Restorations Therapy Blog

The Role of Trauma in Intimacy Disorders

by on Wednesday, January 20th, 2021


Trauma can have a significant role in all aspects of your life, especially when it comes to intimacy. Some individuals with intimacy-related concerns may not realize that the root of their trouble lies in the trauma they experienced in the past. By understanding the role of trauma in intimacy disorders, you can begin your path to healing.

Defining Trauma

Merriam-Webster defines trauma as “a disordered psychic or behavioral state resulting from severe mental or emotional stress or physical injury.” Trauma is different for everyone, as some situations might traumatize one person while others may be okay after. Trauma can result from experiences such as physical or verbal abuse, sexual abuse, losing a loved one, natural disasters, and more.

How Trauma Affects Intimacy

Trauma can impact intimacy in a variety of ways, causing different reactions in different people. Any kind of trauma can affect intimacy, evoking a variety of responses. Common responses to trauma involving intimacy include:

  • Avoidance
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Lack of sexual wants/desires
  • Always having an escape plan
  • Irritability
  • Unable to express feelings
  • Fear of non-sexual touch

These can lead to intimacy problems or even an intimacy disorder. If you notice these behaviors in yourself or someone else, consider seeking help.

What Can You Do?

If you believe you have intimacy concerns or an intimacy disorder following a traumatic experience, consider going to therapy or a support group. This way, you can talk about what happened to you and learn coping strategies to help you heal. You can also participate in other activities to get you moving or comfortable with touch, including yoga, martial arts, professional massages, or even non-sexual touches from your partner. These types of contact can get you accustomed to touch without overwhelming you. Remember, there is always hope, and you should never feel ashamed for the impact trauma has had on your life.

Intimacy problems and trauma are often intertwined. Anyone that has gone through trauma poses a risk of having intimacy issues or an intimacy disorder. Depending on the person, this can show up in various ways, often including sensitivity to touch and a lack of sexual desire. While this can be challenging to deal with, there is hope for healing. Reach out to a therapist or join a support group to learn the roots of your intimacy problems so you can find healing. You can find the help you need at Restorations Therapy, as our team is professionally trained to help you find healing. Call us today at (720) 446-6585.

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