Emotional Wound Thesaurus

Below are samples of the entries in our popular emotional wound thesaurus. For the complete and enhanced collection, please visit One Stop For Writers, where it has a permanent place within our vast Descriptive Thesaurus Collection. You can access it and our other thesauruses with a click of a button as you write.

If you prefer your references in book form, good news: plans are underway to publish The Emotional Wounds Thesaurus, and the manuscript is being written as we speak. Look for it in the fall of 2017. Happy writing!


Everyone has negative experiences from the past that impact who they are in the future; this is true for our characters, too. If you’re trying to decide which emotional wound might be a possibility for your character and how it might affect him/her in your current story, this thesaurus might be able to help.


What Is An Emotional Wound Thesaurus?

Accidentally Killing Someone

A Family Member’s Suicide

A Home Invasion

A House Fire

A Parent’s Abandonment

A Role Model Who Disappoints

A Sibling’s Betrayal

A Speech Impediment

Becoming a Caregiver at an Early Age

Being Bullied

Being Fired or Laid Off

Being Held Captive

Being Mugged

Being Publicly Humiliated

Being Raised by Neglectful Parents

Being Raised by Overprotective Parents

Being So Beautiful It’s All People See

Being the Victim of a Vicious Rumor

Being Stalked

Being Trapped in a Collapsed Building

Being Unfairly Blamed For The Death of Another

Childhood Sexual Abuse (by a family member or known person)

Discovering One’s Parent is a Monster

Discovering One’s Sibling was Abused

Experiencing a Miscarriage or Stillbirth

Failing At School

Failing To Do The Right Thing

Financial Ruin Due To A Spouse’s Irresponsibility

Finding Out One’s Child Was Abused

Finding Out One Was Adopted

Getting Lost In a Natural Environment

Growing Up In A Cult

Growing Up in a Dangerous Neighborhood

Growing Up In Foster Care

Growing Up In The Public Eye

Growing Up In The Shadow of a Successful Sibling

Growing Up with a Sibling Who Has a Chronic Disability or Illness

Having Parents Who Favored One Child Over Another

Having To Kill Another Person To Survive


Infidelity (emotional or physical)

Losing a Limb

Losing a Loved One To A Random Act of Violence

Making a Very Public Mistake

Overly Critical or Strict Parents

Physical Disfigurement

Rejection By One’s Peers

Telling The Truth But Not Being Believed

The Death of a Child On One’s Watch

Victimization via Identity Theft

Watching A Loved One Die

Wrongful Imprisonment

Spending Time In Jail

Suffering From a Learning Disability

Visit our other Descriptive Thesaurus Collections HERE.


Image via Adam McGuire @ Pixabay



63 Responses to Emotional Wound Thesaurus

  1. Elmer says:

    A big part of the wounds are their resolutions at the end of a story. In most stories the characters need to undergo development in order to be intressting and the audience has to see the progress made. It would be really nice to also see a list of events that could make the characters values change. I’m writting a character who has, after the suicide of her mother, become pessimistic and she belives she’s better off on her own. But I don’t know what situations or events would cause her to challenge these belives, so it would be great to have guide lines, like the list of false belifes you wrote for every single wound.

    • Because each situation will be unique based on many factors (the type of wound, how personal it was, the support a character had, their personality, ability to cope, etc.) what we’ve done in the book is provide a section on healthy coping mechanisms that can be adapted to fit each individual, and show their path to healing. We hope this will help writers accomplish that necessary growth and ability to “re-frame” the event in the character’s mind. 😉

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