What Is Trauma?
- Trauma can happen to anyone and our responses to trauma are commonly judged or misunderstood
- Trauma is an subjective event. It will feel different for everyone depending on their life experiences
- Being traumatised is not ‘metabolising’ the event. Often it is too much to process at the time
- Trauma is often associated with unsuccessful attempts or an innability to get away from a stressor
- You do not have to be a soldier on the front line to have experienced trauma
- If we feel out of control, helpless or unable to escape something difficult
- Examples of traumatic events might be : emergency surgery, childbirth, childhood neglect, physical abuse, bullying, emotional abuse & injury
- Eventually our trigger neurophysiological responses of fight, flight or freeze will take over
- This is our body trying to keep us safe and help us survive
- If we didn’t have these life saving reponses human beings wouldn’t be here
When past trauma is unresolved the extreme high or low arousal doesn’t get a chance to re-calibrate and settle into an optimal arousal zone where we can tolerate all the stimuli we are bombarded with. So we often live our lives having extreme reactions as our system is primed to act this way.
Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) symptoms are caused by the mind trying to make sense of overwhelming parts of the story when the body/mind system was overwhelmed by stressful or challenging events.