Types of Emotional Wounds Everyone Suffers From and How to Heal Them

CEO, Co-founder and Partner
Cheryl has been working in the private Mental Health and Addiction treatment world for 30 years, as a clinician, clinical director, program founder, program administrator, and facility decorator!

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Types of Emotional Wounds Everyone Suffers From and How to Heal Them

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Emotional wounds, often invisible yet profoundly impactful, shape our lives in myriad ways. They are scars left behind from painful experiences that mold our responses, behaviors, and interactions with the world around us. Understanding these wounds is not just about uncovering hurt but about embracing a journey toward healing and transformation.

Emotional trauma can stem from a variety of events—betrayal by a trusted friend, rejection from a loved one, or even a public humiliation. Each of these moments can inflict deep emotional wounds that, if left unaddressed, may fester and hinder our ability to lead fulfilling lives. Yet, the power to heal these wounds lies within us, bolstered by support from others and professional guidance.

In this article, I explore various types of emotional wounds that we all may encounter and share paths toward healing. By acknowledging and addressing our emotional injuries, we can embark on a path of profound emotional health and well-being, ultimately unlocking a life marked by resilience and hope. I invite you to turn inward, recognize the wounds we carry, and to engage in the transformative process of healing, allowing us to thrive amidst life’s challenges.

Types of Emotional Wounds


Rejection can slice through the fabric of one’s self-esteem, leaving lasting marks. It manifests in various arenas of life, from personal relationships and family dynamics to professional environments and social interactions. The pain of being turned away or deemed not good enough can evoke intense feelings of inadequacy and loneliness. 

Over time, if these feelings are not addressed, they can lead to an avoidance of risk-taking or forming deep relationships, out of fear of experiencing further rejection.


Betrayal cuts deeply, shaking the very foundations of trust we build with others. Whether it’s a friend who shares secrets or a partner who breaks a bond of loyalty, the effects can be devastating. Betrayal forces us to question our judgment and can impair our ability to trust others in the future. 

Healing from betrayal involves rebuilding one’s sense of trust, not just in others but also in oneself.


Abandonment, whether physical or emotional, triggers one of our deepest fears—the fear of being alone. This wound can be inflicted early in life if a parent is absent or emotionally unavailable, and it can reappear when a significant person leaves without explanation. The resultant feelings of instability and insecurity can influence future relationships, often causing anxiety about being left again. 

Healing from abandonment involves developing a secure sense of self and understanding that one’s worth is not tied to the presence or approval of others.


Humiliation, especially when it occurs in a public setting, can affect one’s dignity and self-respect. This type of emotional wound stems from being ridiculed or demeaned, either by individuals or by groups. The sting of humiliation can lead to a long-term fear of embarrassment, which might deter individuals from expressing themselves or engaging in social activities. 

Overcoming humiliation requires rebuilding self-confidence and often confronting the painful memories associated with the event.


Feeling wronged or treated unfairly, whether in a personal, professional, or societal context, can lead to feelings of anger and helplessness. This type of emotional wound arises when there is a discrepancy between what is perceived as fair and the reality faced. The struggle for justice, or the lack thereof, can consume a person, sometimes leading to bitterness and a pervasive sense of cynicism. 

Healing from injustice involves channeling feelings of anger into constructive action and finding ways to contribute to making one’s environment more equitable and just.

Understanding these types of emotional wounds is the first step in acknowledging the impact they have on our lives. Each type of wound affects individuals differently, and recognizing them is crucial in beginning the healing process. 

Common Symptoms of Emotional Wounds

Emotional wounds, while invisible, manifest through various signs and symptoms that can affect one’s emotional, behavioral, and psychological well-being. Recognizing these symptoms is crucial for identifying underlying issues and beginning the healing process. Here are some common indicators of emotional wounds:

Emotional Signs

  • Sadness and Grief: Persistent feelings of sadness or a profound sense of grief can often indicate an unresolved emotional wound. This might manifest as frequent crying spells, feelings of emptiness, or a deep melancholy that doesn’t seem to lift.
  • Anger and Irritability: These emotions can be defensive responses to emotional pain. A person might find themselves having a short temper, feeling frustrated easily, or being quick to anger, often out of proportion to the situation at hand.
  • Fear and Anxiety: Emotional wounds can leave individuals feeling perpetually unsafe or fearful. This might show up as anxiety, panic attacks, or a constant state of worry about potential future hurts or losses.

Behavioral Changes

  • Withdrawal from Social Activities: One might pull away from friends, family, or social engagements. This withdrawal is often a protective measure to avoid situations that could potentially reopen emotional wounds.
  • Aggression or Passive-Aggressiveness: These behaviors can be indicators of underlying hurt. Aggression might be more overt and can include confrontational or destructive behaviors, whereas passive-aggressiveness might manifest through sarcasm, silent treatment, or subtle acts of rebellion.
  • Overcompensation: Sometimes, individuals may overcompensate in an effort to mask their emotional wounds. This can include excessively positive behavior, perfectionism, or overachievement to avoid confronting underlying pain.

Psychological Symptoms

  • Anxiety Disorders: Chronic anxiety, panic disorders, or specific phobias can develop as a result of unresolved emotional traumas.
  • Depression: This is a common response to deep emotional wounds, particularly if they involve loss or betrayal. Symptoms may include a lack of energy, changes in appetite, sleep disturbances, and a loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): When emotional wounds stem from extremely traumatic events, they can lead to PTSD, characterized by flashbacks, severe anxiety, and uncontrollable thoughts about the event.

Identifying these symptoms in oneself or others can be a pivotal first step toward healing. It requires honest self-reflection and, often, the courage to admit that one’s emotional health is compromised.

The next section of our article will delve into various healing techniques, offering strategies for individuals looking to mend their emotional wounds and move towards a more balanced and fulfilling emotional life.

Healing Emotional Wounds

Healing from emotional wounds is a deeply personal process that can vary greatly from one individual to another. However, certain fundamental steps can help facilitate this healing, offering a path forward from pain to recovery. Here’s how one can begin to heal the emotional scars:

Acknowledgment and Acceptance

  • Recognizing the Wound: The first step in healing is acknowledging that you are hurt. Denial can often delay recovery, making it crucial to face the reality of the emotional pain.
  • Acceptance: This involves understanding that the wound is part of your experience but does not define you. Accepting what has happened allows you to move beyond the pain and start focusing on recovery.

Seeking Professional Help

  • Therapy: Engaging with a therapist can provide a safe space to explore your emotions and understand the root causes of your pain. Therapists can employ various approaches, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), which helps reframe negative thought patterns, or Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is particularly effective for trauma.
  • Support Groups: Sometimes sharing your experiences with others who have faced similar challenges can be incredibly healing. Support groups offer not just guidance but also companionship on your healing journey.

Building a Support System

  • Friends and Family: Lean on your loved ones for support. They can offer emotional comfort and practical help as you navigate your way through healing.
  • Community Resources: Look into community resources such as workshops, seminars, or community centers that offer programs designed to help people deal with emotional pain.

Self-Care Strategies

  • Mindfulness and Meditation: These practices can help center your thoughts and calm your mind, reducing the stress and anxiety that often accompany emotional wounds.
  • Physical Activity: Exercise is not only good for the body but also for the mind. It can help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.
  • Hobbies and Interests: Engaging in activities you love can be therapeutic. They not only occupy your mind but can also provide joy and a sense of accomplishment.

Developing Resilience and Coping Mechanisms

  • Journaling: Writing about your thoughts and feelings can be a cathartic experience, helping you process and overcome emotional pain.
  • Setting Boundaries: Protecting yourself by setting clear boundaries is crucial in preventing further emotional harm. Learn to say no or distance yourself from toxic situations or individuals.
  • Goal Setting: Setting small, achievable goals can provide a sense of direction and purpose, which is often lost when one is dealing with emotional wounds.

Healing is not a linear process, and setbacks are a normal part of recovery. It’s important to be patient with yourself and recognize that each step forward, no matter how small, is a victory. 

It’s a Journey

The journey of healing from emotional wounds is both challenging and rewarding, requiring courage, commitment, and compassion towards oneself. While these wounds are part of our lives, they do not have to dictate our future.

Embracing the healing process allows us to slowly transform our pain into resilience and wisdom. Each step taken towards recovery not only helps mend our emotional scars but also empowers us to lead more fulfilling lives. Healing is not just about getting back to where we were before we were hurt; it’s about growing into someone stronger and more aware.

I encourage all who are struggling with emotional wounds to seek the support they need—whether through professional therapy, support groups, or loving connections within their own circle. Resources are more accessible than ever, and taking the first step towards healing is a brave move toward reclaiming your life.

Remember, healing is a personal journey that involves ups and downs. It’s perfectly normal to have moments of doubt and setbacks. However, with each small step, you move closer to a place of balance and peace. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us at Corner Canyon Health Centers for help. We have compassionate licensed counselors who can guide you on your heling path. 

Keep engaging with supportive communities, and most importantly, be gentle with yourself during this process.

CEO, Co-founder and Partner
Cheryl has been working in the private Mental Health and Addiction treatment world for 30 years, as a clinician, clinical director, program founder, program administrator, and facility decorator!

Liz Lund, MPA

Liz is originally from lush green Washington State. She is a life enthusiast and a huge fan of people. Liz has always loved learning why people are the way they are. She moved to UT in 2013 and completed her bachelors degree in Psychology in 2016. After college Liz worked at a residential treatment center and found that she was not only passionate about people, but also administration. Liz is recently finished her MPA in April 2022. Liz loves serving people and is excited and looking forward to learning about; and from our clients here at Corner Canyon.
When Liz is not busy working she love being outdoors, eating ice cream, taking naps, and spending time with her precious baby girl and sweet husband.