Reactions to trauma can be delayed. Coming to terms with trauma and overcoming the effects can take time. Trauma could have occurred at any time in your life, but recovery is still possible.
When people have lived through traumatic experiences, they often develop new ways to cope with their thoughts, relationships, and the outside world (e.g. staying home, distancing from loved ones, substance use), which often served to help them survive in the past. But these ways of coping can be tiring and often interfere with daily functioning, sometimes without being obvious.
Shame, stigma, and lack of access to quality care can contribute to people not seeking support when needed. But it's never too late to begin your journey of recovery, no matter how many years it's been.
The effects of past trauma vary but they may look like:
· Nightmares, memories, flashbacks or constantly being reminded of the traumatic event
· Persistent and strong emotions i.e. fear, shame, anger, sadness or emotions may feel numbed
· Difficulty with important roles in your life (e.g. relationship, work, caring for others)
· Thinking more negatively about the world, yourself and others
· Difficulty sleeping or physical symptoms (e.g. headaches)
· Unhelpful coping with drugs or alcohol
· Avoiding experiences that are trauma reminders.