Home Mental Health TreatmentPTSD and Trauma Treatment Free Trauma Response Quiz and PDF
Free Trauma Response Quiz and PDF

Free Trauma Response Quiz and PDF

by Eduardo Reyes

Get a Trauma Self Assessment and Resources from Catalina

You may have a sense of past trauma, or you may simply be curious about such responses and how to better observe and control them. In either case, you have arrived at the right resource!

Gaining a better understanding of your likeliest trauma responses can help predict your ability to recover after a traumatic event. Trauma response refers to your immediate reaction to a perceived or real threat. Most people know this by the phrase, “Fight, flight, freeze, or fawn.”

Our trauma response quiz gives you ten multiple-choice questions, asking for your initial reaction to different scenarios. Knowing this will help you on your growth and healing journey.

Catalina Behavioral Health understands that most will struggle with their mental well-being at some point on their life’s journey. With our professional help, thousands have recovered from the intense emotions that often originate in trauma.

Keep reading to learn more about the trauma responses and how your past experiences may mean you should seek professional support or therapy after a traumatic event.

Confidential Trauma and PTSD Assessment

Trauma Response Self-Assessment ( Trauma Quiz)

Our trauma quiz is not a formal diagnostic tool. Instead, it helps you consider your mental health and your own trauma response. While the quiz is insightful and can help you understand your path forward after trauma, it is not professional treatment.

Be sure to seek professional support for your trauma and the negative thoughts and memories you may still carry. You are also able to download and print our PDF to bring along and help a clinician better understand how to help.

Along with our childhood trauma test, both can be powerful ways of bringing issues to light so they can more easily be addressed and processed.

Why Is It Important to Know Your Trauma Response Type?

Different type of Trauma Response

Predicting how you may respond to a traumatic event is important to your mental health for these reasons:

Self-Awareness and Recognition of Your Trauma Healing Style

Our trauma response quiz can alert you to how you might react to a future stressful situation. This self-awareness helps you recognize when you’re in a heightened state of response and helps you respond and heal more quickly. The quiz helps you examine some past experiences to predict how you may behave in the future.

Improved Coping Strategies and Resilience

Different trauma responses require different coping tools. When you know if you are a fight, freeze, fawn, or flight type, you can prepare for a full spectrum of possibilities by mastering the necessary recovery strategies before you need them.

For example, a “freeze” might mean you tend to be unable to speak during trauma. Because you know this will be a likely reaction at some point, you can learn a few healthy trauma coping strategies to apply in stressful situations. For example, you might master deep breathing so that in the future you’ll be able to center yourself and speak up during a stressful event.

Better Communication and Stronger Relationships

Knowing your trauma response type can improve how you communicate with your loved ones. For instance, you may learn that you react to traumatic experiences with anger (“fight” type) when you take the quiz. Then, you communicate the results to your family and friends and establish healthy boundaries using this information.

Working With Your Mental Health Professional More Effectively

Those who attend therapy with a mental health professional can use their trauma response to develop personalized treatment plans. Therapists use this knowledge to craft treatment options that address your specific therapy needs.

How Traumatic Events Can Influence Trauma Responses

Traumatic Events Can Influence Trauma Responses

Trauma responses come from traumatic experiences, often stemming from childhood trauma. Childhood experiences are molded by the nature of the threats faced, primarily as children through young adulthood. Examples of some factors that can influence this are the following:

  • Domestic violence
  • Physical abuse
  • Verbal abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Sexual assault
  • Toxic relationships
  • Mental health issues in the home

As the child grows up, they may manifest symptoms of trauma, such as unexplained fear, negative thoughts, flashbacks, nightmares, or difficulty concentrating. Surviving a chaotic childhood with little adult guidance or support can further complicate matters.

Some children are very resilient and grow out of these feelings. But others need treatment to lead a happy, productive life.

Marta Learned About Her “Freeze” Reaction by Taking Our Trauma Response Quiz

Marta was struggling with alcohol abuse. When the strain of her daily routine became overwhelming, drinking whiskey seemed to calm her brain. But the drinking soon became uncontrollable. Recognizing the need for professional help, Marta came to Catalina for a partial hospitalization program.

Marta learned in therapy that the alcohol was simply the straw that broke the proverbial camel’s back. She had started drinking to numb the pain of a physical assault that had occurred when she was a teenager. Her parents told her to stay quiet and don’t discuss it – they did not like calling attention to themselves. Marta had practically forgotten about the incident and did not connect it to her alcohol problem until the therapist uncovered it.

Marta learned that she had a flight trauma response, running away from her problems. Or, in this case, covering it up with alcohol. The counselor developed trauma-informed treatment options that addressed her underlying pain. Now, Marta no longer drinks and has started using her newfound mental health as a passion for physical fitness competitions. She’s healthier than ever and whole again.

Get Our Insights into the Four Trauma Response Types

 Fight Response

Understanding how you process traumatic memories can help you gain insight into those sometimes inexplicable gut reactions you have to threats. These responses originate in the parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems, which are helpful in preparing someone to respond after trauma or a stressful situation.

1) Fight Response (Confront the Emotional Upheaval Head-on)

When an individual with a fight response encounters a threat, it will usually manifest in aggressive or confrontational behavior. They may not seek conflict. But their first reaction can be anger, verbal sparring, or physical confrontations. This trauma response comes from past experiences where they learned to stand their ground or be aggressive when life brings emotional upheaval.

The symptoms of this response in action are tight muscles, a raised voice, or clenched hands. They’re often misunderstood; violence is not intended, but they will not be a doormat, either.

2) Flight Response (An Avoidance Response)

The flight response creates an overwhelming urge to flee a negative situation or threat. This type will have a keen focus on evading danger. Trauma has taught the person to avoid places or people who remind them of a past trauma or traumatic event.

Physical symptoms of “flight” include a fast heart rate, sweating, shaking, or trembling. If they cannot leave the situation, they might pace the floor or try other forms of physical movement.

Get Effective Trauma Treatment Options

3) Freeze Response (Present But Unsure What to Do in a Traumatic Event)

Have you ever heard the expression, “deer in the headlights?” That phrase perfectly sums up the freeze trauma response.

Those who have a freeze response become immobile when faced with fear or a physical threat. They may feel helpless or numb in most stressful situations. The traumatic experience has taught this individual to do nothing and push aside their feelings or emotions until the threat has passed.

Symptoms of “freeze” include staring blankly or temporarily checking out, with this being a form of dissociation. The person might also lose focus or experience excessive anxiety during that moment.

4) Fawn Response (A Sensitive Person Considering Feelings of Others)

The fawn response often develops in someone who has experienced direct emotional or physical abuse. In these childhood experiences, appeasing a parent or another adult in early life was necessary for survival. This childhood trauma was likely unpredictable in intensity. As a result, the “fawn” learned to placate their abuser to minimize potential harm.

Symptoms of the fawn trauma response can include nodding agreeably, fidgeting, slouched shoulders, offering helpful suggestions, or apologizing. Those signals don’t necessarily mean they agree with the emotional trauma. Instead, these help cover up their real feelings of anxiety and are considered a form of trauma bonding in some cases.

What Happens if You Don’t Get Treatment for Unhealed Trauma?

Physical Health Impacts

When trauma is not addressed and treated, it can wreak havoc on your life. Here are some of the consequences that can happen when you don’t have therapy:

Mental Health Consequences of Unresolved Trauma

People who don’t look into treatment options for trauma may have chronic mental health issues, as trauma physically changes the brain. These might include depression, anxiety, panic, or PTSD. These conditions can cause a decline in emotional regulation, strained relationships, or feeling disconnected from friends and family.

Physical Health Impacts of Unhealed Trauma

Untreated trauma can transform into chronic stress over a prolonged time. That can strain the immune system, heart health, and circulatory system. Some also develop other physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomach issues, chronic pain, or fatigue.

Behavioral Consequences of Residual Trauma

Failing to seek support for recovery or therapy for trauma can cause overwhelming memories or traumatic events. Some turn to alcohol, drugs, or other addictions. They conflate “numbing” and “healing,” but they’re actually making things even worse. Other symptoms of a decline in behavioral health include cutting, burning, or other self-harm actions. These behaviors require immediate support, as they can spiral into something far more dangerous.

Up To 100% of Rehab Costs Covered By Insurance

Social Consequences of Carrying Trauma

Those who carry trauma may become withdrawn or fear social interactions. In turn, they may trigger traumatic memories that lead to even more self-isolation.

Over time, isolation and loneliness can cause difficulty concentrating and a lack of motivation, which can cause far-reaching disruption to someone’s professional life.

Get Help for Trauma at Catalina Behavioral Health in Tucson

Help for Trauma at Catalina Behavioral Health

You’ve taken the trauma response quiz. What’s next?

Please call our caring clinicians at Catalina Behavioral Health if you have any questions about how our therapy can help you heal the trauma that is harming your life.

Calling us is confidential, and a mental health professional is ready to help you take the next steps. We accept most group health insurance plans as well as some forms of AHCCCS. We can even call your insurance provider to help you get approval for your trauma treatment plan.

Let’s connect and help you heal your trauma – call us today.

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