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8 Different types of Coping with Trauma and their Characteristics

Updated on November 5, 2010

More Interesting Info on Trauma

For an explanation of each coping strategy click here

Trauma Reaction or PTSD

Trauma Reaction Characteristics or PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)

  1. Recurrent and unwanted (intrusive) recollections of experiences
  2. Periods of sleeplessness
  3. Sudden "real" memories (vivie, distracting)
  4. Extremely cautious of surroundings
  5. Startled more easily than others
  6. Distressing dreams about experiences
  7. Flashback episodes- acting or feeling as if the experience is happening in the present
  8. Distress when exposed to reminders of experiences like anniversaries, places or symbols
  9. Outbursts of anger and irritability
  10. Distrustful of others
  11. Physical reactions to reminders of experiences (breaking out in cold sweat, trouble breathing, etc)

Trauma Arousal

Trauma Arousal Characteristics

  1. Engaging in high-risk, thrill seeking behaviors such as skydiving or race car driving
  2. Seeking more risk because the last jolt of excitement was not enough
  3. Difficulty being alone, calm or in low-stress environments
  4. Using drugs like cocaine or amphetamines to speed things up or to heighten high risk activities
  5. Feeling sexual when frightened or when violence occurs
  6. Seeking high risk sex
  7. Loving to gamble on outcomes
  8. Difficulty completing sustained, steady tasks
  9. Seeking danger
  10. Constant searching for all or nothing situations
  11. Associating with people who are dangerous to you

Trauma Blocking

Trauma Blocking Characteristics

  1. Excessive drinking
  2. Use of depressant drugs or "downers"
  3. Using TV, reading or hobbies as a way to numb out
  4. Compulsive eating
  5. Excessive sleeping
  6. Compulsive working, especially at unrewarding jobs
  7. Compulsive exercise
  8. Binging (with any of the above) when things are difficult

Trauma Splitting

Trauma Splitting Characteristics

  1. Fantasizing or "spacing out" during plays and movies that generate intense feelings or are reminders of painful experiences
  2. Experiencing confusion, absentmindedness and forgetfulness because of preoccupation
  3. Living in a fantasy world when things get tough
  4. Feeling separate from body as a reaction to a flashback
  5. Experiencing amnesia about what you are doing or where you are
  6. Being preoccupied with something else than what needs to be attended to
  7. Having a life of "compartments" that others do not know about
  8. Living a double life
  9. Daydreaming, living in an unreal world
  10. Obsessing around addictive behavior
  11. Losing yourself in romantic fantasies
  12. The use of marijuana or psychedelic drugs

Trauma Abstinence

Trauma Abstinence Characteristics

  1. Deny themselves basic needs like groceries, shoes, books, medical care, rent or heat
  2. Avoid any sexual pleasure or feel extreme remorse over any sexual activity
  3. Hoard money and avoid spending money on legitimate needs
  4. Perform "underachieving" jobs compulsively and make consistently extreme or unwarranted sacrifices for work
  5. Spoil success opportunities
  6. Have periods of no interest in eating and attempt diets repeatedly
  7. See comfort, luxuries and play activities as frivolous
  8. Routinely skip vacations because of dedication to an unrewarding task
  9. Avoid normal activities because of fears
  10. Have difficulty with play
  11. Be underemployed
  12. Vomit food or use diuretics to avoid weight gain

Trauma Shame

more ยป HubPages Trauma Shame Characteristics

  1. Feeling ashamed because you believe trauma experiences were your fault
  2. Feeling lonely and estranged from others because of trauma experiences
  3. Engaging in self-mutilating behaviors (cutting yourself, burning yourself, etc)
  4. Engaging in self destructive behaviors
  5. Enduring physical or emotional pain that most people would not accept
  6. Avoiding mistakes "at any cost"
  7. Feeling that you should be punished for the trauma event and being unable to forgive yourself
  8. Feeling bad when something good happens
  9. Having suicidal thoughts, threats and attempts
  10. Possessing no ability to experience normal emotions such as sadness, anger, love and happiness
  11. Having a deep fear of depending on people
  12. Feeling unworthy, unlovable, immoral or sinful because of trauma experiences
  13. Perceiving others always as better, happier and more competent
  14. Having a dim outlook on the future
  15. Avoiding experiences that feel good, have no risk and that are self-nurturing

Trauma Repetition

Trauma Repetition Characteristics

  1. Doing something self-destructive over and over again, usually something that took place in childhood and started with a trauma
  2. Reliving a "Story" from the past
  3. Engaging in abusive relationships repeatedly
  4. Repeating painful experiences, including specific behaviors, scenes, persons and feelings
  5. Doing something to others that you experiences as an early life trauma

How did you cope?

Which one of these coping stratagies did you chose?

See results

Trauma Bond

Trauma Bond Characteristics

  1. When you obsess about people who have hurt you and they are long gone (obsess means to be preoccupied, fantasize about and wonder about eve though you do not want to)
  2. When you continue to seek contact with people whom you know will cause you further pain
  3. When you go "overboard" to help people who have been destructive to you
  4. When you continue being a "team" member when obviously things are becoming destructive
  5. When you continue attempts to get people who are clearly using you to like you
  6. When you again and again trust people who have proved to be unreliable
  7. When you are unable to distance yourself from unhealthy relationships
  8. When you want to be understood by those who clearly do not care
  9. When you choose to stay in conflict with others when it would cost you nothing to walk away
  10. When you persist in trying to convince people that there is a problem and they are not willing to listen
  11. When you are loyal to people who have betrayed you
  12. When you are attracted to untrustworthy people
  13. When you keep damaging secrets about exploitation or abuse
  14. When you continue contact with an abuser who acknowledges no responsibility


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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Does anyone have any resources for overcoming trauma blocking?

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      This is a really in-depth article. I wrote about trauma too. I let go of a trauma bond this way.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      Really enjoyed this hub. Thank you so much.

      Ron from the

    • drmingle profile image


      8 years ago from United States

      Important topic and a great write up.

      Thumbs up from me.


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