may then influence how we view ourselves and our abilities, leading to self-doubt, anxiety and avoidance of similar situations in the future. It can resurface later, even when we may not consciously remember the event’s details.

A young woman with brown hair wearing a pink shirt sitting on a couch. She is looking down with her head in her hands.

Symptoms of Stored Trauma

This stored trauma can manifest itself in many ways. It can influence our thoughts, emotions, behaviors, and overall health.

Some common psychological and physiological trauma symptoms include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Cancer
  • Changes in appetite
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • Diabetes
  • Emotional numbness
  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Hypervigilance
  • Irritability
  • Substance abuse

Stored trauma can vary in intensity and impact from person to person, and it can accumulate over time, with each new traumatic event adding to the stored trauma from previous experiences.

Trauma Therapy

Stored trauma can be addressed and worked through with a knowledgeable therapist. Different trauma therapy approaches can be used, such as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) and Internal Family Systems therapy (IFS). These therapies aim to help us process and work through our traumatic experiences in a safe and supportive environment, reducing the symptoms and effects of stored trauma.

If you’re experiencing symptoms of stored trauma or any other psychological issue, we’re here to help.

Fully Integrated Psychotherapy & Consultation offers telehealth services throughout the state of New York, helping clients find solutions to their mental health challenges.

Contact us today or set up a consultation with one of our therapists.