Some symptoms of trauma are behaviors that occur when a situation or occurrence overwhelms our coping skills. This many times causes brain changes, that result is hyper-vigilance, guilt and shame. When traumatized we tend to avoid the source of trauma to protect ourselves from the feelings, thoughts and emotions that become aroused.
Avoiding trauma is adaptive because we are protecting ourselves from another similar situation or the memory and feelings that emerge when the trauma is verbalized. Although trauma is adaptive and somewhat a way of protecting ourselves at the time of the trauma, the emotions, thoughts and feelings that occurred during the trauma continue to get stuck. This can be seen in repeated behaviors and emotional responses in the present, when the old trauma is not occurring in the present. There are many options which the brain chooses to reduce discomfort. Some choose punishment, avoidance or control. These options only serve as temporary relief until the trauma is faced.
Many traumatized people will unconsciously repeat the original trauma with the idea that they will make things right. Repetitive abusive relationships are an example of this. The person recreates the original situation so they can fix it. The original trauma needs to be brought to the surface in order to break this cycle which can last for years or decades.
The good news is that when you can bring the original trauma to the surface it can take away the power of it in the present.
There are some ways to address trauma without avoiding, numbing with drugs or alcohol or repeating the original trauma, Looking at the trauma and integrating it is very helpful It’s much less painful than carrying it for years and decades.Here are some suggestions for addressing and relieving yourself of the initial trauma:
- Journaling can be very helpful by asking self inquiry and compassionate inquiry questions such as why did I overreact in that situation and why did I enter this relationship and what thoughts, feelings or emotions triggered me in a negative way?
- Journaling in combination with talking to a trusted person or a person experienced with trauma treatment is also helpful.
- EMDR (Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy) is one of the most effective trauma therapies. EMDR helps you to face the trauma, from a distance, to explore it and develop compassion and integrate the part of you that was traumatized.
- Self-care as a lifestyle is also important. This includes keeping our sleep, quality of relationships, social life and nutrition in balance. Avoiding toxic foods, behaviors, relationships and addictive behaviors is also very important in your healing process.
- Call for a free 15 minute session to discuss and ways that you can talk about and overcome your own trauma. www.innovativecounselingservicesinc.com