Article image

14 Quotes About Dealing With Trauma

Trauma, as a concept, is complicated. The word comes from the ancient Greek for “wound,” and was originally used only for physical injuries. Since the end of the 19th century, however, the term has also been applied psychologically, to refer to severe mental or emotional stress.

The recognition of emotional trauma has long been highlighted by war. During World War I, it was known as “shell shock,” and soldiers suffering from the condition were often ignored or berated. Later, in the aftermath of the Vietnam War, the term “post-traumatic stress disorder” (PTSD) came into use following numerous diagnoses of military veterans. Today, PTSD is diagnosed for a wide range of emotionally or physically traumatic events, from war to abuse to tragic accidents or loss.

Smaller and at times less obviously traumatic experiences can also be debilitating. For this reason, some medical experts divide trauma into “big-T” and “little-t” categories, with the “little-t” traumas covering events such as divorce, financial worries, and the loss of a job — none of which are likely to lead to post-traumatic stress symptoms, but can nonetheless be incredibly difficult and disruptive to daily life, challenging our ability to feel healthy and happy.

Many people experience trauma during their lives, be it “big-T” or “little-t” or both. The process of healing can be long, but overcoming trauma is certainly possible. The following quotes, from psychotherapists, famous authors, and others, shine a light on the road to recovery.

To survive trauma, one must be able to tell a story about it.
Natasha Trethewey

Share Quote

When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary. The people we trust with that important talk can help us know that we’re not alone.
Fred Rogers

Share Quote

We may not be responsible for the world that created our minds, but we can take responsibility for the mind with which we create our world.
Gabor Maté

Share Quote

As every therapist will tell you, healing involves discomfort — but so does refusing to heal. And, over time, refusing to heal is always more painful.
Resmaa Menakem

Share Quote

While trauma can be hell on earth, trauma resolved is a gift of the gods — a heroic journey that belongs to each of us.
Peter A. Levine

Share Quote

You may not control all the events that happen to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
Maya Angelou

Share Quote

Trauma is like grief. You can be fine for four or five years, then it comes back and hits you like it happened the day before. But then you can heal, you can find ways to love yourself, to be a valid member of society, to give back.
Samantha Morton

Share Quote

So many people with trauma feel like they’re failing because they have a bad day or a bad week or a bad year. And you know what? If you wake up, you’re not failing. If you brush your teeth, you’re not failing.
Roxane Gay

Share Quote

The traumas we inherit or experience firsthand can not only create a legacy of distress, but also forge a legacy of strength and resilience that can be felt for generations to come.
Mark Wolynn

Share Quote

Very often, “what happened” takes years to reveal itself. It takes courage to confront our actions, peel back the layers of trauma in our lives, and expose the raw truth of our past. But this is where healing begins.
Oprah Winfrey

Share Quote

One of the hardest things was learning I was worth recovery.
Demi Lovato

Share Quote

Healing is not a onetime event but rather a journey … As it relates to healing the wounds of trauma, it is a journey from helplessness (which is the essence of trauma) to mastery.
Jasmin Lee Cori

Share Quote

I’ve been searching for ways to heal myself, and I’ve found that kindness is the best way.
Lady Gaga

Share Quote

Someone who has experienced trauma also has gifts to offer all of us — in their depth, their knowledge of our universal vulnerability, and their experience of the power of compassion.
Sharon Salzberg

Share Quote

Featured image credit: Dave Hoefler/ Unsplash

Author image
About the Author
Tony Dunnell
Tony is an English writer of non-fiction and fiction living on the edge of the Amazon jungle.
Play more header background
Play more icon
Daily Question
Fill in the blank: "The really important kind of freedom involves attention and awareness and ___." - David Foster Wallace

More Inspiration

happiness theme icon

That virtue we appreciate is as much ours as another’s. We see so much only as we possess.

separator icon
Henry David Thoreau
motivation theme icon

The quality of your life depends quite a bit on the quality of attention you project out onto the world.

separator icon
David Brooks
hope theme icon

The great thing about getting older is that you don't lose all the other ages you've been.

separator icon
Madeleine L'Engle
love theme icon

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together.

separator icon
Vincent van Gogh
wisdom theme icon

Don't wait. The time will never be just right.

separator icon
Napoleon Hill
happiness theme icon

Stay close to any sounds that make you glad you are alive.

separator icon
Hafez
motivation theme icon

Mix a little foolishness with your prudence; it's good to be silly at the right moment.

separator icon
Horace
hope theme icon

The only difference between success and failure is the ability to take action.

separator icon
Alexander Graham Bell
love theme icon

I would rather have 30 minutes of wonderful than a lifetime of nothing special.

separator icon
Robert Harling
wisdom theme icon

While you are riding the wave you just put your best self out there and enjoy it.

separator icon
Freida Pinto
happiness theme icon

My humanity is bound up in yours, for we can only be human together.

separator icon
Desmond Tutu