Fawn trauma response symptoms
Individuals who had adverse childhood experiences (adverse childhood trauma) may get stuck in the “fawn trauma response,” which is an adaptive response to threats. Here is more about fawn trauma:
Some people experience the “fawn trauma response,” a coping mechanism characterized by submission and compliance, as a result of traumatic experiences as children or persistent stress. For people who grew up in abusive or neglectful environments, where “playing dead” or remaining passive was the best way to prevent further harm, it is thought to be a survival tactic. It can be challenging to establish healthy boundaries and maintain healthy relationships as an adult because of the “fawn” response. Fawn trauma responders are frequently perceived as being excessively passive and compliant in relationships, giving in to the demands of their partners or anyone else they come into contact with even when their own needs are not being met. As they continue to give in to requests and demands from others without speaking up for themselves, this can result in feelings of low self-worth and helplessness.
The symptoms of a fawn response can vary, but some common signs include:
- People-pleasing behaviour: a compulsive need to win people over and a fear of criticism or reprisals
- Suppressed feelings include the inability to express emotions and sentiments, particularly anger or frustration.
- Conflict avoidance is the tendency to stay away from fights and disagreements, even if it means giving up your own needs or wants.
- Lack of boundaries: difficulty in setting and enforcing healthy boundaries in relationships
- Feelings of inadequacy, shame, and guilt are signs of low self-esteem. Chronic fatigue: feeling worn out and overburdened all the time
- Saying “yes” to everything despite the fact that doing so will cause burnout or sacrifice your own wellbeing is difficult.
- The inability to recognize and express one’s own needs and desires is a sign of disconnection.
It is important to note that everyone experiences these symptoms differently and to a different degree. If you recognize these symptoms and you want to change and manage them, contact me to discuss how therapy can help you.