5 Types Of Unhealed Trauma

Hi, Psych2Go-ers!  What brought you here today?  Maybe you’ve seen the recent Psych2Go video on 9 Signs of Unhealed Trauma, or checked out the article on unhealed relationship trauma.  Perhaps you are concerned about how current world events are going to affect us all in the long term.  Maybe you or someone you know has had at least one type of trauma happen in their lives.

No matter why you started reading about trauma, it’s important to know a little more about what trauma is, the levels of trauma, some of the more common types of trauma, and how unhealed trauma can affect your life.  This is the first step to you or your loved one breaking free of the mental, physical, emotional, and even financial effects of trauma.

Before we get into types of trauma and how they can affect parts of your life, please know this article might be triggering.  However, the intent of this article is not to hurt, trigger, or offend anyone.  This article was posted with the hopes that it might help you understand yourself and your loved ones better, help you learn more about trauma, and start to think about what you need to do to take care of yourself and your mental health.

With that being said, here are 5 Types Of Unhealed Trauma:


1) Small ‘t’ Trauma

These are the traumatic events where your physical safety is not being threatened, but you experience the signs and symptoms of trauma anyway. Don’t let their less severe nature fool you. Small ‘t’ traumas can disrupt your life, especially if several of them go unprocessed. Examples of small ‘t’ traumas include:

  • Getting fired from a job.
  • Continuous financial stress or poverty.
  • Divorce.
  • Ongoing work stress.
  • Legal battles and/or incarceration (yours or a loved one’s).

2) Big ‘T’ Trauma

The big ‘T’ traumatic events are pretty much what everyone pictures when they think of trauma.  These events are catastrophic and leave you feeling severely distressed, powerless, and helpless.  Big ‘T’ traumas can be one-time events or ongoing.  Examples of these more severe traumas include:

  • Sexual assault.
  • Living through acts of terrorism.
  • Natural disasters.
  • Physical, emotional, or sexual abuse.
  • Being assaulted.
  • Bullying.
  • War.
  • Neglect or deprivation.

3) Acute Trauma

This trauma refers to trauma from a single incident, such as:

  • Being robbed at gunpoint.
  • Witnessing an act of violence.
  • Being assaulted.
  • Community violence, such as a school shooting or riot.
  • An accident, such as a house fire or car accident.
  • A natural disaster, such as a hurricane or wildfires.

4) Chronic Trauma 

This trauma covers repeated and prolonged traumatic events, such as domestic violence. This includes:

  • Sexual, physical, emotional, verbal, or financial abuse.
  • Medical trauma due to injury, illness, or medical procedures.
  • Neglect, deprivation, or poverty.
  • Grief from a devastating loss.
  • Bullying.
  • Constant chaos from a loved one’s mental illness or addiction.

5) Complex Trauma

This trauma means the survivor was exposed to multiple traumatic events in their lifetime. This can mean they grew up in a chaotic or abusive home as a child, then grew up to survive other types of trauma, usually some form of abuse.


Millions of people struggle with the symptoms of unhealed trauma.  This touches the lives of those who love them in a myriad of ways.  Whether you are the survivor of a big ‘T’ event or you know someone who lives with the symptoms, unhealed trauma affects us all.  The effects can be devastating, but they do not have to completely ruin someone’s life.  You are more than what has happened to you.  With the proper treatment, support, and lifestyle changes, a person living with unhealed trauma can lead a fulfilling life.

If you recognize yourself or someone you love in this post, feel encouraged to speak with a trained professional and take care of yourself.  We want you to be safe and understand your mental health matters.  Please don’t be afraid to reach out to an online community, other Psych2go-ers, a friend, or a qualified professional if it becomes too much.  Remember, help is out there!


Written by Spicevicious (Amy)





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