top of page

Trauma Dumping: What It Is and How to Overcome It

✎ Written by: Denisa Cerna ✓ Fact-checked by: Kaija Sander, Ph.D.

You can feel the words on the tip of your tongue, ready to burst out. Your thoughts are circling again, the gravity of your emotions pulling you back into the past.

And then… you trauma dump.

Trauma dumping, a type of oversharing wherein you repeatedly voice the details of a traumatic event and cannot seem to contain yourself, is incredibly challenging to deal with. It’s completely understandable that you want to share your story – in fact, opening up to others is a normal and healthy way of dealing with difficult emotions. However, trauma dumping can put an unfair emotional burden on the person listening to your story if you don’t ask for consent first.

If you’ve found yourself engaging in trauma dumping, remember you shouldn’t feel guilty or ashamed by any means. You are dealing with a very difficult situation on both a psychological and a physiological level, something that is explained in-depth later on in this article.

Together, we’ll tackle what trauma dumping is, why it happens, and what you can do to stop it.

More specifically, we’ll take a look at:

  1. What Is Trauma Dumping?

  2. Why Trauma Dumping Happens

  3. Trauma Dumping: 7 Signs

  4. How to Stop Trauma Dumping

What Is Trauma Dumping?

While not a clinical term, trauma dumping can be used to describe the act of oversharing the details (often graphic) of a traumatic event that has happened to you.

The key aspect that defines trauma dumping is consent. For instance, repeatedly sharing the story of a traumatic experience with your therapist is not considered trauma dumping because your therapist has already given consent to hear your story and help you heal from the trauma.

Family and friends, however, are a different story entirely. Sharing a traumatic story with them without their agreeing to hear it could potentially have a negative impact on their own well-being and create a one-sided dynamic in relationships wherein one person does not have enough space to express their own opinion.

As a result, some view trauma dumping as a toxic kind of communication. Clinical hypnotherapist and certified life coach Marie Fraser explains this is becaus