What Does Unresolved Trauma Feel Like?

The signs of unresolved trauma can be wide-ranging and include addictive behaviors, difficulty managing conflict, anxiety, confusion, depression, and a deep-seated sense of worthlessness. Addictive behaviors such as over-reliance on drugs, alcohol, sex, shopping, or gambling can be used to avoid difficult emotions and traumatic memories. People may also struggle to tolerate conflicts with others, feeling afraid of or avoiding them altogether. Additionally, intense feelings may be avoided in various ways.

All of these can lead to an underlying belief that one is bad, useless, or unimportant. If any of these symptoms sound familiar, it's important to ask yourself if you are ready to address the trauma or if it is more comfortable to continue living with the difficulties. This could explain why some people find themselves in relationships that remind them of those that traumatized them in the past.


, the loss of a parent, a serious childhood illness, a learning disability that caused self-doubt, having too many siblings, an emotionally distant or anxious parent – all of these can be traumatic and have lasting effects into adulthood.

I was in therapy weekly to help with my situation when my therapist diagnosed me with “unresolved trauma”. Even though memories of trauma may be hidden from consciousness, there are signs that will become evident in daily life. Therapy with a healthcare provider who specializes in treating trauma can provide a safe space to explore experiences, process emotions, and develop coping skills. A thorough evaluation is essential as people with unresolved trauma may be misdiagnosed with depression, anxiety, or adjustment disorder when their symptoms can be better explained by unresolved trauma.

The good news is that healing from trauma is not the only goal; survivors are capable of much more than just healing. Even if a person blocks (consciously or unconsciously) what has happened, they will still feel the effects of it.

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