Trauma Cycle: How to Win Your Battle

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Estimated reading time: 12 minutes

Trauma can be a devastating emotional response to a terrible event. After an incident, shock and denial are common emotions.

Unpredictable emotions, flashbacks, strained relationships, and even physical symptoms like headaches or nausea are examples of longer-term effects.

If you’re struggling with trauma, there are five essential things you need to know: you’re not alone, the trauma cycle has a pattern, and you can win your battle against trauma.

You can get through your sadness and heal with compassion and relentless courage by understanding the trauma cycle and following these tips.

What Is Trauma?

Trauma can be an intense experience to go through. It can result in changes in the way someone thinks, feels, and behaves. For some, it can be a traumatic event that fundamentally alters their life. 

The goal is to learn how to process and cope with traumatic events effectively – so they don’t hurt your life. Here are a few key things you can do to help you survive the trauma and win your battle. 

First, understand that everyone experiences trauma at some point in their lives, literally, every John Doe around you. It’s a natural response to various stressors in life. 

Second, know that trauma affects how we think, feel, and behave. It can create feelings of fear, helplessness, and sadness. 

Third, understand that trauma is an experience, not a disease. It’s not something you have or don’t have – it’s something you experience. 

Finally, know that there is help available – find a therapist, counselor, or support group who can help you process and cope with your trauma.

Trauma Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash.
Photo by Yuris Alhumaydy on Unsplash

Sources of Trauma

Trauma can come from many sources – accidents, natural disasters, emotional trauma, etc. It is vital to be aware of the signs and symptoms that indicate you are experiencing trauma to get help as soon as possible. 

Remember that healing takes time and requires patience and perseverance to overcome a traumatic experience. A key part of overcoming trauma is having a support system of people who listen to you attentively and provide moral support throughout the entire process.

How might trauma affect you?

Trauma can be an unpleasant experience. It can affect anyone at any time and follows a predictable trauma cycle. The trauma cycle is the sequence of emotions that follows after a traumatic experience.

Denial, anger, bargaining, depression/anxiety, and resolution/healing are the five stages that you’ll go through.

It’s important to remember that you’re not alone – some people understand what you’re going through and want to help you heal.

Also, remember to reach out for help, and don’t hesitate to ask for it.

In fact, the trauma cycle is a natural reaction to scary or stressful situations, and it’s important to remember that you’re not alone in your struggle.

Types of Trauma Responses

Understand the trauma cycle, and you’ll be able to survive and win your battle against it. It’s a complex process that involves three basic response types: avoidance, numbing, and arousal.

Each response has its own symptoms and effects, which can be tough to manage. However, knowing which response is dominant, you can take steps to prevent its effects.

By understanding the cycle, you can also identify the warning signs that you’re in the midst of the trauma cycle and take appropriate action.

Do this, and you’ll be on your way to a brighter future free of traumatic experiences.

The 5 stages of the trauma cycle

The trauma cycle is a natural process that happens to everyone in response to a traumatic event – a typical flight response. It is important to remember that it is a cycle and that it will eventually come to an end. The five stages of the trauma cycle are:

Shock & awe

Here, you are in total surprise and confusion. You may feel like you’re having a nightmare or that the situation is unreal. Also, your body is likely to tense, and your heart rate may be racing. Some experience the flop, where you may faint or become mentally unresponsive. It then leads to the acute stress response.


If you can stay in denial for long enough, it can help protect you from becoming overwhelmed by the trauma. However, denial eventually leads to anger and aggression when reality begins to set in. It’s important to remember that you are not responsible for the trauma and that you did not cause it.


This phase is devoted to processing the emotions that trauma brought in. You may feel numb, scared, hopeless, or even the feeling of dissociation. You may also have flashbacks and nightmares. Grieving can last ceaselessly, and it’s important to remember that you are not alone in your experience. Seek support from your first responders and try to show relentless courage.


At this stage, you may feel frustrated, angry, or sad, thus increasing your blood pressure. Your thoughts will focus on why things happened to you and what you could have done differently. You may also be destructive, lash out at others, or develop addictions. There are chances that you may have experienced panic attacks at this stage. It’s important to remember that you are not responsible for the trauma.

Reality sets in (Resolution)

Eventually, reality begins to set in. It may involve dealing with feelings of guilt and anger along with the memories of the trauma. You will likely start to feel overwhelmed by what has happened and may need support from the first responders, best friends, or family members. The cycle will eventually come to an end, but have patience.

It is vital to know these stages and how they affect you. It will help you make the best possible decisions. Amid the psychological trauma cycle, it is crucial to seek support from family, friends, and professionals. By doing so, you can get through the process and emerge on the other side with relentless courage and more capable of dealing with future traumatic events.

How to support yourself during the trauma cycle

Trauma can be a rough experience, no matter how prepared you are. While it may feel all-encompassing, remember that you’re not alone. Some people care about you and want to help you through this difficult time. Make sure to reach out to them when you need it the most. In the meantime, be prepared to face your fears head-on. Know that you’ll make it through in one piece! Next, seek support from family and friends. They will be able to provide you with the emotional support that you need to get through this difficult time. 

Finally, understand that the trauma cycle is a natural process that will happen again. However, using the tips outlined in this post, you can now handle it and get through it healthily.

The Role of Trauma Responses

If you’ve ever experienced a traumatic event, you know that it can be an isolating and emotionally fatal experience. Trauma responses are a normal part of the trauma cycle and can help you cope and survive this experience. However, if mismanaged, they can spiral out of control and lead to depression or Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is where understanding your trauma response comes in. And, you must know what kind of response you’re experiencing and how to manage it effectively. This way, you can stay safe and healthy through the trauma cycle.

The long-term effects of trauma

Trauma can have a profound and lasting impact on your mental and physical health. You must know how to cope with trauma to survive and win the battle. There are many resources available, including therapy and support groups. However, it’s also vital to learn how to manage traumatic events on your own. This can involve techniques like meditation and yoga. In addition, self-care is key – including taking time for yourself to relax and recharge. By doing all these things, you can help manage stressors and symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What Is Trauma Bonding?

Trauma bonding is a term used to describe the phenomenon whereby someone becomes so attached to the trauma experience that it becomes overwhelming. This can lead to PTSD and further decrease mental health. To overcome trauma bonding, people need to find ways of talking about and processing the experience. Doing this allows them eventually heal from their trauma and move on.

Why do we experience traumatic events?

Firstly, these experiences involve a series of cognitive, emotional, and behavioral responses. Survival depends on how well you can manage each stage of the trauma cycle. The trauma trigger sets off the trauma experience; it could be an event or a situation. 

After this occurs, the victim goes through a series of feelings – mental, physical, and emotional. They pose challenges in dealing with what has just happened. These responses might include fear, sadness, stress, and more guilt or shame than usual. 

Moreover, these reactions tend to linger for some time after the event has ended. This often leads to PTSD. In fact, if left untreated, PTSD may lead to longer-lasting problems such as substance abuse or anger issues. 

Also, it affects your mental health. With the proper guidance and care, though, overcoming PTSD is possible!

5 Tips to win your battle against trauma

Trauma can be a tough battle, but with the right strategies and support – you will conquer it. Here are five tips to help you win your struggle against trauma:

1. Talk about it.

Let’s get it straight – it’s crucial you talk about your experience with someone who will listen and understand. Talking can help you process the event and release emotions built over time. Moreover, it will get you out of your flop state of mind and gain valuable insight into why things happened the way they did. But, if you are uncomfortable talking to anyone, consider seeking therapy or counseling to explore your situation.

2. Get support from loved ones.

It can be tough to cope with it on your own. So, ask your loved ones for their support in dealing with the aftermath of the trauma. They may be able to provide comfort and practical help, such as cooking meals or accompanying you during therapy appointments. It can also be helpful to discuss with Survivors’ Support Groups, which are available nationwide and offer more in-depth discussions on related topics.

Below are some Survivors’ support groups that you can contact: Access the full blog post here from Healthline.

  1. After Silence – Best for survivors of rape, sexual abuse, and sexual assault
  2. CPTSD Community Safe Group – Best for CPTSD support
  3. r/PTSD – Best for large peer community
  4. MyPTSD – Best for survivors and their loved ones
  5. 7 Cups – Best if you prefer an app

3. Strengthen your self-esteem.

These experiences can lead to a feeling of worthlessness and decreased self-esteem. It’s vital to take actions in your life that help rebuilds your confidence with relentless courage. Also, this could include reaching out for support from loved ones, participating in activities that make you happy, or practicing relaxation techniques.

4. Connect with nature.

Much of the healing process involves reconnecting with aspects of our natural world lost due to the trauma. Spending time outside, walking in nature, reading about calming topics, breathing deep, or listening to calming music can all be beneficial ways of restoring balance and peace. Try staying away from social media to help you reclaim your mental health.

5. Exercise.

Exercising is effective in alleviating symptoms of PTSD, including anxiety, depression, insomnia, and stress levels. It can also help improve moods overall by releasing endorphins. Also, talk to your doctor or therapist about any specific exercises that may help with your condition.

If you wish to consult online, try the below support line.

#1 Online Therapy Toolbox including video, phone & chat therapy sessions. Instant access, wherever you are. Get 20% off right now!

How to prevent future trauma

Trauma can be a tricky experience to endure, but it’s important to remember that it’s a cycle. By understanding the cycle, you can break it and prevent future trauma from happening. Here are four key steps that will help you do just that:

1. Recognise and avoid triggers.

2. Talk to someone about your experiences – it will help you process and heal from trauma. Avoid getting into a flop state.

3. Take action towards healing – this may include seeking counseling, therapy, or medication if necessary.

4. Remember that trauma is a process, not a destination – it will eventually pass.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I heal from my traumatic experiences?

One can heal trauma through various forms of therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapies, family therapy, and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.

What are some common beliefs about traumatic experiences that may be holding me back from healing?

Traumatic experiences can include physical and emotional events, disasters, car accidents, and military service. Some common beliefs about past experiences that may be holding you back from healing include,

– They are never positive or beneficial, so I am hopeless.

– I’m not strong enough to handle the pain of such events in an effective way.

– I’m responsible for what happened to me, so I should feel guilty or ashamed.

– They make me an awful person.

How can I talk to my partner or loved ones about my traumatic experiences?

The best way to talk about it can be different for each individual. However, some tips include remembering that everyone is likely dealing with their trauma in their way, being willing to listen without judging, and offering support and compassion is key to managing the experience in a healthy way.


If you’re reading this, it’s safe to assume that you’ve experienced trauma at some point in your life. Whether an event like a car accident or abuse, it can have a lasting and negative impact on your mental health and well-being. However, with help, you can start to understand and manage your trauma in a way that will help you thrive. Finally, follow the 5 tips outlined above, and you can begin to rebuild your life and win your battle against it.

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