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Ayan Mohamud, Writer • May 15, 2024
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May 15, 2024

The affects of trauma

Trauma is a variety of things that can happen. It affects everyone differently, and there are different types of trauma. Some are considered “worse” than others, but trauma is bad no matter what. Trauma sticks with someone for a long time. Trauma should not be compared, and should certainly not be joked about by the people who have not experienced the trauma. Trauma causes many different mental disorders, like PTSD, CPTSD, Maladaptive Daydreaming, DID, hallucinations, major depression, anxiety, paranoia, and more.


I’m going to start with PTSD, and CPTSD. PTSD is a mental disorder by witnessing, or being a victim to a traumatic event. PTSD stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which occurs after a traumatizing event, and can cause severe anxiety, panic attacks, flashbacks, nightmares, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event, or events that caused it. CPTSD stands for Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and while similar, is not the same at PTSD. CPTSD is caused by long-term traumatic events, and causes stress responses such as the following; Anxiety, Flashbacks, Nightmares, avoiding places or things that are related to the traumatic event.


Maladaptive Daydreaming, which I have posted about in the past, is a Daydreaming disorder used as a coping mechanism. It’s not the most healthy way to cope, but it’s still a coping mechanism. This disorder causes excessive daydreaming, and often acting out what’s happening in the daydreams. “Acting them out” can include muttering the words, or actions said, or done in the daydreams, facial expression changes, or body language. Maladaptive daydreaming can also include pacing, disassociation from reality, and difficulty separating reality, from the daydreams. This can make it hard to focus, and it’s often hard to stop. If it gets bad enough, these daydreams can be involuntary, and one can fall into the daydreams unwillingly. It can often be difficult to stop daydreaming, and it can get rather upsetting.


Maladaptive Daydreaming can be caused by any kind of trauma, weather it be sexual trauma, physical trauma, or mental trauma. Maladaptive Daydreaming can also cause changes in behavior. These daydreams make it seem easier for the one who has said daydreams, to sleep, eat, and even walk. One can quickly become too dependent on these daydreams, and they can get anxious without these daydreams, and often force themselves into their daydreams to ease their anxiety. This can cause them to zone out, lose focus, and if they’re away from their daydreams for too long, it can cause panic.


DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder) is a mental health disorder that can cause multiple, distinct personalities. These alternate identities control one’s behavior at different times, and these personalities are called “Alters”. This disorder can cause Memory Loss, Delusions, or depression, and is often caused by past trauma. The changing of personalities is often called a “Switch.”


Dissociation is the act of zoning out, a feeling of disconnection with yourself, and everything around you. This can cause you to forget traumatic events, personal information, and forgetting about certain time periods. This can make it difficult to learn. Dissociation can make it highly difficult to remember who you truly are, and can become stressful. Dissociation can come along with panic attacks, paranoia, and other disorders. Dissociation can block out sounds, and your vision can sometimes become blurry, making it difficult to focus on certain things.


Panic attacks are particularly hard to deal with. Panic attacks vary. They can be silent, loud, and can cause one to become afraid. Silent panic attacks are common, especially in public settings. Panic attacks can be loud, and these panic attacks include hyperventilation, which can make it difficult to breathe, obsessive scratching, difficulty focusing, and can sometimes cause someone to black out due to loss of air. Silent panic attacks also include leg bouncing, and can cause someone to shut down.


Depression can make it difficult for one to take care of themselves. This can make it hard to eat, take showers, drink water, and even get up in the morning. Depression can make life difficult, and can cause one to become angry, or upset easily. If depression gets bad enough, self-destructive actions can occur, such as punching themselves, cutting themselves, pulling hair, or finding other ways to hurt themselves. Depression is different for everyone, and is never one thing. People find ways to cure their depression differently.


Traumatic events can be wars, sexual abuse, physical abuse, mental abuse, bullying, manipulation, and witnessing traumatic things, like murder, suicide, and more. Trauma sticks with someone either for life, or for a long time. But the knowledge that it happens never truly leaves. Suicide often seems like a way out, and away from the trauma, but it’s not the best in the slightest. It may seem like freedom, but this can hurt those who care about you more than it helps. If you, or someone you know, are struggling mentally, and are having thoughts of suicide, you can contact the numbers below.


911 – Emergency number

988 – National Suicide hotline

866-903-3787 – Utah mental health line

1-800-656-4673 – Sexual abuse hotline (national)

SafeUT- Utah’s mental health hotline, an app you can download


Mental health matters, and should never be ignored. If you need help, or want help, talk to someone. You may think that nobody is going to help you, but if you contact someone, you can get the help you need. I promise, it’s worth trying to get help. And if you need to talk to someone, say something, and find someone you trust. Find a safe space. You are never alone in your struggles.

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