How Unhealed Family Trauma Affects Us

Despite how other people say that family issues are not that big of a deal, they still differ in each one of us. Nobody can tell what we should and should not feel. Our experiences in our household are not the same as everybody. Thus, there are things that others won’t understand when it comes to our struggle with dealing with our family. For quite some time, there are issues that we often do not want to discuss. Perhaps that is because we think that nobody would listen, or maybe people will think of it as unimportant. But with specific family issues like neglect, abuse, death, parental alienation, and emotional stress, it is different. Sometimes these things that impact our lives are unbearable.


Impending Violence Acting Out

Perhaps we do see a lot of people who resort to violence and aggression. Those actions make us think that these individuals are born that way. But would you believe it if I tell you that those persons are only aggressive and violent because they think they have to? Yes, some people’s violent ways come from the prominent role of fear and anxiety. Unhealed trauma tends to intensify these negative emotions to protect these individuals in feeling more pain and sorrow. It becomes an outlet for them to avoid getting drawn to emotional and mental exhaustion. Because when there is an unhealed trauma, it becomes impossible to deal with a lot of things whenever they come together.

Development of PTSD

It is normal to feel afraid during a traumatizing family event because that is how the brain works. It somehow tells us that the situation is something we need to recognize for us to understand our emotions and behaviors. However, when stress and anxiety often display, even though we are not in danger, there is something wrong. With that particular moment, PTSD becomes present. Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the most well-known impacts of unhealed trauma. It manifests in so many ways. Some of us might experience flashbacks, nightmares, avoidance of injury, isolation, and emotional numbness. It layers in different complexity, too, which can become hard to diagnose.


Potential Substance Abuse

Some of us who perhaps can’t seem to cope easily rely on self-medication. There is nothing wrong with that. In fact, it is a common coping mechanism to get rid of unhealed trauma. However, the impact of unhealed trauma makes our stress reactions more debilitating, leading to substance abuse. That explains why a lot of us who experience a traumatizing event turn to alcohol and drugs. There is this belief that these coping mechanisms can somehow get rid of the emotional pain temporarily. But since the effect is only for quite a while, we engage in the process more and more with the hope of totally eradicating the sorrow and pain we feel. That is despite the knowledge of how dangerous substance abuse is. Ultimately, the unfortunate result is that we end up getting addicted.

Possible Self-Harm And Suicide

There are traumatic experiences that can happen not only to a single person. Sometimes, the same event can occur in two or three different individuals. But when an unhealed trauma affects a highly sensitive individual, things can be a lot worse. That is because these individuals tend to feel everything more intensely. When it comes to these people’s emotional reactivity, everything for them is too much. That explains why when they struggle in any particular trauma, most of them turn to self-harm. In some unfortunate cases, some of them tend to commit suicide. These individuals try to embrace the pain and choose not to be kind to themselves. They have this mentality that there is nothing that can help their situation.


Health Impairments

We know that unhealed trauma can cause cognitive impairment. That is because of the constant change in our brain pathways. It is why some of us suffer from mental exhaustion, memory decline, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Unfortunately, it hinders us from getting a hold of common healing resources. But trauma affects the body as well as the mind. That explains why a lot of us experience some physical changes. These can manifest from overeating, not eating, excessive adrenaline production, and inflammation. Thus, we get susceptible to a number of somatic disorders and diseases. Some of these include diabetes, cancer, stroke, anorexia, and obesity.


Unhealed trauma can affect us physically, mentally, and emotionally. It can change our lives in many ways. Unfortunately, it will not go away on its own. Therefore, we have to find the courage to stay focused on bringing the best in our lives despite the challenges we need to face. So after any of these effects from traumatic experiences, it is vital that we learn to work on the necessary healing, compassion, and self-love. We must prioritize ways to connect with ourselves, others, and seek help.