Trauma is something almost everyone experiences at some point in their lives. Some people go through traumatic experiences as children, while others make it all the way to adulthood before experiencing trauma. Regardless of when we went through our individual traumas, we all have something in common: we can become a prisoner to what happened if we don’t work through it. In order to have the greatest happiness we can in life, we need to overcome our pasts. Here are five signs that you have past trauma you need to work through.

1. Addictive Behavior

Addiction is one of the biggest warning signs past trauma is manifesting in your everyday life. If you have addictions to substances or destructive behaviors, you'll need to find the root cause and work through it. For instance, many people become addicted to things due to childhood turmoil. The best thing you can do is seek treatment from a professional who understands both the physical and psychological factors involved in addictive behaviors.

2. Depression

Depression can stem from an unresolved traumatic experience. Modern medicine doesn’t treat it like that though. It treats depression as simply a flaw in the brain that someone “catches” similar to a virus. Many doctors prescribe antidepressants without bothering to fix the crux of the problem. Antidepressants are fine to use, so long as it’s combined with some kind of psychiatric help. Otherwise, it’s just a bandaid fix.

3. Past Mistakes Affecting the Present

Sometimes, your past can affect your present in more ways than just your mental and emotional health. It can also affect your personal or professional life. This can be depressing at times, especially if you don’t feel like you can control the present and the direction your life is taking. However, you can. Depending on the brand of mistake you made, there are ways to keep it from affecting now. For example, if you committed a crime in your youth, you can talk to a lawyer about record expungement, which blocks infractions from showing up on background checks by employers.

4. Money Issues

A lot of times, money issues manifest due to psychological issues. Many times, people who have self-esteem issues or self-hate are less likely to secure their finances and take care of themselves. They’ll often end up with financial issues. If you’re caught up with money problems, there’s probably an underlying reason for it, and if you resolve it, you will probably have more motivation to succeed.

5. Declining Health

The mind and the body are one, though many don’t realize how interconnected they are. If your physical health is deteriorating, it could be due to mental or emotional trauma. People with body image issues stemming from self-esteem and trauma usually have difficulty staying on top of their nutrition and fitness. However, it’s not always as blatant as physical neglect. It can be more subtle, like pushing yourself too hard and physical exertion taking a toll on your health.

By watching for these signs, you can be on top of your physical, emotional and mental health. Sometimes you know you have trauma, but other times, past trauma can be repressed and you might not even realize you have anything to work through. Use the above knowledge to get your life in order and sort out your past.

Author's Bio: 

Claire Stewart is a freelance writer and blogger focused on writing about health, travel, and business among other topics. She graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelors in Women’s Studies and currently lives in Seattle with her goldfish, Merlin.