PTSD has a physical part and an emotional part

.
When my childhood trauma ignited in my mid 50’s, the physical side of PTSD exploded along with these nasty intrusive thoughts.

.

https://pixabay.com/users/alexas_fotos-686414/

The physical, my fight or flight mechanism erupted 10 to 15 times a day. Our nervous system has another controller, another entity that can take over the operation now.

He/She is called PTSD.

My first goal focused on calming the fight or flight mechanism, trying to shut down the PTSD explosions.

We need our fight or flight mechanism for normal danger, for defense and protection, not for the abstract danger of PTSD.

After we have calmed this adrenal stress response, what remains are the symptoms, dissociation, hypervigilance, avoidance, flashbacks, emotional deregulation, startle response, difficulty concentrating, sleep issues, distortion of time, and unlimited intrusive thoughts.

Intrusive thoughts remind me of a Gatlin gun firing, they are much faster and much more numerous than normal.

Time spent ruminating in the past or trying to predict the future fuels PTSD. It is similar to pouring jet fuel onto a fire.

Dissociation is the kingpin of all these symptoms.

PTSD thrives when we leave the present moment, grasping intrusive thoughts in the past leads to suffering.

PTSD is confusing, time is distorted, usually, we have a beginning and a middle for our trauma narrative, the lack of an ending is the issue.

Healing is not a cognitive journey. Words will not heal us.

Our trauma is stored on the side of the brain that contains no words, no good or bad, no right or wrong.

Trauma is stored at the time it occurs with our abilities at that age.

Childhood trauma is stored at a young age without the brain being developed, so our abilities are limited.

Certain parts of the brain needed to heal are not yet online and functioning.

Our goal is to bring all old trauma into the present moment, so we can integrate it.
.
.

2 responses to this post.

  1. From National Institute of Mental Health

    What are the symptoms of PTSD?

    Symptoms of PTSD usually begin within 3 months of the traumatic incident, but they sometimes emerge later. To meet the criteria for PTSD, symptoms must last longer than 1 month, and they must be severe enough to interfere with aspects of daily life, such as relationships or work. The symptoms also must be unrelated to medication, substance use, or other illness.

    The course of the illness varies: Although some people recover within 6 months, others have symptoms that last for a year or longer. People with PTSD often have co-occurring conditions, such as depression, substance use, or one or more anxiety disorders.

    After a dangerous event, it is natural to have some symptoms or even to feel detached from the experience, as though you are observing things rather than experiencing them. A health care provider—such as a psychiatrist, psychologist, or clinical social worker—who has experience helping people with mental illnesses can determine whether symptoms meet the criteria for PTSD.

    To be diagnosed with PTSD, an adult must have all of the following for at least 1 month:

    At least one re-experiencing symptom
    At least one avoidance symptom
    At least two arousal and reactivity symptoms
    At least two cognition and mood symptoms
    Re-experiencing symptoms

    Flashbacks—reliving the traumatic event, including physical symptoms such as a racing heart or sweating
    Reoccurring memories or dreams related to the event
    Distressing thoughts
    Physical signs of stress
    Thoughts and feelings can trigger these symptoms, as can words, objects, or situations that are reminders of the event.

    Avoidance symptoms

    Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
    Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event
    Avoidance symptoms may cause people to change their routines. For example, after a serious car accident, a person may avoid driving or riding in a car.

    Arousal and reactivity symptoms

    Being easily startled
    Feeling tense, on guard, or “on edge”
    Having difficulty concentrating
    Having difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
    Feeling irritable and having angry or aggressive outbursts
    Engaging in risky, reckless, or destructive behavior
    Arousal symptoms are often present—they can lead to feelings of stress and anger and may interfere with parts of daily life, such as sleeping, eating, or concentrating.

    Cognition and mood symptoms

    Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event
    Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
    Distorted thoughts about the event that cause feelings of blame
    Ongoing negative emotions, such as fear, anger, guilt, or shame
    Loss of interest in previous activities
    Feelings of social isolation
    Difficulty feeling positive emotions, such as happiness or satisfaction
    Cognition and mood symptoms can begin or worsen after the traumatic event and can lead a person to feel detached from friends or family members.

    How do children and teens react to trauma?

    Children and teens can have extreme reactions to trauma, but their symptoms may not be the same as those seen in adults. In young children under the age of 6, symptoms can include:

    Wetting the bed after having learned to use the toilet
    Forgetting how or being unable to talk
    Acting out the scary event during playtime
    Being unusually clingy with a parent or other adult
    Older children and teens usually show symptoms more like those seen in adults. They also may develop disruptive, disrespectful, or destructive behaviors. Older children and teens may feel guilty for not preventing injury or deaths. They also may have thoughts of revenge.

    For more information, see the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) brochure, Helping Children and Adolescents Cope With Disasters and Other Traumatic Events.

    Why do some people develop PTSD and other people do not?

    Not everyone who lives through a dangerous event develops PTSD—many factors play a part. Some of these factors are present before the trauma; others become important during and after a traumatic event.

    Risk factors that may increase the likelihood of developing of PTSD include:

    Exposure to dangerous events or traumas
    Getting hurt or seeing people hurt or killed
    Childhood trauma
    Feeling horror, helplessness, or extreme fear
    Having little or no social support after the event
    Dealing with extra stress after the event, such as loss of a loved one, pain and injury, or loss of a job or home
    Having a personal history or family history of mental illness or substance use
    Resilience factors that may reduce the likelihood of developing PTSD include:

    Seeking out support from friends, family, or support groups
    Learning to feel okay with one’s actions in response to a traumatic event
    Having a coping strategy for getting through and learning from a traumatic event
    Being prepared and able to respond to upsetting events as they occur, despite feeling fear

  2. Emotional/psychological trauma from unhindered toxic abuse usually results in a helpless child’s brain improperly developing. If allowed to continue for a prolonged period, it can act as a starting point into a life in which the brain uncontrollably releases potentially damaging levels of inflammation-promoting stress hormones and chemicals, even in non-stressful daily routines. I consider it a form of non-physical-impact brain damage.

    The lasting emotional and/or psychological pain from such trauma is very formidable yet invisibly confined to inside one’s head. It is solitarily suffered, unlike an openly visible physical disability or condition, which tends to elicit sympathy/empathy from others. It can make every day a mental ordeal, unless the turmoil is treated with some form of medicating, either prescribed or illicit. …

    I used to be one of those who, while sympathetic, would look down on those who’d ‘allowed’ themselves to become addicted to alcohol and illicit drugs. Yet, though I have not been personally affected by the opioid addiction/overdose crisis, I myself have suffered enough unrelenting ACE-related hyper-anxiety to have known, enjoyed and appreciated the great release upon consuming alcohol and/or THC.

    Upon learning that serious life trauma, notably adverse childhood experiences, is very often behind the addict’s debilitating addiction, I began to understand ball-and-chain self-medicating: The greater the drug-induced euphoria or escape one attains from its use, the more one wants to repeat the experience; and the more intolerable one finds their sober reality, the more pleasurable that escape should be perceived. By extension, the greater one’s mental pain or trauma while sober, the greater the need for escape from reality, thus the more addictive the euphoric escape-form will likely be.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: