How Does Trauma Affect Decision Making?

How does trauma affect decision making? This is a question that many people ask, especially those who have experienced trauma in their lives. While there is no easy answer, understanding how trauma can impact decision making can help you make better choices in your own life.

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Trauma can have a significant impact on an individual’s ability to make decisions. In some cases, trauma can lead to decision-making deficits that persist long after the traumatic event has occurred. In other cases, trauma can cause individuals to make impulsive, risky decisions that they would not otherwise make.

There is a growing body of research on the impact of trauma on decision making. This research has important implications for our understanding of how trauma affects people and for the development of interventions to help people who have experienced trauma.

What is trauma?

Trauma is a term that is often used to describe a range of negative experiences. It can refer to anything from a single event, such as a car accident, to long-term exposure to difficult situations, such as child abuse. Trauma can have a profound effect on a person’s mental and physical health, as well as their ability to make decisions.

Types of trauma

There are many different types of trauma that can occur throughout a person’s lifetime. Some types of trauma are more common than others, but all can have a significant impact on a person’s life. Trauma can be classified into four main categories: physical, sexual, emotional, and mental.

Physical trauma is any type of injury that occurs to the body. This could include something as minor as a cut or bruise, or something more serious like a broken bone or internal bleeding. Sexual trauma is any type of sexual abuse or assault. This could include rape, molestation, or any type of unwanted sexual contact.emotional trauma is any type of damage to the psyche that occurs as a result of an event or series of events. This could include things like exposure to death or violence, witnessing a traumatic event, or experiencing something that causes intense fear or anxiety. Mental trauma is any type of psychological damage that occurs as a result of an event or series of events. This could include things like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, and phobias.

Symptoms of trauma

Trauma is a reaction to a deeply distressing or disturbing event.
It is a reaction to experiencing, or witnessing an event, in which serious physical harm occurred or was threatened.
Trauma can also be caused by long-term exposure to emotionally distressing events, such as living in a combat zone or in an abusive relationship.

How does trauma affect decision making?

Trauma can have a profound and lasting effect on our decision-making. It can distort our view of ourselves, others, and the world around us. It can make us more impulsive and less able to think clearly. We may take risks that we wouldn’t normally take, or we may avoid risks altogether. Our decision-making may be affected by trauma for a long time after the event, and it can be difficult to know how to make the best decisions in our lives.

Emotional numbing

Many survivors of trauma report feeling “numb” or disconnected from their emotions. This can make it difficult to make decisions, as we may not be able to fully process our own feelings and needs. We may also struggle to trust our gut instincts, as they may have led us into danger in the past. Instead, we may rely heavily on logical thinking, even when it comes to matters that are inherently emotional. This can result in us making choices that are not in our best interests, as we are not considering our whole selves. If you find yourself struggling to make decisions, it may be helpful to talk to a therapist who can help you connect with your emotions and learn to trust your gut again.

Difficulty concentrating

Difficulty concentrating is often one of the first things people notice after a traumatic event. It can be difficult to focus on work, school, or anything else. You may find yourself easily distracted or feeling like your mind is “empty.” You may also have trouble remembering things. Some people describe it as feeling “foggy.” Often, these symptoms will improve over time. But for some people, they can last for months or even years.

Impulsive decision making

Some people who have experienced trauma may engage in impulsive decision making, which means making decisions without thinking them through or considering the consequences. This can be a coping mechanism, as it can help people to avoid having to relive the trauma. However, it can also lead to harmful or dangerous situations.


In conclusion, trauma can have a profound effect on an individual’s decision making skills. This can manifest in a number of ways, such as difficulty in considering all options, impulsivity, and avoidance of certain decisions altogether. While some people are able to “bounce back” from traumatic experiences and make sound decisions, others may struggle for months or even years. If you or someone you know is struggling to make decisions after a traumatic event, it may be helpful to seek professional help.

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