signs of repressed childhood trauma in adults signs of repressed childhood trauma in adults

8 Signs of Repressed Childhood Trauma in Adults

As an adult, do you know the signs of repressed childhood trauma in adults? Many times, using our busy schedule as an excuse, we adults consider trauma a trivial issue. Here, we talk about several signs of repressed childhood trauma in adults. 

Knowing your issues is the first step toward healing and recovery. To do so, you need to be aware of these signs of repressed childhood trauma in adults.

See how many signs given here match with yours.

Know the 8 Signs of Repressed Childhood Trauma in Adults

Know these 8 signs of childhood trauma which is found in adults and help yourself in dealing with it better:

1. You Have Difficulty Maintaining Relationships

You may seem jolly in your office and social settings but personal relationships need cooperation, compassion, and emotional connection, which you might lack. You may find it difficult since you are emotionally exhausted while repressing memories.

The effects of childhood trauma can also cause trust issues. This creates problems in maintaining healthy relationships.

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Photo by Obie Fernandez on Unsplash

Abuse and neglect during childhood have frozen your heart. You are still under post-traumatic stress even when the abuse happened long ago.

It’s best to opt for therapy sessions. This will help you in addressing your past while developing healthy relationships. Besides, it’s not okay to bleed on people who didn’t cut you open.

2. You Still Have Triggers

This is one of the prominent signs of repressed childhood trauma in adults. Whether you are a victim of childhood sexual or physical abuse, people or incidents sometimes remind you of your traumatic experience. You have strong emotional reactions once you feel the triggers.

Certain places can also act as triggers. Maybe they have some similarities with places associated with your traumatic memories. This puts you on high alert. It makes you feel wary.

Staying on high alert sounds fine, especially when crimes are rising. But make sure you don’t end up as paranoid. Talking to your therapists and dear ones can help.

3. Your Emotions Are All Over the Place

This is one of the common signs of repressed childhood trauma in adults. The traumatic event of childhood was left unaddressed; as a result, traumatic memories keep resurfacing.  

As a child, you never knew how to deal with sexual abuse or abuse and neglect. As an adult, such memories cause shame, embarrassment, self-loathing, and negative emotions.

Adults with unaddressed and repressed childhood trauma may have lacked the presence of parents or supportive guardians. This has created immense resentment toward personal relationships.

Emotional regulation seems too challenging for you.

4. You Form Unhealthy Attachments

This may not be commonly found as a sign of repressed childhood trauma in adults. During childhood, you may have lacked parental care and grown up with abuse and neglect.

As an adult, you have become desperate to fulfil your unsatisfied emotional needs. This has developed unhealthy emotional cravings. To satisfy that, you jump into or stay in relationships, even the ones destructive to your mental health.

You don’t see any red flags when dealing with emotionally aloof, selfish, or manipulative people.  In the long run, these attachments suck out your emotional peace. This includes romantic relationships, friendships, and even family-based relationships.

5. You Fear Saying No to People

Repressed childhood trauma in adults
By cottonbro studio/Pexels

Many people have a habit of saying yes to other people. They do this out of cowardice or fall into the category of a people pleaser.

But, adults with repressed childhood trauma fear saying no to people because this is how they have been trained from childhood.

During childhood, you may have been forced to say “yes” even to the unrealistic demands of your parents, relatives, or neighbours. Disobedience to say “yes” would have ended in sexual assault or physical abuse.

No matter how your present life looks, you are attuned to saying “yes” to people.

6. You Have Anger Management Issues

Not everyone can be as cool as a cucumber all the time. But, if you are frequently getting angry without any cause, it can be due to being hurt or angry over a traumatic childhood event. This anger issue may be one of the signs of repressed childhood trauma in adults.

You may also get angry because of the difficulty of repressing memories. Post-traumatic stress can also fuel anger issues. This can have poor mental outcomes. It would be best if you had some self-check mechanism to gain mental well-being.

Besides, talking to mental health experts helps you become more productive and emotionally balanced.

7. Either You Are Too Accommodating, or You Have High Emotional Walls

High emotional boundaries or too accommodating nature can be a trauma response. Adults with childhood experiences of rape, assault, or abuse can develop post-traumatic stress disorder.

Maybe, your childhood trauma has taught you to become accommodating. This has been your defence mechanism to survive the odds.

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Photo by Larm Rmah on Unsplash

Maybe, your childhood mechanism of distancing yourself from people saved you from childhood abuse or sexual assault. The most tried-and-tested method of evading abuse during childhood has accompanied you even after adulthood.

8. You Have a Habit of Blaming Yourself

This is one of the common signs of repressed childhood trauma in adults. They either had suffered traumatic life events or childhood sexual abuse. They were manipulated into believing whatever happened was their fault.

This happens when parents are not supportive or children grow up in adoption centres.

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Photo by Claudia Wolff on Unsplash

Now, as adults, their mindsets have become trained to conduct self-victim-blaming. They fall easy prey to gaslighting and manipulation.

They lack the logic to take their stand. This can have a serious impact on their mental health. This can favour anxiety and depression in the long run.

Key Takeaways

From difficulty controlling anger to engaging in a self-blame game, repressed childhood trauma is not considered trivial. You need to consult mental health experts and seek assistance from your loved ones to stop carrying the skeletons of your post.


1. What are some signs of repressed memories in a grown-up?

Ans. Signs of repressed memories in a grown-up are:

  1. Unregulated emotions
  2. Trauma
  3. Child-like behaviour
  4. Anxiety
  5. Extreme weakness and energyless

2. How do childhood traumas affect the life of an adult?

Ans. Due to childhood trauma, an adult might be feeling antisocial, lacking confidence, having health issues etc. 

3. How can I understand and heal my childhood trauma?

Ans. You can understand and heal your childhood trauma by:

  1. Group Therapy
  2. Meditation
  3. Yoga
  4. Art




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