If elements of the trauma are replayed again and again,




The Body Keeps the Score:


If elements of the trauma are replayed again and again, the accompanying stress hormones engrave those memories ever more deeply in the mind.


Ordinary, day-to-day events become less and less compelling.


Not being able to deeply take in what is going on around them makes it impossible to feel fully alive.


It becomes harder to feel the joys and aggravations of ordinary life, harder to concentrate on the tasks at hand.


Not being fully alive in the present keeps them more firmly imprisoned in the past.


Triggered responses manifest in various ways. Veterans may react to the slightest cue—like hitting a bump in the road or seeing a kid playing in the street—as if they were in a war zone.


They startle easily and become enraged or numb.


Victims of childhood sexual abuse may anesthetize their sexuality and then feel intensely ashamed if they become excited by sensations or images that recall their molestation, even when those sensations are the natural pleasures associated with particular body parts.


If trauma survivors are forced to discuss their experiences, one person’s blood pressure may increase while another responds with the beginnings of a migraine headache.


Still others may shut down emotionally and not feel any obvious changes.





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