Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) & Trauma

When one experiences a trauma, a disconnect occurs in the brain. Normally there is a constant flow of information between the area of the brain responsible for our emotions, feelings and sensory inputs and the area responsible for our ability to reason, communicate, understand and interpret the signals from the emotional-sensory area. But when a trauma occurs, these two areas do not communicate in a manner that mediates the situation. Instead, fragmented emotions, feelings and sensory inputs associated with the trauma become frozen in their intensity in the emotional-sensory area, and the distorted beliefs and conclusions (such as "It was my fault" or "I am not safe" or "I am a bad person") appear similarly frozen in the cognitive areas. That is why sometimes an aroma, a sound, a sight or a touch can trigger the emotions and physical sensations associated to the trauma long past and the deep well of emotions associated with the unprocessed trauma. Similarly, unresolved, distorted beliefs linked to the trauma, such as "I am unlovable" or "I can never do anything right," can amplify disappointments or blows to our self esteem even years later. Most people recognize that overwhelming life-threatening events, such as war experiences, rape or sexual abuse, muggings or domestic violence, and natural disaster can be traumatic. But frequently even ordinary events can be encoded as traumatic. Trauma can also come from yelling, threatening, shaming, repeated emotional or verbal abuse--especially during childhood, and especially from parents.  Sometimes symptoms appear right after the trauma and sometimes they show up much later.  PTSD develops differently from person to person. The symptoms of trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can arise suddenly, gradually, or come and go over time. Sometimes symptoms seem to come from out of the blue. At other times, symptoms are triggered by something that reminds you of the original trauma. Almost all truama survivors, be it emotional or physical trauma, have trouble with their close family relationships and friends. The symptoms can cause problems with trust, closeness, problem solving, communication and an ability to ask for help, leaving the traumatized person with the added pain of feeling alone and isolated.

Signs and Symptoms of Trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder - PTSD

Emotional Symptoms of Trauma  

AnxietyMood SwingsShutdown
MeaninglessnessSelf BlameDenial

Physical Symptoms of Trauma    


NightmaresMuscle TensionChronic Fatigue
Easily startledHeadachesAddictions
Racing heartAches and painsADD
FatigueBreathing problemsSelf destructive
Hard to ConcentrateIBSStuck
EdginessEating DisordersRisky behavior

If you have experienced a small or large trauma you may feel as though you have lost your way in the world. Your body and mind continue to experience an internal world of trauma. Your sense of time is thrown off and you may think that something will last forever. Today here are highly effective trauma treatments, like EMDR that can unfreeze the traumatic memory network and enable you to get unstuck from the past and come back into life in the here and now.

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