Do you ask yourself the following questions?
– Fear trusting others?
– Have vivid nightmares?
– Fear never being able to move on from a traumatic event?
– Avoid thinking about the traumatic event?
– Feel afraid, unsafe, even in moments that are serene?
– Feel easily startled and irritable?
– Work too much to avoid the pain?
– Struggle with feeling on edge and anxious?
– Drinking a little too much?
If you answered “YES” to any of these questions, you may have been impacted by a traumatic event at some point in your life and you could benefit from trauma therapy.
The relaxation response is a skill that enables you to fight off oxidative stress in your body. When learned and harnessed in a safe environment, muscle relaxation, mindfulness and meditation empower you to take control of your anxiety symptoms. Stress whether it be pervasive, such as taking care of a loved one, or acute such as losing a job can lead to other major mental health issues like depression and chronic fatigue.
Trauma originates from the greek word for injury or wound. In the literal sense, trauma is (1) a traumatic event(s) or stressor (2), or behavioral reaction to a physiological stressor. Although, one might think trauma is a single event or life circumstance, many times trauma is a series of traumatic events that happen throughout our life time. There are many types of trauma including but not limited too: PTSD, vicarious trauma, betrayal trauma, secondary trauma, and complex trauma.
Individuals who are experiencing PTSD, complex PTSD or trauma develop methods to cope that is usually influenced by these traumas, whether that be substance abuse, anxiety disorders, personality disorders or rage. These ways of being in the world, guide the way individuals manage interpersonal relationships in their life, whether that be romantic, friendly or work-related.
Trauma may result in us 'feeling in excess,' such as: experiencing uncontrollable anger, deep sadness, aggression, irritability, tearfulness, and emotional swings. Our emotions, at times, may feel out of control.
Due to the emotional toll of the trauma, trauma survivors experience distrust of others and the world around them. They may experience guilt surrounding the trauma, as though they have caused their trauma, or were deserving of the pain inflicted upon them. They may experience shame, self-blame, and try to rationalize their abuse or pain.
Somatic sensations are often the key to unlocking and witnessing the 'implicit' memories that people hold about their trauma. Often, these sensations and emotions are exiled into our psyche. Experiences like dread, anticipation, fear and helplessness may emerge.
Trauma is not only a psychological experience but also deeply rooted in our bodily state, affecting our nervous system and overall well-being. Extensive scientific evidence supports the long-lasting impact of trauma on our cellular biology and the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), which governs our natural stress response. Chronic exposure to trauma can disrupt the brain's filtering system, particularly in the amygdala and hippocampus. These alterations can lead to heightened sensitivity to specific stimuli and a diminished sense of safety within one's own body. Consequently, individuals may constantly anticipate and perceive threats to their internal system, whether real or perceived. The consequence of this dysregulation is the compromised functioning of the nervous system as a whole, resulting in a wide range of symptoms commonly associated with traumatic injuries. The body's innate capacity for restoration and balance becomes impaired, hindering its ability to effectively regulate various physiological and psychological processes. Scientific research illuminates the intricate relationship between trauma and its impact on the body-mind connection. The findings emphasize the importance of acknowledging trauma as a complex interplay between psychological and physiological factors, extending beyond mere psychological discomfort. By recognizing the scientific evidence behind trauma's profound effects, professionals can adopt comprehensive approaches to trauma-informed care. This involves addressing the physiological aspects of trauma, alongside psychological and emotional healing, to promote holistic recovery and well-being.
Trauma survivors may feel cemented to their past, constantly replaying old tapes of incidents in their mind. They may also reenact unhealed unconscious parts of their trauma.
The stress caused by the trauma response or the stress response on the body produces oxidative stress that activates your ANS system to communicate to the brain that there is an imminent threat. This produces 'fight or flight' chemicals and hormones to rush through the body, leaving your immune system and nervous system lowered.
Somatic Therapy relies on grounding and resourcing to help calm the autonomic nervous system from going into fight, flight or freeze helping to fight against dissociation and traumatic symptoms.
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy or Plant-based Therapies are holistic therapies that help to battle against the chronic pain associated with PTSD symptoms. Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy is also thought to help with the processing traumatic experiences.
Trauma is a bodily state of feeling deeply uncomfortable, hyper-aroused, or feeling completely disconnected from the self. The degree to which our cellular biology keeps the score of our traumatic experiences can feel like a lifetime. Trauma can create immediate and substantial damage to our Autonomic Nervous System (ANS, which makes up our natural stress response).
When we are constantly exposed to trauma, the filtering system in our brain is altered in our amygdala and hippocampus; therefore, you may become hypersensitive to certain sounds, or you have difficulty feeling safe in your body. Gradually, you begin anticipating and experiencing threats to your internal system (perceived or real). As a result, the restorative and balancing function of the nervous system can no longer do its job effectively, resulting in dysregulation of the entire system and a myriad of symptoms that we commonly associate with traumatic injury.