While, as our name suggests, we at The Depression Project primarily focus on depression, as we hear from members of our 3,000,000+ person community every single day, a very common component of depression is trauma.
And, for this reason, in this blog post, we'd like to firstly, share with you a wide variety of quotes from members of The Depression Project's community about:
- What it feels like living with unresolved trauma;
- What it feels like when trauma is triggered;
- How trauma shows up in day-to-day life;
- Why it can be so hard to heal from trauma.
Secondly, in addition to the above quotes, we'd also like to share with you a video interview in which professional counsellor & Depression Project co-founder Mathew Baker sits down with Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and Trauma-Trained Life Coach Sarah Baldwin to talk about the foundations of trauma and how to heal from it. In particular, this interview will cover:
- How trauma is NOT an event - but rather, how an event overwhelms our body's capacity to process what is happening.
- What some of the common - but not-so-obvious - experiences that can lead to trauma are.
- Why the same event(s) can result in trauma for one person but not another.
- How trauma gets "stuck and stored" in your body - and why having trauma does NOT mean that you are "broken" or that there is "something wrong with you".
- How it really is possible to let go of trauma and heal from it.
- Why you may not be able to remember some or all of a traumatic event; why you don't actually need to in order to heal from trauma; and why your memories may start to come back as you begin to heal from trauma.
- How at its core, healing from trauma involves showing your body that what happened is over, and that now, you are safe.
- How to regulate your nervous system in order to feel safe.
If you suffer from trauma, then you're going to find this interview extremely, extremely helpful, and we're really pleased to be able to share it with you.
And, with that being said, as soon as you're ready, let's get started!
Quotes About What It Feels Like Living With Unresolved Trauma
- "Living with trauma is torture. The nightmares and flashbacks torment me and follow me everywhere I go."
- "It puts me always on edge. I'm constantly on the look-out for any sign of danger, because more than anything, I don't want to get hurt again. I can no longer relax and feel safe."
- "It makes me distrust any feeling of happiness or anything 'good' going on. I feel like this is when things are going to go bad ... like it's too good to be true."
- "PTSD has led to me feeling really ashamed of myself, because it shows up in ways I wish it didn't, and sometimes hurts those around me."
- "It's like a black cloud that's always hanging over me. Sometimes it sends a downpour and feels like it's drowning me, but even when it's 'just there in the background', it is still unnerving and burdens me."
- "My PTSD leads to me getting anxious and startled easily - even by small things. The worst is when it happens around others, which makes me feel embarrassed and sets me even more on edge."
- "It can feel really lonely. No-one around me really gets what it's like because they haven't experienced it."
- "Trauma has resulted in me feeling worthless. I feel like I should be over it by now, but it still impacts me so much."
- "I feel really 'stuck', I would say. I see everyone progressing with their life and while I also am in some ways, I also still feel like I'm living in the past. It's so hard to shake and it holds you back."
- "Living with unresolved trauma is f***ing exhausting. It consumes so much of my energy and mental capacity that I'm left feeling broken and empty. I wish it would leave me alone but I don't know how to overcome it."
- "It makes life much more empty in some ways - like the trauma takes up so much emotional space that there isn't as much room left over for other things like hobbies or learning something new, for example."
- "My mind has become a broken record, going over the same things over and over and over again."
- "I feel hopeless. I wonder - will the wound always be there? Will I ever be able to heal it? Will I ever get to stop looking out for any sign of danger and just enjoy life? Will I ever get back to being 'me', again?"
Quotes About What It Feels Like When Your Trauma Is Triggered
- "It's like the traumatic events are happening all over again. I get sucked back to that time and feel like I'm reliving everything. It's horrible."
- "You lose total awareness of your surroundings. Everything fades away, and you get lost in your own private hell."
- "I get completely filled with panic. It's like I've lost all control of my mind and body, and I'm trapped in the place where I least want to be."
- "It's like having your worst nightmare that you always try to block out come to the forefront of your mind and you're forced to re-live it. No matter how much you want to you can't escape it."
- "I feel totally powerless and vulnerable. I have no control anymore."
- "When my PTSD gets triggered, it can send me spiralling long afterwards. I need to build myself back up again, and it can take a long time to return to feeling grounded (or at least as grounded as I can feel battling all of this s***."
- "The fear of having my PTSD symptoms set in is real and something I live with all the time. It can set in out of nowhere, and put me on the look-out for anything that may trigger it. It can make just 'living in the moment' be a major struggle."
- "It's extra difficult when my trauma gets triggered around others. I completely dissociate and I have no words to explain what's happening. Once I come out of it, I feel so embarrassed."
- "I get flashbacks to my abuse, and sometimes these are memories that I haven't had for a long time because I've blocked them out. I can't even tell you how confronting and overwhelming it is to have them resurface again. Trauma comes with so many layers upon layers of pain and suffering."
- "When my trauma is triggered, it makes me feel like I've gone backwards in my healing journey - like I'll think I'm doing well and then BAM! My trauma gets triggered, the symptoms set in, and then I feel like I'm back to square one. The psychologist I'm seeing assures me that I'm still making progress, but every time it happens, I still find it demoralising and exhausting."
- "For me, it's the total loss of safety, or at least any safety I felt like I had in my mind and my surroundings. I think that's what everything that happened to me and the trauma associated with it has robbed me of the most - my sense of safety in this world."
Quotes About How Trauma Shows Up In Day-To-Day Life
- "PTSD has made me much more socially withdrawn. I avoid things because I'm scared my trauma will get triggered, or because I just see myself getting hurt once again. I have far fewer friends and much less human interaction than I used to, and over time, it's becoming less and less."
- "It shows up a lot at night-time for me. During the day I'm busy with this and that, but then at night time, without distractions, that's when thoughts related to my trauma attack. God only knows how many hours and hours of sleep I've lost to them, and then I'm tired and exhausted all throughout the next day."
- "When I'm having a bad mental health day because of my past trauma, I binge eat ... a lot. It picks me up in the moment, but in the last year or year-and-a-half, I've gained almost 20 kilos, hate how I look in the mirror, and my health has deteriorated too - as has my self-confidence."
- "PTSD causes a lot of problems in my relationship. I have my guard up and can be distant from my partner. I know that it hurts them, and it makes me hate myself, but it's a pattern that overtakes me and it's just so hard to break out of. I've had my walls up for so long that it's really hard to bring them down and let somebody in. I've just had my trust broken by people so many times."
- "I'm always checking in on my trauma and worrying whether it's going to surface, which makes me tense and sometimes irritable when I'm around people. Then if I accidentally snap at someone, I feel guilty and bad about myself afterwards, which gradually chips away at my self-esteem. When will it stop? I don't know."
- "Sometimes I've had to cancel on events that are important to go to because I'm so stuck in my own mind and so emotionally drained that I can't bring myself to be around others. It's caused arguments, hurt people's feelings and even ruined one friendship. I f***ing hate this aspect of my PTSD, but I wish people would understand that when I'm in that state, it really does feel IMPOSSIBLE to go out and be around others."
- "I overread into things, as a result of always being vigilantly on the look-out for anything that can hurt me in the same way I was hurt in the past. I often think the worst of people, and it's become incredibly hard to trust others. I firmly believe this is the number one reason why I'm single, and have been for the last three years."
- "When you're so mentally occupied by your trauma, it's hard to concentrate on things like work and other tasks. I constantly feel like I'm underachieving, which is one of the many ways that PTSD undermines how you feel about yourself."
- "I've found it hard - practically impossible, in fact - to plan for the future and work towards the goals I had set for myself. I'm too trapped in the past, and there are many days where I don't have much energy beyond surviving and doing the bear minimum just to get by."
- "I get nightmares which can take a lot of time to recover from - sometimes two or three hours before I can relax enough to fall asleep again. Then I'm absolutely exhausted the next day and really struggle to get out of bed and function."
- "You feel shame over what happened, so you hide it from others, which sabotages any opportunity to form a deep connection with someone, since there's such a big part of you that they know nothing about."
Quotes About Why It Can Be So Hard To Heal From Trauma / Overcome It
- "My trauma has played a big role in shaping me into the person I am today. Obviously I don't like living with trauma, but at the same time, I'm worried that if I heal from it, I won't know who I am anymore."
- "Part of me feels like I am where I'm supposed to be in life. I blame myself for my past and don't feel like I deserve to feel better."
- "I've just lived with it for so long that I wouldn't even know how to let go of it."
- "In a weird way it's like living with trauma is my norm now and I've grown kind of 'comfortable' with it. I don't know what life would look like without it, and that unknown is scary"
- "I've learned to adjust to my life with PTSD. The idea of changing things now feels overwhelming."
- "I'm scared that I won't be able to actually heal from trauma, which will cause me to feel like I'm a failure."
- "I know it's going to be a long road, and I just don't know if I have it in me. It takes most of my energy just to get by."
- "I hate having to arrange my life around my trauma, but I also know my habits and behaviours keep me safe. I'm scared to open myself up and risk getting hurt all over again."
- "I have a lot of anger about the abuse I endured, and I feel like letting go of that would be like accepting that what happened to me was somehow 'OK'. My therapist rejects this notion - they say that acceptance will actually help me to heal. But it's easier said than done. Like a lot of these other responses show, there are so many conflicting emotions to work through."
The Foundations Of Trauma & How To Heal From It
Now that we've shared with you a variety of quotes about what living with unresolved trauma is like, what it feels like when your trauma is triggered, how trauma commonly shows up in day-to-day life and why it can be so hard to difficult to overcome, we'd now like to share an in-depth video with you titled The Foundations Of Trauma & How To Heal From It.
Like we said in the introduction to this blog post, in this interview, professional counsellor & Depression Project co-founder Mathew Baker sits down with Somatic Experiencing Practitioner and Trauma-Trained Life Coach Sarah Baldwin, who will answer many of the most common questions people have about trauma, as well as lay out a roadmap for how to heal from trauma.
This is an interview that we think you're going to find really, really beneficial, so as soon as you're ready, we really encourage you to watch it!
From the bottom of our hearts, we wish you the very, very best along your healing journey ❤️
All our love,
The Depression Project Team.