Ten Signs a Traumatic Event May be Affecting Your Physical Health

  1. Your symptoms get worse when you are reminded of something from your past. For instance, if you were injured in a car accident, you may notice pain gets worse when you see a car getting close.

  2. You find yourself “spacing out” a lot — you miss parts of conversation or find that you have been sitting and staring out into space for a long time.

  3. You are afraid to move in certain ways because you know you’ll get hurt again, even if medical professionals have assured you it’s fine and encouraged you to exercise.

  4. You feel like you’re always on edge. You can’t shake the feeling that something bad is about to happen. 

  5. You’re irritable for no reason. You lash out and don’t know why. 

  6. You get images in your mind or nightmares of frightening things that happened to you.

  7. You startle easily. Loud noises make you jump out of your skin.

  8. It’s hard for you to say “no.” Sometimes your body says it for you. You may fully intend to do something, even if you don’t want to, but when it comes down to it, your body puts on the brakes.

  9. You feel things in your body you can’t explain - sometimes it feels like something from the past is happening all over again, even when nothing is actually happening.

  10. The last thing you want to do is think about what happened to you or talk about it.

If you identify with even one of these signs, there is a good chance that something from your past is affecting you emotionally and physically. The good news is that therapy can help.


Erin Brandel Dykhuizen, MA, MSW, LICSW is a psychotherapist who offers counseling for adults with PTSD, trauma symptoms, and chronic pain in St. Paul, Minnesota. She also works with individuals via remote, online counseling throughout the state of Minnesota. You can schedule an appointment and learn more about Erin’s Twin Cities therapy practice at erinbdlicsw.com, or reach Erin by phone at 651-998-8991.