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Home arrow Health arrow Mental Health arrow Hyper Independence and Trauma: Assessing the Relationship

Hyper Independence and Trauma: Assessing the Relationship

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: October 8, 2023
5 min read 1205 Views 0 Comments
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It’s great to have independence and the ability to care for yourself. However, there is such a thing as being overly independent. If you refuse to rely on others and apply that distrust to all aspects of your life, you might be hyper independent.

hyper independence and trauma

Being independent is a positive quality. It means you are capable of caring for yourself, be it mentally, physically, or financially. It’s nice to be able to get the job done yourself without having to always rely on others. It can increase your self-esteem and promote satisfaction.

However, being hyper independent can negatively affect your mental and physical health. It can make you feel alone, isolated, and at odds with the rest of the world. It can also impact your daily life, particularly your close relationships. Sometimes, we need support from others.

This article explains hyper independence, the link between hyper independence and trauma, and how to cope with this complex condition.

Hyper Independence and Trauma: Are They Related?

Yes, hyper independence and trauma are related. Hyper independence is considered a response to past trauma and is usually the result of childhood trauma. A child’s past traumatic experiences tend to lead them to develop unhealthy coping mechanisms.

No experience is the same among people with hyper independence, as it can range from a single event to ongoing trauma. Later in life, these experiences can manifest as hyper independence and other psychological disorders, like depression and anxiety.

What Is Hyper Independence?

Hyper independence is when a person tries to be wholly independent in all areas of life. Hyper independent people refuse to seek any form of help from others, even when they genuinely need it. They will rely solely on themselves regardless of the distress this might cause.

Independence is a noble personality trait. However, a hyper independent person takes independence to the extreme. It is a coping mechanism that tends to occur in those who have experienced trauma and have developed the belief that others will never meet their needs.

It usually stems from deep-rooted emotional damage from a traumatic event, where the person may have experienced abandonment, neglect, or broken trust within a relationship. It is important to seek help, as your symptoms could also indicate post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Other Signs of Hyper Independence

The symptoms of hyper independence can vary from person to person. While all responses involve a deep distrust of others, the symptoms can manifest differently. Still, there are some typical signs of an individual with hyper independence. These may include:

  • Refusing to ask for help
  • Refusing to accept help
  • Refusing or struggling to delegate tasks to others
  • Overachieving in work or school
  • Reserved personality
  • Being secretive
  • Mistrusting others
  • Difficulty opening up in relationships
  • Few close relationships
  • Fearing relational commitments
  • High-stress levels

Why Is Hyper Independence a Trauma Response?

Hyper independence is a trauma response because it tends to result from childhood trauma. As children, people must count on their parents, family, or caregivers for emotional support. They need to learn how to regulate emotions and develop healthy ways of coping with life’s challenges.

When a child’s basic needs are not met, they learn to cope independently. These coping mechanisms can be unhealthy and may trigger various mental health conditions, one of them being hyper independence.

How to Cope With Hyper Independence

Hyper independence is a trauma response, and like any trauma response, there are ways to handle your emotions and lead a more fulfilling life. Taking action can help you overcome hyper independence, from discovering coping mechanisms to building healthy relationships.

Here are 5 ways to help manage hyper independence and improve your state of mind:

#1 Ask for help

Hyper independent people are usually reluctant to ever ask for help. They typically believe that they don’t need anybody else. However, asking for help can be the first step to overcoming hyper independence. It immediately breaks the paradigm of only relying on yourself.

It will be challenging, but reaching out and receiving support from others can help you learn the value of relationships and having a support network around you. After experiencing traumatic events, it is critical to learn that not everyone will let you down.

#2 Write your thoughts out

Writing down your thoughts can help you gather and make sense of your emotions. Making lists can aid in prioritizing your problems and concerns so you can work through them. You can also use writing to track your progress and identify triggers.

You can use one of the best mental health apps for assistance with managing your mental health. Many of those apps feature a mood journal where you can record your daily mood. You can monitor your progress daily, weekly, and monthly to keep track of how your hyper independence issues are improving.

#3 Do not hesitate to give tasks to others

When you’re hyper independent and want to remain entirely self-sufficient, you will tend to do everything yourself. You don’t want to count on others for anything, but this can make daily life exhausting. You must learn to accept that others are perfectly capable of completing tasks.

If you’re struggling to get things done on your own, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Try delegating a specific job to a colleague, friend, or family member. You will soon discover that it is not always necessary to be fully independent and that it is safe to share tasks and workloads.

#4 Learn how to say no

Permit yourself to say no. Taking on the world alone can quickly take its toll on your physical and mental well-being. There is only so much you can do alone before you run out of steam. So, don’t hesitate to say no when you are feeling overwhelmed or anxious about situations.

#5 Try therapy

Therapy is an effective method for dealing with hyper independence and trauma responses. A licensed therapist can help you address the root cause of your problems. They can help you understand past trauma and give you the tools to face your issues and cope with your feelings.

Talk therapy involves working with a therapist to manage your hyper independence and reach a better state of mind. You can work through trust issues and learn how to rebuild meaningful relationships with others. It is considered one of the best treatment plans for coping with trauma.

A Word From a Psychologist

Hyper independence can occur in those who experience trauma. It is an extreme form of independence that can cause severe complications. It may cause multiple problems and make daily activities difficult. For example, it is likely to affect your job and your relationships.

While your coping response may have served you well during trauma, it is often no longer beneficial to your present life. Finding support to deal with your issues is essential, especially if you have a mental health condition like PTSD.

If you have symptoms of hyper independence, talk to your doctor. There are treatment options available to help you gain control over your thoughts and behaviors. Therapy can teach you how to create healthy connections and build trust with other people.


Being a hyper independent person can leave you feeling exhausted. As humans, we need to connect with others on so many levels. Being alone might feel like the safest bet, but you may struggle to live a whole and fulfilling life. Healthy relationships are vital to our growth and well-being.

It won’t happen overnight, but you can learn to control your hyper independent tendencies. You can work through trauma and develop meaningful, long-term relationships with those you care about.

Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Edibel Quintero is a medical doctor who graduated in 2013 from the University of Zulia and has been working in her profession since then. She specializes in obesity and nutrition, physical rehabilitation, sports massage and post-operative rehabilitation. Edibel’s goal is to help people live healthier lives by educating them about food, exercise, mental wellness and other lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life.
The article was fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
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Written by Edibel Quintero, RD
Fact checked by Rosmy Barrios, MD
Last update: October 8, 2023
5 min read 1205 Views 0 Comments

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