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Maybe you've heard of PTSD.
Most likely connected with soldiers returning from war.
But did you know that PTSD can be caused by other traumas?
Did you know that an unresolved trauma can cause depression, anxiety, and hopelessness?
Did you know that trauma can leave victims feeling completely out of control?
What is trauma?
Trauma is any incident in which you (the victim) feels completely out of control, and that they are somehow in danger.
For related reading, check out: How to Free Your Heart From Deep Emotional Pain
"Our nervous system has evolved a hierarchical structure...the more advanced systems shut down in the face of overwhelming threat, leaving the brain, body, and psyche to their more archaic functions,"
The body senses fear of some outside force, and reverts to the flight/fight response.
So what happens if you can't fight? or you can't take flight?
Over the course of evolution, humans have developed this fight or flight response to save our lives in situations like running from dangerous animals in the wild.
Well...those situations are mostly controlled now :)
But we still have those instincts.
In the past if we were being attacked by a bear we would either run away, fight the bear somehow, or die in the process.
All of our body's enegry goes into the bear attack.
We don't spend any time thinking about what sorts of berries we might find under that tree.
We're more proabably thinking "get away...now"
Well this response still exists. We still have those urges when we feel we are under attack.
So what happens when someone we love is attacking us.
Daddy is coming in with a wooden spoon to beat us.
Our beloved teacher is offering to show us something on our body that was really special, something that we couldn't tell anyone else about.
Well as I mentioned before...after fight and flight there is a third option that the body has. And that one is to freeze.
You see when Daddy comes in to beat us...our mind knows something else...Daddy is also the only reason I get to eat every day. He brings in the money and the food.
So as small children we have only one option: freeze.
Well, so what's the worst that can happen?
We freeze up, maybe we have a bruise...nothing we can't live through right?
Well not exactly...
The energy that is summoned in the body when we are in threatening positions...is overwhelming.
And when we choose the freeze mode of survival...that energy has nowhere to go. So it stays inside.
"If for some reason the normal response is blocked - for example, when people are held down, trapped, or otherwise prevented from taking effective action, be it in a war zone, a car accident, domestic violence, or a rape - the brain keeps secreting stress chemicals, and the brain's electrical circuits continue to fire in vain. Long after the actual event has passed,"
And if you hadn't guessed so already...it's not a great place for that energy to stay.
It causes all kinds of problems...
"After trauma the world is experienced with a different nervous system. The survivor's energy now becomes focused on suppressing inner chaos, at the expense of spontaneous involvement in their life."
See the brain now takes ordinary daily situations, and can see them as threats. So then the survival of an ordinary day becomes threat after threat as the brain battles itself.
So what kinds of things are traumatic and can cause PTSD?
Any life-threatening (or perceived life-threatening) situation over which the victim has no control. Examples include but are not limited to:
-Other Physical Accidents
-Seeing a loved one suffer a trauma
-Losing a loved-one
-Abandonment of primary care-givers
and many more.
If any of the anterior situations are something you or a child you know have experienced you are highly advised to seek someone who can work with trauma.
Generally this would be a therapist.
Here is a directory of therapists that you can find in your area to work with if you are interested:
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Please remember that the advice and opinions given on this website are anecdotal and unprofessional. I am not a doctor, I am not a therapist, and I am not a healthcare professional. Please consult a doctor before doing any of the recommended activities on this blog.