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Types of Trauma: Self-Abuse

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing)

Trauma victims who have been left with ongoing anxiety typically will be acting out some form of self-abuse or abuse towards others. Whereas the harmful behavior may be an attempt to reduce the amount of anxiety that the trauma is causing in the nervous system, it generally will cause even more harm in the long run.

If you are a victim of trauma, it is often meaningful to ask "how" you are doing harm, rather than "if"... and to use the heightened awareness to seek positive change by resolving the core anxieties that fuel the behavior, using an effective treatment like EMDR.

Many of these self-abuse symptoms can be true danger signs for (past or present) victimization. Please note that it is not the behavior itself but rather the excessive, compulsive nature of the behavior that increases the risk to one's health and well-being. See your therapist for a safety evaluation.

What Is Self-Abuse? What Is Sexual Abuse?

Poor Interpersonal Skills

Clinging, Needy, Desperate Behaviors
Escalating Emotions
Inappropriate Helplessness
Ignoring One’s Own Needs
Negative Self-Talk
Poor Boundaries
Poor Self-Care
Stuffing Emotions


Risk Behaviors

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs or Alcohol
Promiscuity (Male or Female)
Risk Activities
Unprotected Sex
Untreated Symptoms of Illness

Other Risk Behaviors

Excessive or Compulsive: Alcohol Use
Excessive or Compulsive: Caffeine Use
Excessive or Compulsive: Computer Surfing
Excessive or Compulsive: Drug Use
Excessive or Compulsive: Eating
Excessive or Compulsive: Fantasizing
Excessive or Compulsive: Gambling
Excessive or Compulsive: Pornography
Excessive or Compulsive: Isolating
Excessive or Compulsive: Sex
Excessive or Compulsive: Saving (While Denying Needs)
Excessive or Compulsive: Spending
Excessive or Compulsive: Sports Viewing or Participation
Excessive or Compulsive: TV Viewing

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