I see things. Distorted shot of a woman looking anxious

Trauma, PTSI, and negative emotions

There are several negative emotions associated with stress, trauma, and PTSI, including:

  • fear and/or anxiety
  • sadness and/or depression
  • irritability and/or anger
  • guilt and/or shame
  • hopelessness

These emotions can feel overwhelming, especially after experiencing significant stress or trauma, and lead to several unhelpful changes in thinking and feeling. These changes can impact the individual, their environment, and others around them. 

For example, guilt or shame may lead to:

  • Negative self-talk or doubt (e.g., “I am stupid,” or “I cannot do anything right”) 
  • Distorted blame (e.g., when we blame ourselves for things we cannot control)

Fear or anger may lead to:

  • Difficulty trusting others (e.g., colleagues, authority figures, loved ones)
  • Detachment or disinterest in others (e.g., difficulty relating to others)
  • Difficulty managing negative emotions (e.g., fear, horror, guilt, shame, and anger)

Sadness or hopelessness may lead to:

  • Exaggerated negative expectations of ourselves or the world (e.g., “I will never be happy again,” or “The world is unsafe”)
  • Decreased participation in activities (e.g., low energy levels or motivation or we do not experience the same pleasure from doing these activities anymore) 
  • Difficulty experiencing positive emotions (e.g., difficulty feeling love and happiness, which leads to guilt and shame)