Going through trauma is a terrible thing for anyone. But it doesn’t end there.
The trauma lives on , in the mind of the victim. During the traumatic event or time frame, the person’s brain is put into severe overload. The fear center, called the amygdala, is left on too high for too long.
When the traumatic situation is ongoing for a long period of time, the amygdala can get “stuck on”. It is like the on and off switch gets broken. The” fight or flight” mode is only designed to be on high alert for a few minutes, in order to survive a threatening situation.
People in long term trauma situations include military people in a combat zone, people living in domestic abuse and childhood abuse. There are many other examples and I do not mean to leave anyone out.
When we are subject to severe threat to our body or our mind, for an extended period of time, the amygdala in the brain malfunctions . It no longer knows how to turn off.
The brain is attempting to protect us by having our body prepared for a fight to the death or to run for our lives.
This state of ” fight or flight” is not meant to be endured for long periods of time. People with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) have to endure the extreme fear alert of their brains , even when there is no immediate threat of danger.
The brain perceives everything as a threat. It can no longer tell what level a threat is. Anything that triggers a memory of severe threat , takes us right back to the feelings of the original trauma.
Of course , life is full of all types of threats. There are threats to our job. There are illnesses and physical conditions that can threaten our health.
We feel threatened walking to our car in a dark parking lot. A phone call from our ex abuser is a legitimate threat. These kinds of “real threats” can be severely traumatizing to the PTSD brain that had already been injured.
PTSD is a difficult thing for people to understand , who have not experienced it. It is hard for PTSD sufferers to get help and support from loved ones. The more support we can find the better we will heal.
Our support may come from unexpected sources. In cases where there is no family support and friends do not understand, the person may need to reach out to others. There are closed groups for PTSD on facebook. I belong to 2 of them.
There is blogging . Yay ! My favorite source of external support. And there are some other sources on the internet like Tumblr which has live mental health support. Please feel free to put any internet support groups you want to share in the comments below.
Then there is support in the “real” world, like therapy and groups. I have found that wordpress is my best support. But that is an individual choice and is based on my personality and situation.
In many cases, someone will need more than one support place, in order to create a network of support for themselves. Especially during certain phases of the healing process. Personally, I was in a sort of denial of how bad my trauma was for a while and i repressed feelings for many months.
So at the point things started bubbling to the surface and interfering with my ability to manage my life, I was able to find wordpress and that helped me.
Any thoughts about when you started your healing process and if there was a delay, are welcome .