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Out of the Darkness and into the light

Trauma and PTSD

Trauma is the response to a deeply distressing or disturbing event that overwhelms an individual’s ability to cope, causes feelings of helplessness, diminishes their sense of self and their ability to feel the full range of emotions and experiences.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) occurs after a traumatic event and interferes with your ability to function at home, school, work, and/or social situations. You may wonder if you or someone you love has PTSD, and whether you need to get professional help.

While many people experience anxiety, PTSD differs in intensity, symptoms, and is often limited to a specific experience. Someone can have Generalized Anxiety Disorder and PTSD.

Events that can cause PTSD

When we experience a disturbing event, our brains trigger the fight or flight stance.  If the events are not processing properly, they can remain in the long-term memory as mental wounds, negatively affecting our lives

Accidents

Single-incident trauma can occur from memories of serious accidents.

Violence

The act of inflicting physical harm or unwanted contact. Threats of  harm, as well.

Natural Disasters

Hurricanes, tornados, wildfires can devastate communities.

Terminal Medical Diagnosis

Life-changing news can be too much for our brains to comprehend.

Causes of Complex Trauma and PTSD

Childhood Abuse & Neglect

Attachment Wounds

Multiple Traumas & Losses

War/Terrorism

Unhealed trauma negatively impacts quality of life.

Symptoms of PTSD can surface as soon as a month after a traumatic event, and up to several years after.

Changes in physical and emotional reactions

Becoming easily startled or frightened. Feelings of being in danger or on-guard. Destructive behavior like alcohol or drug abuse. Trouble concentrating or sleeping. Overwhelming guilt or shame.

Negative mood and thinking

Hopelessness about the future or lack of interest in things you once enjoyed. Negative thoughts about yourself, other people, or the world.  Thoughts like “I’m in danger”, “I’m a bad person”, or “I’m powerless” despite knowing it’s not true.

Avoidance

Avoiding people, places, and things that remind you of a traumatic event.

Flashbacks and nightmares

Uncontrollable thoughts or intrusive memories about the event. When our mind puts us back at the traumatic event and we relive the experience over and over.

Out of the Darkness and into the light

EMDR Therapy for Complex-Trauma

Most of us will likely experience single issue trauma in our lifetime. Multiple trauma, or complex-trauma, is also a growingly common issue Americans are facing today. Repetitive bullying, discrimination,  toxic relationships or work environments, and other societal pressures, are just a few events that can be traumatic and lead to physical and emotional pain. We are taught to be strong and not let negative incidents bother us, but in many cases, it is not possible to “get over it” on our own.

If you had a difficult childhood, or another period in your life, and believe you have troubles today because of it, EMDR can help.

There is help for PTSD & Complex Trauma

EMDR therapy is help for PTSD and Complex Trauma. I use it to access the root of the distress located at the sub-conscious level.

When we experience trauma, all the negative thoughts, feelings, and emotions become associated with aspects of the event, causing memories to be dysfunctionally stored.

Later on, normal experiences can inappropriately prompt a recording when it looks like, feels like, or something that brings up a similar feeling instilled by the past.

The back of your brain (Fight, Flight, Freeze) thinks the old experience is happening again and brings up thoughts such as I’m in danger, I’m worthless, I can’t handle it. 

EMDR therapy helps connect these old thoughts to the front of the brain (Adult brain) that knows the experience is over and then installs positive thoughts such as I’m safe now, I’m OK as I am, I can handle it.