Hurt people, Invisible Pain

Anger, sadness, physical and psychological exhaustion, nightmares … People hurt by the impact of a trauma or an adverse event move through the world with an invisible, deep and raw pain. Taking the step in search of help is necessary.


Hurt people often go unnoticed. No one appreciates their broken parts or their invisible pain. However, the mark of the traumas, of the lived adversities are still printed in their minds, making their day to day difficult. They sleep poorly, they feel exhausted, angry, have serious difficulties to trust people again and are unable to handle that internal reality.

The experts in trauma psychology often tell us that most of us will have to face, at some point, a complicated and adverse event. They can be traffic accidents, the loss of a loved one, a natural catastrophe, seeing or being the victim of an aggression, facing the loss of a job, breaking an affective relationship, a disease…

Failure to adequately address these and other types of realities conditions us. Daniel Goleman, explained in his book Emotional Intelligence that to overcome these events we are forced to start what he called “emotional relearning”. It’s like restarting ourselves in every way, it’s having to readjust thought, emotions and even our behavior.

It is not easy, there is no doubt. The injured people do not have any broken bones and, nevertheless, they can not move around the world normally. His wounds are also not visible to the naked eye, but his pain is immense, stark and deep. Nobody deserves to live in this way. Therefore, it is necessary to always remember that it is possible to emerge from these situations. Let’s see how.

Hurt people, anatomy of pain that does not stop being

At what point does a dramatic experience become a trauma? When is a person likely to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder? Although it surprises us, there is no standard answer to these questions. There is not because each person lives and processes these situations in a particular way.

Therefore, something that experts on the subject point out to us as Lloyd Sederer, Medical Director of the Office of Mental Health of the State of New York, is that the risk of becoming hurt people, in those profiles susceptible to drag a trauma, depends on three factors:

  • Degree of exposure to trauma. For example, children who have had a complicated upbringing, with neglect or abuse, will suffer a deeper trauma than the adult who at one time suffers the impact of a loss or witnesses an accident.
  • The other factor is vulnerability. Genetically, there are people more vulnerable to the effect of an adverse event than others.
  • The third element is the available resources. Facts like having or not having social support are often a determining factor. Likewise, we can also talk about psychological resources. Having previously gone through a trauma and having successfully dealt with it, gives us more adequate and effective resistance strategies.

Most common symptoms of the effect of a trauma

In a study carried out by Carol E. Franz and Michael J. Lyons, from Temple University, Philadelphia (United States) over 24 years, she determined which are the most common symptoms that adults show in relation to trauma. . Those that make us hurt people. They are the following.

  • Insomnia and nightmares
  • Memory always focuses on traumatic memories. It is common in fact to suffer constant flashbacks.
  • Anxiety and stress
  • Feelings of anger, anger and anger.
  • Sensation of guilt.
  • Physical tiredness and even the appearance of psychosomatic illnesses.
  • Problems to trust people again
  • Low self-esteem.
  • Negative vision of oneself.

Be always on the defensive and with fear, with the constant feeling that something is going to happen.

Narrative therapy in hurt people

Narrative therapy is offering good results in the treatment of traumas in recent years. This approach, developed in the seventies and eighties by the therapists Michael White and David Epston, has been improved little by little to shape interesting perspectives such as Narrative Exposure Therapy.

It is based on the following objectives:

Help the person to tell their story to give it a meaning. He is also trained to awaken his resilience and thus be able to alleviate suffering.

Accepting, describing the pain and accepting it as part of our life story helps people to restore dignity and empower themselves.

Studies like those carried out at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom, explain that narrative therapy is useful to reconstruct the sense of self and one’s identity. Two very fragmented dimensions due to the traumatic events.


The injured people have at their disposal adequate resources to rebuild their strength, dignity and value. It is not a quick or simple process. Reinterpreting traumatic events involves mobilizing emotions.

Above all, it means having enough strength to be responsible for our resurgence, our improvement and progress. Positioning ourselves again in the world will take time, but we can achieve it.