Five Signs of Untreated Childhood Trauma

childhood trauma Nov 28, 2022

By Katie Honeywell, LPCMH, NCC

Do you have personality traits that you or others in your life feel strongly about? Most of us do. Chances are these traits have been with you for a long time. They can be signs of untreated trauma. One way I can spot childhood trauma in adults is where these traits fall in our nervous system and how it shows up day to day.

Have you heard of polyvagal theory developed by Stephen Porges (2011)? The pieces from polyvagal theory important for learning here are the three areas of the nervous system. The sympathetic system is one, and it activates hyperarousal states of fight or flight behaviors. The dorsal vagal system shuts the body down into a hypoarousal freeze response as it realizes there are very few options for survival and attempts to conserve energy. Polyvagal theory adds our social engagement system, which is a mixture of activation and calming. The social engagement system is where people feel safe, connected, and ready to experience the world....

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