There is real biological evidence of trauma in the brain, where chemicals are adaptively released (ephinidrine). In posttraumatic stress disorder, these chemicals are believed to be coded in the memory of the trauma. Sometimes as the trauma is revisited, you can suddenly be right back in the middle of some terrifying experience, and the world right in front of you fades away as you slip back into replaying old and often repressed moments of terror.
If something traumatic has happened to you, it can become a persistently distracting emotional experience. Perhaps in an attempt to master your experience, you may find yourself reliving your trauma in your relationships?
Being traumatized is like having the wind knocked out of you over and over again. Imagine the experience of that moment of impact, and then magnify it. The traumatized person inherently goes through the experience of regression, as the mind and body struggles to absorb and function in spite of the violation. Often the traumatized person will remain silent for many reasons, including shame and fear. The task of the therapist is to help the traumatized individual to reintegrate the experience through language, so that it can be properly processed.
In the face of trauma the meanings you attribute to life can be stripped away. One who has been traumatized often loses the ability to find symbolic meaning in life. It's as though it is safer to find no meaning than to actually face the overwhelming feelings of terror associated with trauma.
From a mystical perspective, the traumatized individual may be more glued to the "real" than most of us. The implication is that mystics experience what is, letting go of any possible subjective meanings that we as humans place on the events in our lives. The traumatized individual often experiences a similar undifferentiated state of mind. The difference between one who has been traumatized and a mystic is that the mystic gets to this place of being through intentional consciousness, and the trauma victim gets there through regression in service of protecting the self from remembering.
he goal in working with the traumatized is in part teaching the skill of controlled dissociation. The capacity to move in and out of dissociative states can be learned and utilized as a form of adaptation to the traumatic response.
Some of the symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are:
- Poor historical and short-term memory
- Loss of sense of trust
- Fear of intimacy
- Low self-esteem
- Panic attacks
- Dissociation (mental disconnection)
- Avoidance of all reminders of trauma
- Emotional numbing: A sense of detachment from relationships and the outer world
It is difficult to trust, and it often takes a giant leap of faith to start your healing process.
Unfortunately, many whom experience the above symptoms have trouble reaching out because their trust has been violated. The feeling of hopelessness can be so pervasive that reaching out for help feels like too much. It is important to know that many who have suffered from trauma have found treatment and healing. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder symptoms can lie dormant sometimes for many years after the initial experience of trauma. Women are more likely than men to develop PTSD, and some believe that this is due to their neuro-hormonal system. Psychotherapy and medication are often successful in the treatment of this disorder, and it is crucial to start treatment early before symptoms create further problems.
Call me now to get started on your path to healing. Time spent avoiding your pain is time wasted and lost.