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The Effects of Trauma

Trauma is the result of extraordinarily stressful events that shatter our sense of security, making us feel helpless and in danger.

The traumatic experience can often involve a threat to life but any situation that leaves us feeling overwhelmed can be traumatic, even if it doesn’t involve physical harm. It is essential that the trauma is recognized and proper support put in place to deal with the effects of trauma on our health.

"We should not forget that it was the symptoms manifested by soldiers returning from combat that the effects of trauma were first recognized."

What is Trauma?

What people that experience trauma have in common is that they feel that their lives are threatened. If you overload an electrical system with too much energy and too much stimulation, the circuit breaker activates and shuts everything down. The human nervous system is also an electrical system.

When it is overloaded with too much stimulation and too much danger - as in trauma, it shuts down to just basics. The body is unable to take in the enormity of the situation and unable to process the emotions. Freeze is a common reaction to a traumatic event, It can support our capacity to survive the event.

Coping Strategies.

When trauma occurs either past or present, we have ways of coping with it.We might “disconnect” from it, doubt it ever happened. We may be in denial, we may pretend we’re not hurt, We may feel shame, and keep these feelings locked up inside us. We can shut off the part of us that feels vulnerable, in danger, that’s angry, or that feels like a victim. We may hide or dissociate this part of us. And we “get on with” life.

Life continues until something triggers a post traumatic implicit memory, then we can feel our lives are in danger, and we can feel fear, shame and anger. These feelings can be interpreted as deep seated inadequacy, low self control or esteem. People wonder what is wrong with them. They can blame themselves for their failings, be deeply judgmental of themselves. Often the result is to hide away, not talk, fear life and do their best to keep themselves “safe”.

Common Experiences

Intellectually, you can lose from 50-90% of brain capacity - which is why you should never make an important decision when you are in the trauma ‘zone’. People describe it as feeling numb, in shock or dead inside. We can still carry out all the responsibilities of our everyday lives, with the trauma of the past becoming a closed book.

  • spiritually - we are disconnected
  • we don’t want to talk about the trauma
  • we find it difficult to reach out for help
  • we don’t know what’s happening
  • we cannot manage our emotions

It is not the objective facts that determine whether an event is traumatic, but your subjective emotional experience. The more frightened and helpless you feel, the more likely you are to be traumatized.

  • Birth trauma

  • Loss of Family

  • A breakup

  • Violence

  • War/Conflict

  • Natural Disasters

  • Serious Illness

  • Surgery

  • Accidents

  • Moving Country

  • Divorce

  • Bullying

  • Anxiety

  • Panic

  • Fear of Authority

  • Easily frightened

  • Racing mind

  • Sleeplessness

  • Worry

  • Fidgety

  • Working too much

  • Diffuculty trusting

  • Fear of new situations

  • Needing routine

  • Fear of future

  • Dwelling on past

  • Unable to make eye contact

Accredited Counsellor and Supervisor

087 939 2197

Bridget Haren DIP/MIACP/SEP

It is this story that is stored in the body

So we devise a story that explains it to ourselves, that gives us a sense of control over it.

Bridget Haren Holistic Counselling

About Bridget Haren

Bridget offers Energy Healing to support and deepen the counselling experience. Her many qualifications include healing techniques such as meditation and visualization. Click the button below to learn more about Bridget.

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    Medical Centre,
    Miltown Malbay,
    Co. Clare,
    V95 X72N

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