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  • Hyper-arousal: increased heart rate, rapid or difficulty breathing, cold sweats, tingling, muscular tension.

  • Constriction: Constriction in body and narrowing of perceptions.

  • Disassociation or Denial

  • Feelings of helplessness, immobility and freezing

  • Hyper vigilance

  • Intrusive imagery or flashbacks

  • Extreme sensitivity to light and sound

  • Hyperactivity

  • Exaggerated emotional and startle responses

  • Nightmares and night terrors

  • Abrupt mood swings (rage reactions or temper tantrums, frequent anger or crying)

  • Shame and lack of self-worth

  • Reduced ability to deal with stress

  • Difficulty sleeping

  • Panic attacks, anxiety and phobias

  • Mental blankness or spaced out feelings

  • Avoidance behavior (avoiding places, moments, activities, memories or people)

  • Attraction to dangerous situations

  • Addictive behaviors (overeating, drinking, smoking, drugs 

  • Exaggerated or diminished sexual activity

When people are behaving in apparently self-destructive ways, it’s time to stop asking what’s wrong with them, and time to start asking what happened to them.

Dr. Robert Anda and Dr. Vincent Felitti
  • Amnesia or forgetfulness

  • Inability to love, nurture or bond with other individuals

  • Fear of dying or having a shortened life

  • Self mutilation (severe abuse, self-inflicted cutting, etc.)

  • Loss of sustaining beliefs (spiritual, religious, interpersonal)

  • Excessive shyness

  • Diminished emotional responses

  • Inability to make commitments

  • Chronic Fatigue or very low physical energy

  • Immune system problems

  • Psychosomatic illnesses particularly headaches, migraines, neck and back problems

  • Chronic pain

  • Asthma

  • Skin disorders

  • Digestive problems

  • Depression and feelings of impending doom

  • Feelings of detachment, alienation and isolation (living dead syndrome)

  • Reduced ability to formulate plans

  • Re-enactment of the trauma

From Peter Levine’s “Healing Trauma.”

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