Living with repressed feelings of trauma is no way to live at all. Many who experience a traumatic event in their life would like to think that time heals; in many cases the reality is that it doesn’t. Avoidance won’t solve the feelings that an individual carries with them on a daily basis. The weight of trauma can send someone into a deep dark depressive state. The physical and emotional state that someone will revert to after experiencing a traumatizing event can be debilitating.
The psychological stress of the event will over stimulate the nervous system, resulting in the shutdown of brain activity; the brain loses anywhere from 50-90%of its competence. The ability to feel, function, or process information is severely impaired; decision making in this state can be irrational. The physical capabilities of someone with PTSD are limited. Decrease in pain, equilibrium and acne are all physical symptoms of PTSD.
There are four distinct patterns that recovering PTSD victims will experience. Individuals can experience anywhere from one pattern up to all four. Identifying which style they experience can aide in the recovery process. Psychology Today examines each effect as follows:
The Trickle Effect: Clarity of the event and emotions will come in bits and pieces at a time. The feelings can be experienced at a low or medium intensity.
Hit and Run Feelings: Feelings will intensely manifest and many will find the emotions too overwhelming and quickly stuff them to avoid the confrontation. This averting tactic will have no resolution. Another episode, within time, is expected.
Emotional Rollercoaster: Emotional ups and downs are continuously in play. Although when emotions are present, they are confusing and unmanageable.
Tsunami: Due to repressing and stuffing feelings, a massive wave of emotions will build up and take them down hard. After the emotional breakdown they will feel fine, for a while. Slowly the stress will build back up for another tidal wave.
Moving Toward Recovery
Talk About It: Facing the feelings is where they will find recovery. Talking about the event over and over again can work out the feelings that have been buried. This is the scariest hurdle in recovering from PTSD. Reiterating the gory details of the event is a hard pill to swallow, but it is the best medication. Talking, writing, or even drawing is effective ways to express these feelings. With the aid of trained professionals such as doctors, therapists, or even counsels safely managing these emotions can return them to a state of emotional balance.
Take Action: Regaining control through small actions can rebuild esteem. Taking actions such as volunteering, exercising, and donating are all effective methods of regaining self-esteem and self-worth. Noble acts of kindness are curing.
Feeling is healing. Recovery from traumatic experiences can be overwhelming. Through therapy, lifestyle changes, and staying active, sufferers can break the bondage and recover peace. The emotional turmoil of PTSD is an unbearable way to live, and no one should have to live that way, and little can be done without reaching out for help. If you or someone you know is suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, isolation can be deadly, reach out for support and help.