an upset woman sits on the edge of her bed resting her head on her hands showing effects of repressed trauma

Effects of Repressed Trauma

Work to understand the effects of repressed trauma began with Sigmund Freud and remains important today. Because of the body’s instinct for self-preservation, deeply harmful events are sometimes partly or fully removed from conscious memory. This allows a traumatized person temporary relief from cognitively dealing with their past. Sadly, repressed trauma can have many negative effects as well. 

For this reason, getting professional support in identifying and processing trauma is a far better solution than leaving things unresolved. To learn more about the effects of repressed trauma and how our trauma therapy programs near San Antonio, TX, can help, contact The Right Step Hill Country online or call 1.844.675.1628

What Are Some Signs of Repressed Trauma? 

Repressed trauma can stem from many sources and has come to public notice partly because of its impact on veterans. In addition to military service, however, adverse childhood events like abuse, neglect, or a caregiver’s death can have profound impacts. Here are a few signs of repressed trauma that may surface later in life: 

  • Difficulty getting a good night’s sleep due to insomnia or nightmares 
  • Feeling isolated from others or having an unexplained sense of doom or strong unease 
  • Engaging in reckless behavior such as unsafe sex or substance use 
  • Unpredictable, seemingly extreme emotional responses to stimuli that are innocuous but nonetheless stir up repressed trauma 
  • Mood symptoms like anxiety or depression 
  • Somatic symptoms such as stomach distress, muscle aches, or other pain without clear physiological explanation, such as illness 
  • Experiencing frequent feelings of inadequacy or shame 
  • Significant difficulty setting healthy boundaries or even seeking out harmful relationships as a way of unconsciously reliving the trauma 
  • Becoming “flooded,” very emotionally dysregulated, when a sensory cue triggers unconscious reliving of a past trauma 
  • Difficulty with relationships, including insecure attachment or pervasive mistrust 

If you or a loved one are experiencing any of these signs, reach out to The Right Step Hill Country today at 1.844.675.1628, and we can help you find suitable treatment. 

What Are Effective Strategies for Treating the Effects of Childhood Trauma? 

Techniques claiming to help clients retrieve repressed memories should be subjected to great scrutiny. At this time, there is insufficient evidence that they are effective. What is certain is that there are effective methods for working with remembered trauma as well as general trauma symptoms. 

Simply put, trauma-informed care is any therapeutic intervention that addresses the fact that a client’s damaging past experiences are affecting them in the present. As such, it also strives to avoid re-traumatizing clients and caregivers during the healing journey. Instead, trauma-informed care aims to create safety and empowerment in the treatment plan. Peer support can also help since it strongly combats the feelings of isolation or powerlessness that often follow trauma. 

A few effective trauma treatment approaches include: 

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) 

Under a specially certified therapist’s care, clients receive bilateral stimulation, usually via buzzers or flashing lights. This helps both hemispheres of their brain come online more fully. At the same time, they verbally process traumatic events with their therapist. This helps them approach the difficult content with more balanced input from the emotion-oriented right brain hemisphere and rationality-oriented left hemisphere. 

Body Practices 

Trauma-specialized somatic approaches and holistic offerings like yoga and dance have been shown to provide significant benefits to trauma survivors. Trauma’s effects are stored in large part within the nervous system. Thus, working with non-verbal physical regulation can serve as a powerful reset. 

Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) 

Among the most widely practiced forms of individual talk therapy in mental healthcare and substance abuse treatment, CBT empowers clients to take back control of their psychological experience. Among other aims, the technique teaches mental reframing. This promotes more affirming and present-oriented self-talk and the capacity to cope with emotions. 

Learn More About the Effects of Repressed Trauma at Hill Country Today 

At Hill Country, we believe that life should be about more than simply surviving challenging experiences. Rather, we’re committed to helping our clients reclaim agency and joy in their lives. While trauma is tragic, its effects should not be the main determinant of your life going forward. For more information about our effective trauma therapy and substance use treatments, call 1.844.675.1628 or fill out our secure online contact form

Scroll to Top