How to Silence Your Inner Critic After Trauma

April 29, 2024 Sammi Caramela

Learning how to silence your inner critic after trauma can feel impossible. Personally, I developed a harsh (and loud) inner critic during early childhood following a trauma that made me question my worth. As I grew up, I found it "safer" to try to be the perfect kid, teen, young adult, and now woman, thinking maybe it would make me more worthy of love and good treatment. However, this has only ever perpetuated more self-loathing and vicious cycles.

Throughout my battle with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), I have found self-criticism to be my most pressing struggle. Today, I am actively finding ways to silence my inner critic and better love myself — flaws, mistakes, and all. 

Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and the Inner Critic After Trauma

After developing PTSD in childhood, I quickly fell victim to my harsh inner critic. In my eyes, I could do nothing right. I was vile. I was a bad person. I was a burden. I was ugly, weird, dramatic, and a million other negative adjectives. But most of all, I was unloveable. At least, that's what my inner critic would tell me.

It wasn't until adulthood that I realized my inner critic was a result of trauma. While I'm sure we all have a somewhat judgmental voice inside our heads, mine was extra loud and extra mean, according to many of my therapists. Because I'd endured such a complex and confusing trauma in childhood, I internalized the event and began telling myself that I was the problem — in every situation. It was easier to blame myself because then I would at least have some control over the situation. I could fix myself, which meant I could avoid conflict, pain, or additional trauma — right? Little did I know, my inner critic after trauma wasn't trying to hurt me. 

How to Silence Your Inner Critic After Trauma

Learning to silence your inner critic after trauma won't happen overnight. However, if you can befriend your inner critic rather than trying to fight or disprove it, you might notice more efficient progress.

I believe your inner critic is really trying to keep you safe. I've found that when you can better understand that part of you, you can learn to lessen its intensity and channel its intentions in a healthier way. For example, I've discovered that my inner critic is only trying to keep me safe and loveable. However, it often achieves the opposite and keeps me in unhealthy cycles with individuals who don't have my best interests at heart.

When I can acknowledge my inner critic's true desires, I can address those negative thoughts from a more rational, grounded, and loving place. I don't need to make that internalized voice disappear; I just need to ensure I'm not feeding it. I can allow it to speak or scream or toss insults, but I don't need to agree — and I certainly don't need to fight back. I can remind myself that this part of me is only trying to help; it's just misguided. Then, I can replace those negative thoughts with more helpful, affirming ones that will actually help me grow.

To learn more about silencing your inner critic after trauma, watch the video below:

APA Reference
Caramela, S. (2024, April 29). How to Silence Your Inner Critic After Trauma, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 17 from

Author: Sammi Caramela

Sammi Caramela is a freelance writer, fiction author, poet, and mental health advocate who uses her writing to help others feel less alone. Find her on TikTok, Instagram, Facebook, and her blog.

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