Trauma and relationships

Trauma and relationships

Trauma & its impact on relationships Is your ability to develop lasting relationships being affected by trauma? Is trauma interfering in your relationships? Unresolved trauma can have long-term effects, including having an ongoing impact on our ability to attract & retain positive, supportive relationships. Some types of trauma have particularly pernicious effects on relationships-such as experiencing or witnessing domestic violence, rape or abuse, especially if we have these experiences as a child: a life stage when we have limited experience of the world, are still developing & are likely to assume that our experiences, however traumatic, are “normal”. Growing up or living in a neglectful or dysfunctional environment can also, in itself, be traumatic & impact on our relationships. Three ways that trauma can harm relationships: 1) Stopping you from being able to form meaningful relationships 2) Leading you to become involved in abusive relationships 3) Making it difficult for you to sustain a healthy relationship long-term Common symptoms of trauma include: flashbacks, panic attacks and inappropriate anxiety. In the most extreme cases, untreated trauma develops into PTSD which can lead to a complete breakdown in normal functioning and the inability to hold down a job or maintain any sort of long-term relationship such as with relatives, friends or colleagues. Untreated trauma also sometimes results in addiction as the person “self-medicates” their pain away. Trauma & the brain The reason that trauma is so destructive can easily be understood when you understand what is happening at the level of the traumatised person’s brain. In essence part of our emotional brain (the Amygdala) acts as our security guard & has...