Healing from Trauma is a Good Idea

Healing from Trauma is a Good Idea

 

A trauma is a deeply distressing or disturbing experience that causes emotional and physical shock. The effects of trauma can be noticeable or they can be subtle. More often than not, they lead to debilitating changes in perception and behavior. We all have these kinds of experiences, but often don’t realize their detrimental effects. Sometimes we don’t even associate the effects with the trauma.

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Healing from trauma is a good idea. Traumatic experiences lodge themselves in our brains and nervous systems differently from other experiences. This is the case whether the trauma is something that happened recently or a long time ago. It’s the flight fight freeze response that is natural to our mammalian nature but that gets stuck and causes us to get confused between the past and the present. The past becomes a player in the present in ways that are detrimental because we’re behaving and relating as though there is danger when in fact there isn’t.

Some examples of this are: feeling jumpy and hyper vigilant in situations that don’t call for that sort of alertness; eating in a noticeably different way, either too much or too little or foods you don’t really want to eat; difficulty with sleep, either too little or too much, or disturbed in some way, like nightmares; irritability with others, shortness of temper; drinking too much alcohol or using too many recreational drugs; feeling depressed or anxious; having disturbing memories that haunt you.

Many people don’t realize that they’re suffering from trauma. They might feel out of it and terrible and find themselves thinking or behaving in unusual or odd ways. Instead of investigating the situation the way they would look into any other malady, they try to hide from it and hide it away from others. They feel ashamed that they are not functioning normally. The shame prevents them from seeking the very help that could alleviate the problem. This is a truly sad state of affairs.

Trauma is not a four-letter word. And yet, many of us act as though it is something to be shunned or ignored or gotten over on our own mainly by not thinking about it. This strategy doesn’t usually work because traumatic experiences have a way of narrowing our life choices and making it difficult to feel free in our own skin.

It’s worth it to get help. It can make the difference between having the life you want and sinking into a life that is mired in misfortune. Anyone can heal from trauma whether the trauma is intensely personal or part of a community disaster like a flood or fire. The shock and grief can be resolved in the direction of personal peace and empowerment. No one has to feel bad forever.

[click here for my EMDR page, and here for my counseling page.]