The 7 Kinds Of Hidden Trauma That Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Kinds Of Hidden Trauma That Shouldn't Be Ignored

Why go looking for hidden trauma in your life? Is it to create a problem? Or place blame on others for your lack of success or bad choices? No.

The reason to look for hidden trauma in your life, specifically what kind, is for the purpose of healing. You can’t heal what you can’t see.

Hidden trauma is invisible but its side-effects aren’t. These are the things that help you to identify the hidden trauma so you address it and resolve it.

No matter the kind of hidden trauma you have, there’s hope and healing.


Google defines trauma as a deeply distressing or disturbing experience.

An “experience”.

I disagree.

This way of defining trauma has not only caused a lot of misunderstanding, it’s one of the sources of hidden trauma. We’ll get into that kind of trauma below.

Integrated Listening defines trauma better.

Trauma is the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, diminishes their sense of self and their ability to feel the full range of emotions and experiences. (emphasis mine)

“response”. >>>>> Yes.

Trauma isn’t an event or an experience.

Two people can go through the exact same experience and come away with completely different responses.

Trauma is the damage that takes place within the soul of a person as a result of an experience or event. Due to this, many traumas remain hidden and the damage not only effects the mind, will, and emotions, but leaks into the *body.

Trauma is personal and hidden trauma is a big problem.

“Trauma is personal. It does not disappear if it is not validated. When it is ignored or invalidated the silent screams continue internally heard only by the one held captive. When someone enters the pain and hears the screams healing can begin.”  ― Danielle BernockEmerging with Wings: A True Story of Lies, Pain, and the Love That Heals

Read Are You Suffering from PAST LIFE Traumatic Stress Disorder?


Hidden trauma is something that can hide in us and suddenly appear just long enough to mess us up. That “sudden appearance’ is called the side-effects. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman, hidden trauma is no respecter of persons.

Before I get into the side-effects here are 7 kinds of hidden trauma with a brief description.

1. Dismissed Trauma

This kind of trauma is hidden because the traumatized person can’t or won’t validate their trauma as trauma.

They dismiss it due to:

  • Fear of repercussions
  • Comparison with others causing them to see it as not that bad
  • Thinking it makes them weak
  • Perceiving it as normal because that’s all they’ve known
  • Being told to suck it up and dismiss it
  • Being invalidated by someone they care about

Read Can We Inherit Trauma Genetically?

2. Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN)

This kind of trauma is hidden because it’s something that didn’t happen. A child is emotionally neglected when a parent fails to adequately respond to their child’s needs.

Dr. Jonice Webb uses the term “enough”. This is because each child has different needs and a parent might respond, but simply not enough for that child.

With CEN an adult can’t see what didn’t happen to them as a child. Abuse is something that happened. CEN is the lack of something needed, that leaves behind a hole that has no memory. It’s not possible to validate something you don’t know exists.


3. Undetected PTSD

Undetected equals have hidden. PTSD has been misunderstood, misrepresented, and stigmatized. Because of this many avoid having anything to do with the label. Women suffer more from undetected and undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder than men.

According to Dr. Cira, a lot of women simply don’t know they are experiencing the effects of PTSD. “Women often internalize, meaning that instead of searching for answers in their world or circumstances, they assume something is wrong with them,” Dr. Cira explains. “So they might not attribute their own thoughts, feelings, emotions or behaviors to something that happened to them because they just figure this is who they are.” (source)

4. Authoritarian Wound

Although this has been a thing for a while, I just recently learned of the term. Another term for it can be “a family bully.”

According to Eric Maisel, millions of men have been wounded in this way, with lifelong negative consequences. (source)

5. Uninvolved Parenting

This kind of hidden trauma is much like CEN but a little different, even though many articles combine them. With CEN a parent might respond and be involved, but not enough for the child’s emotional needs.

abandonment truma

In uninvolved, the parent fails to respond leaving the child to themselves, not only emotionally but in other ways also.

Read 4 Types Of Parenting Styles In Psychology: What Kind Of A Parent Are You?

6. Unhealed Core Wound

This kind of hidden trauma can be difficult to deal with. (I know from personal experience**.)

A person can address numerous things in their life and still find side-effects of trauma present. This is due to a root wound that still remains. The unhealed core wound must be identified to be healed.

7. Generational

This kind of hidden trauma is passed down from generation to generation in two different ways: transgenerational trauma, and intergenerational trauma. They are a cycle of traumatic responses stemming from an original trauma.

These seven hidden traumas can be healed if a person will do the inner work.

Finding your hidden trauma so you can address it will lead you freedom.

Read The Benefits Of Yoga For Trauma Treatment and Mind-Body Wellness


Below are just some of the plethora of side-effects trauma can cause in a person. This is by no means an exhaustive list.

  • Eating disorders
  • Repetitive compulsion
  • Drawn to people who are bad for you
  • Intrusive thoughts
  • Borderline Personality Disorder
  • Chronic despair
  • Chronic anxiety
  • Addictive tendencies
  • Relationship problems
trauma affects memory

As I said above, hidden trauma is something that can hide in us and suddenly appear just long enough to mess us up. If you have such a thing, even if it’s not on this list, hidden trauma may be the cause.

Finding your hidden trauma so you can address it will lead you freedom.

Books referenced above:

Written by: Danielle Bernock
Originally appeared on:
Republished with permission.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you heal your inner trauma?

Talking to someone is one of the best ways to connect with your inner child. Writing about trauma may be therapeutic for those of us who suffer from hidden wounds.

How do you find hidden trauma?

If you think you have unacknowledged trauma, take a moment to reflect on how you’re feeling. Accept and recognize whatever intense feeling is there at the time.

How do you heal from past sexual trauma?

Addressing those who have experienced sexual assault or the trauma caused by it is a specialization of therapists and counselors.

How do you love someone with a relationship trauma?

Trauma survivors are difficult to love. They push people away. Love them. Be a friend and a good listener to them.

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