Between mirrors, the density of electromagnetic modes differs from the one in free space. This changes the radiation properties of an atom as well as the light forces acting on an atom. It has profound consequences in the strong-coupling regime of cavity quantum electrodynamics. For a single atom trapped inside the cavity, we investigate the atom-cavity system by scanning the frequency of a probe laser for various atom-cavity detunings. The avoided crossing between atom and cavity resonance is visible in the transmission of the cavity. It is also visible in the loss rate of the atom from the intracavity dipole trap. On the normal-mode resonances, the dominant contribution to the loss rate originates from dipole-force fluctuations which are dramatically enhanced in the cavity. This conclusion is supported by Monte Carlo simulations.