Trauma is a hurtful fact of modern life (Levine, 1997); practically all of them have suffered at some time from a traumatic situation, not just soldiers or victims of war, Natural disasters, or abuse and aggression.
It can also be traumatic when humans are bullied, when they have a good grade in school but parents are asking for more and more, when they weren’t invited to the birthday party. , when they are abandoned by parents on the first day of school. the teacher drew their attention to the whole course and punished them, when they lose their jobs, when the couple ends love or friendship no longer want to see them, when after being fired, they take a long time to find another job in months, when the grandparents die …
In reality, the causes and consequences are very varied and it will depend on each person’s subjectivity, ability to cope, ability to bond, environment, and ability to resolve at any given time.
The good news is that human beings have instinctive abilities to feel, think, respond, associate, bond, and overcome painful events that have been traumatic.
Overcoming the Mark of Traumatic Experiences
To understand how trauma occurs, you first have to start to understand what it is. According to Pier Janet, (1859 to 1947) French psychologist expert in traumatology, psychological trauma is the result of the person’s exposure to a stressful and unavoidable situation that goes beyond coping mechanisms or the person. In view of this, the physiological mechanics of Fight or Escape will not be able to work, as the event is inevitable.
Peter Levin, psychologist and doctor of medical biophysics, points out that trauma is how our body reacts to the threat of survival. That is, instinctively, when faced with a threat, more primitive physiological mechanisms are set in motion that reside in our brain and nervous system, similar to those of animals, but unlike them, ours are blocked. , because at this time the person could not enter the traumatic experience, go through it and leave it, developing symptoms of trauma such as pain, stiffness, collapse, cognitive dysfunction, anxiety, depression, among others.
The aftermath of trauma can even affect our ability to bond, Distort couple life and sex life. Physiological responses can be so intense and difficult to regulate that they can lead to symptoms such as fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and other autoimmune diseases (Van der Kolk, 2014).
Even after being exposed to facts that have endangered our emotional security, bonds and physical security, a strong resentment develops against those who we believe should have taken care of us, betrayal of these injects. a sense of guilt in ourselves. None of the above is generally functional or resolving, But manages to further hamper the functioning of the person.
Trauma affects human biology and neurology
When people feel too overwhelmed by their emotions, memories do not turn into neutral narrative experiences. These are memories that people cannot count, fear sinks into the body.
Terror becomes a phobia of memory that prevents the integration of the event and the traumatic fragments. Memories deviate from ordinary consciousness and are organized into visual perceptions, somatic concerns, and behavioral actions., To be stored in our memories in the original way of experience (Salvador, 2017).
People who have been exposed to traumatic situations have been injured (the word trauma comes from the Greek and means injury), they are afraid to remember, they do not want, they do not remember, avoiding contact with anyone or a situation that brings them back to what happened and has often given rise to dissociation as an extraordinary mechanism, which involves disconnecting from the experience, which over time becomes a maintenance defense mechanism. In other words, what was used to survive is now used to be maintained (Salvador, 2017).
When we have an experience, it is experienced somatically through our body and our senses.. People are unable to overcome the anguish of what has been experienced, they remain in the throat of fear and the body unconsciously resigns itself to having no escape, letting fear and anguish rule them, which prevents them from moving freely in the present.
Francine Shapiro (2001), creator of EDMR therapy and according to the hypotheses of P. Janet (1889), mentioned in her book The psychological automatism which traumatic experiences undergone through different stages of a person’s development, can interrupt the individual’s coping skills, Making it difficult to process experiences and causing symptoms to appear, causing humans to work dysfunctionally and out of balance and disorganized in many of their areas of development.
Several studies corroborate the importance of continuous stress and chronic trauma as determinants of mental pathology (Joseph, 1998; Osuch et al., 2001; Stickgold, 2002; van der Kolk, Mc. Farlane and Weisaeth, 1996).
Most of what happens to us day in and day out unfolds in familiar patterns, so we tend to forget about it almost immediately. however, if something happens outside of the pattern, the mind will likely catch up to it and put its attention here.
If we run down the street with a friend that we have not seen since childhood and he was one of our best friends, it will surely generate a very intense joy that will make him fix our memory.
The same is true if we are exposed to a threat: the event will fall outside the daily pattern, which will cause us to focus our attention on it.
If it is a threat to our well-being and our safety, a series of neurophysiological mechanisms will be put into action to secrete hormones and endorphins which will help to fix more intensely the traumatic memories, affecting our behaviors, our emotions and our thoughts (Van der Kolk, 2014, Bergman, 2012). When memories are left untreated, they can lay the foundation for PTSD symptoms. (Shapiro and Maxfield, 2002).
And how do you heal the trauma?
Levin (1997) emphasizes that the treatment of trauma depends on the detection of symptoms, which in themselves are difficult to identify because they obey primitive responses. Some of the symptoms are very clear, but for most people they are subtle, Difficult to perceive on their own.
It is essential for the person to be aware of the illness and their capacity for thinking, and it is necessary to explore their reactions, behaviors, emotions and thoughts, as well as to take a journey through the person’s history. . recognize the origins of the trauma, To desensitize and reprocess the traumatic history (Shapiro, 2012).
On the other hand, remember that our natural system for overcoming difficulty is blocked by the inability to escape. This leaves a trapped somatic energy, which in the process of healing must be released or mobilized out of the freezing state, allowing for a decisive and creative response to the threat, which operates not only at the time of the experience, but also at the moment of the experience. years later because our minds and our lives have become fixed on the trauma.
Our own ability to take care, to the rescue
There is a very nice case of psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, MD. In his book The Body Accounts. Examination of a 5 year old boy Vivencio bombed the Twin Towers in United States UU. From September 11.
The boy drew the sudden, painful fact, desperate and extreme experienced by many people, but he also drew a trampoline for jumping. By replicating the experience in his mind, the little one also had the ability to actively manage and find a solution. for their own rescue from trauma (Van der Kolk, 2014).
Unlike this little one, many people who are mentally stuck in the experience, neural patterns change, their life comes to a halt, spontaneity is taken away, and they remain in a state of constant alert, always functioning under threat. , because each new stage of life is contaminated by the experiences of the past.
@image (26753, left) With EMDR psychological therapy, we access the traumatic record that contributed to the development of the disorder that directly presents the patient, as classified in the neural network, leading to the activation of the natural information processing system and remission, therefore, of the symptoms suffered. By focusing on dysfunctional information, results are achieved in less time than usual. If you would like to receive treatment for trauma related issues, please contact me.