By We Level Up FL Treatment Center | Editor Yamilla Francese | Clinically Reviewed By Lauren Barry, LMFT, MCAP, QS, Director of Quality Assurance | Editorial Policy | Research Policy | Last Updated: January 23, 2023
Head trauma symptoms
Head trauma refers to any damage to the scalp, skull, or brain caused by injury. Head injury may be classified in various different ways according to the type of injury, which structures in the head are damaged, or how severe the trauma is.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a sudden injury that causes damage to the brain. It may happen when there is a blow, bump, or jolt to the head. This is a closed head injury. A TBI can also happen when an object penetrates the skull. This is a penetrating injury.
Symptoms of a TBI can be mild, moderate, or severe. Concussions are a type of mild TBI. The effects of a concussion can sometimes be serious, but most people completely recover in time. More severe TBI can lead to serious physical and psychological symptoms, coma, and even death.
What Are The Head Trauma Symptoms?
The symptoms of TBI depend on the type of injury and how serious the brain damage is.
The symptoms of mild TBI can include:
- A brief loss of consciousness in some cases. However, many people with mild TBI remain conscious after the injury.
- Blurred vision or tired eyes
- Ringing in the ears
- Bad taste in the mouth
- Fatigue or lethargy
- A change in sleep patterns
- Behavioral or mood changes
- The trouble with memory, concentration, attention, or thinking
If you have a moderate or severe TBI, you may have those same symptoms. You may also have other symptoms such as:
- A headache that gets worse or does not go away
- Repeated vomiting or nausea
- Convulsions or seizures
- Not being able to wake up from sleep
- Larger than normal pupil (dark center) of one or both eyes. This is called dilation of the pupil.
- Slurred speech
- Weakness or numbness in the arms and legs
- Loss of coordination
- Increased confusion, restlessness, or agitation
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PTSD Fact Sheet
A condition marked by an inability to recover after being exposed to or seeing a terrible incident.
The syndrome can endure for months or even years, with triggers causing strong emotional and physical reactions as well as recollections of the event.
Dreams or flashbacks, avoiding circumstances that trigger the trauma, increased sensitivity to stimuli, anxiety, or depression are all possible symptoms. In addition to using drugs to alleviate symptoms, treatment options include various forms of psychotherapy.
Behavioral: agitation, irritability, hostility, hypervigilance, self-destructive behavior, or social isolation.
Psychological: flashback, fear, severe anxiety, or mistrust.
Mood: loss of interest or pleasure in activities, guilt, or loneliness.
Sleep: insomnia or nightmares.
Also common: emotional detachment or intrusive thoughts.
- Support group: A place where those pursuing the same disease or objective, such as weight loss or depression, can receive counseling and exchange experiences.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: A conversation treatment that aimed to change the negative attitudes, actions, and feelings connected to psychiatric discomfort.
- Counseling psychology: A subfield of psychology that handles issues with the self that are connected to work, school, family, and social life.
- Anger management: To reduce destructive emotional outbursts, practice mindfulness, coping skills, and trigger avoidance.
- Psychoeducation: Mental health education that also helps individuals feel supported, validated, and empowered
- Family therapy: psychological counseling that improves family communication and conflict resolution.
PTSD can develop following a traumatic event. A traumatic incident is one that you witness or experience that is upsetting and harmful. You may feel that your life or the lives of others are in jeopardy during an incident of this nature.
6 out of every 100 people
About 6 out of every 100 people (or 6% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
Source: National Center for PTSD
About 12 million adults in the U.S. have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through trauma.
Source: National Center for PTSD
8 of every 100 women
About 8 of every 100 women (or 8%) develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared with about 4 of every 100 men (or 4%).
Source: National Center for PTSD
Symptoms of Childhood Trauma in Adults
There are several ways symptoms can show for adults living with childhood trauma. Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut recipe to follow when diagnosing an adult with immediate signs of trauma. However, trauma victims may have some common physical, emotional, and behavioral symptoms. Listed below are just a few common warning signs of someone living with trauma.
- Emotional outbursts
- Panic Attacks
- Poor Concentration
- Night Terrors
- Lack of Energy
- Physical Illness
- Sleep Disturbances
- Eating Disorders
- Numbness or Callousness
- General disorientation
Keep in mind that these are just a few common symptoms of trauma victims, and often many people can exhibit a number of these symptoms or may even show none at all. If you or someone you know are showing signs of trauma, it is crucial to seek immediate professional help. There are trauma and PTSD treatment centers that can help you.
What Is A Fawn Response? Fawn Trauma Response
What Is Fawn Response? Fawning Trauma Response (Fawning Response)
Trauma Response Fawn: When you continually put other people’s wants above your own in an effort to avoid disagreement, criticism, or rejection, you are fawning. Fawning is also known as the “please and placate” response and is linked to codependency and people-pleasing.
Fawn types blend into other people’s desires, needs, and expectations in order to find safety. They behave as if they intuitively believe that giving up all of their wants, rights, preferences, and boundaries is a condition of entering any relationship, Walker argues.
What is fawning response? According to research published in 2020, trauma can affect personality traits including agreeableness, emotionality, and neuroticism, all of which have an impact on how we interact with others and our romantic relationships.
The Fawn Response In Adulthood: Fawn Response To Trauma
Fawn response trauma: The fawn response manifests as difficulty saying “no,” fear of speaking your truth, and denial of your own needs. Have you ever put others’ wants and feelings before your own out of excessive care for them? This could be the fawning trauma reaction.
Other trauma reactions like a fight, flight, and freeze are probably ones you’ve heard of (trauma responses fight flight freeze fawn). These can happen when a circumstance feels risky either physically or emotionally. Although less well recognized, the fawn response to trauma may also be widespread.
In his book “Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving,” marital and family therapist Pete Walker, MA, who holds a license in psychotherapy, defined the fawn response as “a response to a threat by becoming more desirable to the threat.”
What Causes Fawn Trauma Response? The Fawn Response In Adults
Fawn trauma response in adults: In the aforementioned study, which was written up in the Journal of Personality and Individual Differences, it was also discovered that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and stress management are related.
A basic degree of stress management may lead you to modify your personality to please your loved one, frequently at the price of yourself, in the setting of a potentially problematic bond with a spouse or parent.
The cause of the fawn response is frequent trauma. According to research from 1999, parentification, or having to assume some parental roles, can cause shame-based environments and the development of codependency in children.
What Is The Fawn Response? These Are Some Fawn Response Examples (Fawn Trauma Response Examples)
- Pursuing a certain career primarily to please your parents
- Not speaking up about your restaurant preferences when choosing where to go for dinner
- Missing work so that you can look after your partner’s needs
- Giving compliments to an abuser to appease them, though this is at your own expense
What Is Fawn Trauma Response? It is important to distinguish the fawn response from acts of kindness, compassion, or selflessness. While fawning-like behavior is linked to trauma, it is also complicated and can be influenced by a variety of things, such as gender, sexuality, culture, and race.
Fawn Response To Narcissistic Abuse
A fawn response, also known as submit, is characteristic in trauma-bonded relationships with narcissists and abusers and is common among codependents. When we fawn, we try to placate and pacify someone in order to prevent conflict. We are unable to control our feelings on the inside. We desperately look for someone else to make them normal.
Codependency Trauma And The Fawn Response
Fawning can occasionally be linked to codependency. Both of these are emotional reactions brought on by complicated PTSD. Your brain anticipates being abandoned and placed in a helpless position in both fawning and codependency. The brain’s reaction is to then cling to someone so they believe they need you.
Fawn Stress Response: Your body reacts to stress by going out of its way to appease others in order to prevent conflict. The fight, flight, freeze, and fawn response’s objectives are to lessen, stop, or dodge threats and to help the body return to a peaceful, relaxed condition.
What Types of Trauma Cause The Fawn Response? Fawn Response ADHD
Instead of single-event trauma, such an accident, the fawn reaction is more frequently linked to childhood trauma and complex trauma, which are trauma types that result from repeated incidents like abuse or child neglect.
Fawning is especially associated with relational trauma, which is defined as trauma that took place within a relationship, such as your relationship with a parent or caregiver.
What Are Signs of the Fawn Response? Fawn Fear Response
- Stifling your own needs
- Finding authentic self-expression challenging
- Flying under the radar
- Having trouble saying “no”
- Holding back opinions or preferences that might seem controversial
- Experiencing chronic pain or illness
- Having depression, which can be linked to trauma
- The trouble with personal boundaries
- Assuming responsibility for the emotional reactions and responses of others
- Fixing or rescuing people from their problems
- Attempting to control other’s choices to maintain a sense of emotional safety
- Denying your own discomfort, complaints, pain, needs, and wants
- Changing your preferences to align with others
How To Heal The Fawn Response
It is possible to recover from traumatic reactions like fawning. You can achieve freedom from people-pleasing and codependent habits by becoming conscious of your patterns and educating yourself about your conduct. Here are a few ideas:
- Become aware of your actions
- Validate your experiences and feelings
- Build healthy relationships
- Value yourself
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What is sexual trauma?
The term “sexual assault” refers to a range of behaviors that involve unwanted, coercive, or even forceful sexual contact or conduct. Sexual assault can include rape, attempted rape, and any form of unwanted sexual touching.
Sexual assault occurs with alarming frequency in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) , one in three women and one in four men will experience sexual violence that includes unwanted physical contact at some point in their lives. Additionally, survivors of childhood sexual assault have an increased likelihood of being assaulted again in adulthood.
A person who has been sexually assaulted will generally experience high levels of distress immediately afterward. The trauma of being assaulted can leave you feeling scared, angry, guilty, anxious, and sad. The stigma associated with sexual assault may cause some to feel embarrassed or ashamed.
Sexual trauma symptoms
Survivors of sexual assault can experience severe and chronic symptoms of trauma, such as:
- Body aches
Their experience might include:
- Avoidance, such as avoiding thoughts or feelings of the traumatic event (emotional avoidance); staying away from reminders of the trauma such as people, places, objects, or situations; and resisting conversations about what happened
- Intrusive symptoms, such as repeated, unwanted memories of the event, recurrent nightmares, and flashbacks
- Increased arousal, such as trouble falling or staying asleep, being easily startled or fearful, trouble concentrating, and hypervigilance of surroundings and potential threats to safety
- Changes in thoughts and feelings, such as ongoing, distorted beliefs about yourself or others; recurrent feelings of fear, horror, anger, guilt, shame, or hopelessness; loss of interest in once enjoyable activities; feeling detached from others or struggling to maintain close relationships; and difficulty experiencing positive feelings like joy or satisfaction
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Betrayal Trauma Symptoms
Betrayal trauma was first introduced as a concept by psychologist Jennifer Freyd in 1991. She described it as a specific trauma in key social relationships where the betrayed person needs to maintain a relationship with the betrayer for support or protection.
Betrayal trauma theory suggests harm within attachment relationships, like relationships between a parent and child or between romantic partners, can cause lasting trauma.
People often respond to betrayal by pulling away from the person who betrayed them. But when you depend on someone to meet certain needs, this response might not be feasible.
Similarly, someone who lacks financial or social resources outside of their relationship may fear that acknowledging the betrayal and leaving the relationship could put their safety at risk.
This fear of the potential consequences of acknowledging the betrayal might prompt the betrayed person to bury the trauma. As a result, they may not fully process the betrayal or remember it correctly, especially if it happens in childhood.
The trauma of betrayal can affect physical and mental health, but the specific effects can vary depending on the type of trauma. Keep in mind that not everyone experiences trauma in the same way, either.
The effects of betrayal can show up shortly after the trauma and persist into adulthood.
Key betrayal trauma symptoms include:
Complex Trauma Symptoms
Complex trauma may be diagnosed in individuals who have repeatedly experienced traumatic events, such as violence, neglect, or abuse.
Complex trauma symptoms may include:
- Feelings of shame or guilt
- Difficulty controlling your emotions
- Periods of losing attention and concentration (dissociation)
- Physical symptoms, such as headaches, dizziness, chest pains, and stomach aches
- Cutting yourself off from friends and family
- Relationship difficulties
- Destructive or risky behavior, such as self-harm, alcohol misuse, or drug abuse
- Suicidal thoughts
What is Emotional and Psychological Trauma?
Emotional and psychological trauma results from extraordinarily stressful events that shatter your sense of security, making you feel helpless in a dangerous world. Psychological trauma can leave you struggling with upsetting emotions, memories, and anxiety that won’t go away. It can also leave you feeling numb, disconnected, and unable to trust other people.
Traumatic experiences often involve a threat to life or safety, but any situation that leaves you feeling overwhelmed and isolated can result in trauma, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It’s not the objective circumstances that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience of the event. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized.
Symptoms of Psychological Trauma
We all react to trauma in different ways, experiencing a wide range of physical and emotional reactions. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to think, feel, or respond, so don’t judge your own reactions or those of other people. Your responses are normal reactions to abnormal events.
Emotional & psychological symptoms:
- Shock, denial, or disbelief
- Confusion, difficulty concentrating
- Anger, irritability, mood swings
- Anxiety and fear
- Guilt, shame, self-blame
- Withdrawing from others
- Feeling sad or hopeless
- Feeling disconnected or numb
- Insomnia or nightmares
- Being startled easily
- Difficulty concentrating
- Racing heartbeat
- Edginess and agitation
- Aches and pains
- Muscle tension
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People of all ages can have post-traumatic stress disorder. However, some factors may make you more likely to develop PTSD after a traumatic event, such as:
- Experiencing intense or long-lasting trauma
- Having experienced other trauma earlier in life, such as childhood abuse
- Having a job that increases your risk of being exposed to traumatic events, such as military personnel and first responders
- Having other mental health problems, such as anxiety or depression
- Having problems with substance misuse, such as excess drinking or drug use
- Lacking a good support system of family and friends
- Having blood relatives with mental health problems, including anxiety or depression
Kinds of traumatic events
The most common events leading to the development of PTSD include:
- Combat exposure
- Childhood physical abuse
- Sexual violence
- Physical assault
- Being threatened with a weapon
- An accident
Many other traumatic events also can lead to PTSD, such as fire, natural disaster, mugging, robbery, plane crash, torture, kidnapping, life-threatening medical diagnosis, terrorist attack, and other extreme or life-threatening events.
Cognitions and Trauma
The following examples reflect some of the types of cognitive or thought-process changes in response to traumatic stress.
Cognitive errors: Misinterpreting a current situation as dangerous because it resembles, even remotely, a previous trauma (e.g., a client overreacting to an overturned canoe in 8 inches of water, as if she and her paddle companion would drown, due to her previous experience of nearly drowning in a rip current five years earlier) .
Excessive or inappropriate guilt: Attempting to make sense cognitively and gain control over a traumatic experience by assuming responsibility or possessing survivor’s guilt, because others who experienced the same trauma did not survive.
Idealization: Demonstrating inaccurate rationalizations, idealizations, or justifications of the perpetrator’s behavior, particularly if the perpetrator is or was a caregiver. Other similar reactions mirror idealization; traumatic bonding is an emotional attachment that develops (in part to secure survival) between perpetrators who engage in interpersonal trauma and their victims, and Stockholm syndrome involves compassion and loyalty toward hostage-takers.
Trauma-induced hallucinations or delusions: Experiencing hallucinations and delusions that, although they are biological in origin, contain cognitions that are congruent with trauma content (e.g., a woman believes that a person stepping onto her bus is her father, who had sexually abused her repeatedly as a child because he wore shoes similar to those her father once wore).
Intrusive thoughts and memories: Experiencing, without warning or desire, thoughts and memories associated with the trauma. These intrusive thoughts and memories can easily trigger strong emotional and behavioral reactions as if the trauma was recurring in the present.
For instance, individuals who inadvertently are retraumatized due to program or clinical practices may have a surge of intrusive thoughts of past trauma, thus making it difficult to discern what is happening now versus what happened then.
Whenever counseling focuses on trauma, the client will likely experience intrusive thoughts and memories. Therefore, it is essential to develop coping strategies before, as much as possible, and during the delivery of trauma-informed and trauma-specific treatment.
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Advice to Counselors: Understanding the Nature of Combat Stress
Combat stress, also known as battle fatigue, is a common response to the mental and emotional strain that can result from dangerous and traumatic experiences. It is a natural reaction to the wear and tear of the body and mind after extended and demanding operations .
Recognizing combat stress and stress symptoms
It can be difficult to detect combat stress because the symptoms include a range of physical, behavioral, and emotional signs. However, there are some key symptoms, which include:
- Irritability and anger outbursts
- Excessive fear and worry
- Headaches and fatigue
- Depression and apathy
- Loss of appetite
- Problems sleeping
- Changes in behavior or personality
Acute stress disorder
Acute stress disorder is an intense, unpleasant, and dysfunctional reaction beginning shortly after an overwhelming traumatic event and lasting less than a month. If symptoms persist for longer than a month, people are diagnosed as having posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
People with acute stress disorder have been exposed to a terrifying event. They may experience it directly or indirectly. For example, direct exposure may involve experiencing a severe injury, violence, or death threat. Indirect exposure may involve witnessing events happening to others or learning of events that occurred to close family members or friends. People mentally re-experience the traumatic event, avoid things that remind them of it, and have increased anxiety.
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that may occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, or rape or who have been threatened with death, sexual violence or serious injury .
People with PTSD have intense, disturbing thoughts and feelings related to their experience that last long after the traumatic event has ended. They may relive the event through flashbacks or nightmares; they may feel sadness, fear, or anger; and they may feel detached or estranged from other people. People with PTSD may avoid situations or people that remind them of the traumatic event, and they may have strong negative reactions to something as ordinary as a loud noise or an accidental touch.
If you or your loved one suffer from trauma symptoms, professional anxiety disorder treatment can become necessary. To learn more, contact us today at the We Level Up FL Treatment Facility, we provide the utmost care with doctors and medical staff available 24/7 for life-changing and lasting recovery. We can help provide an enhanced opportunity to return to a fulfilling and productive life.
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 CDC – https://www.cdc.gov/injury/features/sexual-violence/index.html
 NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK207191/
 US Department of Deffence – https://www.militaryonesource.mil/health-wellness/wounded-warriors/ptsd-and-traumatic-brain-injury/understanding-and-dealing-with-combat-stress-and-ptsd/
 NCBI – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5381967/
 NIMH – https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/social-anxiety-disorder-more-than-just-shyness
 ‘Anxiety Disorders’ – National Institute Of Mental Health (Nimh.nih.gov)