Signs You Have Repressed Trauma

Our body’s stress response to everyday activities and experiences may have a connection with repressed trauma. If not addressed, they may impact the overall quality of life as well as our interpersonal relationships. Generally, when people go to therapy, one of the first things that they talk about and relive are their traumatic childhood memories or perhaps a distressing episode in their life that they cannot get over. But what happens when you can’t even remember a huge chunk of your childhood? Are you unable to reminisce about past happenings in your life that your friends bring up?

Here are some signs that you might be repressing trauma.

Certain people make you uncomfortable for unexplainable reasons:

When being in the company of someone that’s familiar in your life, do you usually find yourself unable to feel at ease with them? Despite knowing them for a long time, you have strong emotions when people mention them or invite them to group gatherings. They’ve been a part of your life forever but you would rather not be alone with them. It’s not that something about them is inherently strange or disturbing. But you just get an energy of uneasiness when you’re around them or become fearful of them. This may happen for no apparent reason. This is when a therapist can be of great help in helping you address and understand why you associate such strong emotions to certain people in your life.

Abandonment issues and repressed trauma:

Do you find yourself often overcompensating by putting other people’s needs over yours? You often spoil your friends and are always available to them. This may happen because you’re afraid that if you don’t please them all the time, they might eventually leave you. Or maybe you feel immediately anxious when having an argument with your partner and immediately apologize even if the issue isn’t your fault. You might be having abandonment issues stemming from your childhood where your primary caretaker was not available, did not comfort you or left you. 

You have trouble managing your emotions:

Your friends or the people close to you might often describe you as childish when you get upset. Your reaction to disappointment or perceived betrayal may seem disproportionately more intense than how people usually react. You might find yourself being angered by seemingly random things that doesn’t bother people normally. This could be because the child version of you wasn’t properly soothed when you showed negative emotions. You never properly learned how to communicate such feelings with others as a grown up. 

You have trust issues in relationships:

Your mind may have repressed the negative memories, but the pain you felt lingers somewhere deep inside. Any perceived slights or stressful situations may trigger you, and your reactions may seem exaggerated to others. Sometimes, as an adult, you may feel unable to function in a healthy manner. You may feel stifled by the feelings of insecurity and worries that follow you everywhere. Learning to cope and find healthy ways to express yourself is a must in your journey of overcoming old wounds and repressed trauma.

You have sleep related problems or issues:

Sleeping well is a big problem when we have to live with repressed trauma. Very often, we may find ourselves ruminating, feeling sad, and this may impact our sleep cycle. Recurrent memories of the traumatic event may cause painful flashbacks. Some have reported experiencing the same emotions in nightmares. All this negatively impacts the quality of sleep.

Subtle Signs of Repressed Trauma

  • You find it difficult to express your opinion freely
  • Feeling judged by others
  • You feel guilty about expressing your anger even when it’s justified

Physical Symptoms

  • If you feel lethargic most of the times, it’s a sign that you may be repressing emotions and memories.
  • Feeling demotivated to even get out of bed indicates there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
  • Anxiety, panic attacks, feeling nervous, having a racing heartbeat are all indicators of trauma that needs healing.

Talking about your experiences with someone you trust or a trained professional can assist you in learning how to emotionally heal yourself. By reaching out to other people and talking about your feelings, you could be more at ease with your intense emotions. In the end, everyone deserves emancipation from their past trauma. Be gentle with yourself and the process.


The priority, in this blog, is to supply the reader with clear and unambiguous information. However, neither The New Me nor Gagan Dhawan makes promises, or guarantees regarding the completeness of the information found here. The content is not a replacement for advice of a licensed professional. The opinions expressed in this blog are solely that of the writer’s.

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