Depression is a serious illness that reduces the quality and length of people’s lives. If you suffer from depression you probably feel very alone because the people around you do not understand.
Having your serious mental health disorder minimized, disregarded, or disbelieved can make the feelings worse. Over time negative emotions that are repressed will manifest themselves into mental disorders and eventually physical illness.
There can be more involved at the root of depression than people realize. Most sufferers of depressive disorders, and anxiety disorders, have old emotional wounds from childhood that were ignored and not tended to. The inner child is fractured and left in an unsafe place.
Feeling unsafe in the world, is rooted in childhood neglect of emotional needs. You did not have to be physically beaten in order to sustain serious emotional wounds as a child and a teenager.
If your feelings were minimzed, especially during traumatic events like divorce, alcoholic parents, violence in the home, poverty, dislocation or other things where you felt powerless….then you were left being taught that the world is emotionally unsafe and that you had to repress your feelings about that.
It does not go away until the inner child is recognized and nurtured. The fractured parts of you are crying to be heard. Continuing to ignore, shove down and minimize the inner child will further traumatize you.
Society wants you to shove down your feelings and stop being a baby. But what if the infant was never loved properly or cared for in a way it felt safe? Time does not remove that infant part from you.
You are not separated from your younger selves. They are a part of your entire being. It all needs to be validated, including fractured child parts that were not loved in the way they needed to be.
It is no wonder that after years of being told to move on, “leave the past behind you” that you now have serious depression illness. It is the same as a Soul Sickness.
We are made of different perceptions and realities. Our emotional and spiritual realities are very important. Putting on a mask every day, and ignoring those parts of you will lead to severe depression and anxiety disorders.
Any pain in the body, or the mind is always telling you that something has been neglected. There are no amount of pills that will fix the Soul Sickness.
Your brain looks for ways to replay out scenarios from your childhood that were neverresolved. You will continue to find yourself in circumstances, and with people that bring up the old emotional wounds.
You have to find ways to connect with, communicate with and comfort the inner child , so that they feel heard and safe.
*for more info, articles, affirmations, and info about coaching for Soul Sickness, narcissistic abuse, hypnosis and NLP healing…please join the mailing list at gentlekindnesscoaching.com
This term “dysfunctional family” is a catch all basket term that includes a variety of types of malfunction within the family that can cause trauma and C-PTSD to the child.
Children of alcoholic parents fall into this category and even have their own phrase, which many of you have heard “Adult Children of Alcoholics.” Of course adult children of drug addicted parents, whether narcotic addicted or even prescription drug abusers also falls into this basket term.
The family can be dysfunctional when one or both of he parents are abusive in a physical, sexual, mental, emotional or any psychological way. Abuse can occur from other members of the family other than the parents. Even siblings and grandparents can cause the home to be unhealthy psychologically for the children growing up in it.
Some preteens ans teens are left alone most of the time due to a single parent work schedule and no other relative available. Having to parent yourself all the time can cause psychological dysfunction and important “brain software upgrades” can be missed at these ages.
This may not be the parent’s fault and may be circumstantial but can be as devastating to the child than if it were intentional. The intention of the parent to be abusive or to create a psychologically damaging atmosphere to grow up in is not the main factor of whether or not the child is damaged.
If you were in any atmosphere that interfered with your normal social and psychological development them you may have C-PTSD from your childhood. C-PTSD is Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
C-PTSD is caused by years of being in various situations where you felt unsafe and you also felt trapped into the situation with no choice to leave it.
As a child we are mostly sentenced to the life we are living in therefore there is a feeling of powerlessness about having to stay in the situation. It can feel like a prison.
If there was a divorce or other upheaval like moving a lot, then we may have been in multiple environments with different kinds of abuse, or trauma that happened at various ages and from various different people. This is the root cause of C-PTSD.
Complex trauma is built over time and compounded by one traumatic event or situation being piled on top of the next.
There can be years and years of traumatic experiences from emotional abuse by different relatives and non-relatives like babysitters and people that dated our parent. Moving and having to be the new kid at school and adjust to unfamiliar houses and neighborhoods can also be traumatic.
Being different than the other kids at school who have more stable lives can lead to bullying at school, which further compounds the complex trauma.
As you were growing up you may have felt like there was something wrong with you because you never seemed to fit in with the other kids who did not share your trauma and inadequate support system.
The feeling that there was something wrong with you further compounded the trauma.
As you got older the type of abuse you were exposed to probably changed. As a small child you may have been emotionally abused by being ignored and minimized. As a teenager the abuse may have increased to aggressive yelling. hitting, or being thrown out of the house for periods of time.
Layers of Abuse and Trauma
The combinations and layers of abuse, neglect, and trauma that can occur are endless. Each person has their own experience and each person’s past is unique. Your story won’t be just like anyone else’s.
If you feel like something is wrong with you and it feels like it goes back into your teenage years or your childhood, then you probably have complex post traumatic stress disorder.
I am going to write a series of posts about C-PTSD because I feel that so many people are suffering from this and either do not know that they are, or have no where to turn to for help with it. The results of C-PTSD can be devastating. Most people with C-PTSD have mental illness of one kind or another or a co-morbid condition of more than one mental disorder.
Depression is common with any kind post traumatic stress disorder. There will also be hyper vigilance about things that feel threatening.
The amygdala has become dysfunctional and the fight or flight mode is likely to turn itself on at the slightest trigger of a memory associated with earlier trauma, even of the trauma happened before your conscious memory can remember.
Trauma and abuse can occur in infants and very small children.
The memory from this age cannot be stored in the conscious memory system. The memory will be stored in the subconscious as feelings of fear and being unsafe.
There can be triggers that set of your fight or flight mode and you do not understand them because they are from when you were too young to remember. If you came from trauma that you do remember, it is very possible that there is also trauma that you do not remember that is from when you were an infant and in your toddler years.
Flashbacks are pictures, sights, sounds, feelings and other memories of a traumatic event or situation which come back to our brains like they are happening right now.
Emotional flashbacks are a flooding of a negative feeling that overcomes you when something triggers a past trauma. Emotional flashbacks may come to you like anxiety attack or a wave of depression. They may come in form a sudden distrust of a person or situation that is triggering the memory of a past abuse.
Realizing that we may not remember all of the reasons why we experience floods of seemingly illogical emotions can help us to heal from our trauma.
We never feel things for no reason. People may tell you that you are overly sensitive or too thin skinned or that you tend to over-react to things, but you are none of those things.
If you are sensitive to people saying certain kinds of things to you, then it is a response to earlier wounds that were inflicted upon you. When old wounds are opened up and even pressed into, there is going to be an emotional response. This is no overreacting, it is simply reacting to someone throwing salt into an open wound.
Some of your wounds may have occurred too young for you to remember.
Some of your wounds may have caused during adulthood such as a partner being abusive. Even then this abuse was also probably opening older wounds that you already had.
Most people do not stay is abusive relationships unless they were trained to do that as a child. Abuse victims get that same feelings of being trapped into a cage that they had when they were growing up.
Fight, Flight or Freeze
The fight or flight mode actually has one more possible part to it, which is the “freeze” mode. It is really “fight, flight or freeze.”
When we feel that we are in danger, especially if it triggers earlier trauma then the brain often goes into the freeze mode. This is a way of the brain trying to protect us although it may not serve us as adults. These post traumatic stress responses are very powerful because they are embedded in our subconscious.
Our subconscious brain has a lot of power over our feelings and our reactions. In order to heal from complex trauma and post traumatic stress much of the work needs to be done at the level of the subconscious brain.
This can be done through meditation, certain NLP techniques, listening to audios designed for this that put us into a light hypnotic state. If you prefer you can go to someone who does hypnosis and specializes in C-PTSD and PTSD.
I will close for now because this is getting so long to read. I plan to write a few more articles about this topic. This was intended to the introductory article about this.
Blessings to all,
The art of unconditional love seems to be becoming a rare commodity. This is unfortunate, because we need to live in an environment that supports our emotional health.
Nurturing relationships are important for our mental well being and our overall health. We need people to confide in and to be able to count on to be there for us.
Not only do many people never experience what it would feel like for someone to treat them with unconditional love, some people have never experienced it at all.
I would even go as far to say that some people do not know what a relationship of unconditional love would look or feel like. People that grew up without unconditional love often do not know how to find it as an adult.
This society has become one based on “dealing out” affection, appreciation and love as if it were a commodity.
There are different types of love in different kinds of relationships to each other.
Friendship love is different from romantic love. Love of a mentor is different from love for an elderly neighbor that has been like a grandmother to you have known for years.
Unconditional love should ideally be two sided. One sided unconditional love can become a situation of manipulation and abuse. There are plenty of examples of one-sided unconditional love relationships.
These one-sided unconditional love relationships often involve one selfless person who understands this concept and another person who takes advantage of it. Relationahips like these are likely to end up being exploitative and abusive.
Healthy relationships should support you, rather than pull you down. Unconditional love is when two people choose to love and care about each other.
That love is not contingient on the person being perfect. It is based on loving someone for who they are as a person.
Withholding of love and affection is not used as a weapon. Love is not handed out based on someone acting like the person you want them to be. It is not withheld as a tool to manipulate them into compliance.
I am not referring to feeling closer to someone when they are being closer to you. I am not discouraging giving someone approval when they are loving to you.
A relationship of mutual unconditional love is a choice to try to be patient. It is not jumping to conclusions or assuming the worst about someone.
It is giving someone a chance to communicate with you in a non-judgemental atmosphere of kindness.
Relationahips where both people choose daily treat the other person with value and respect can be rewarding and foster an atmosphere of calmness, trust and safety. These are relationahips where both people can grow and live in a mentally and emotionally supportive environment.
Our society seems to be getting more and more competitive and it is becoming more focused on individual achievement than on relationships.
There is generally more value placed on external representations of worldly success than there is value for interpersonal hhumanity and kindness.
Predators who seek out and target victims for exploitation, in a variety of ways, are becoming more skilled. There are even blogs and web sites that are designed to instruct people how to be more narcissistic.
These blogs I have come across teach that the Machiavellian philosphy of “the ends justifies the means” and they condone man’s inhumanity to man.
As a sensitive or empathic person it is difficult to avoid becoming victimized by people with little or no empathy. Once people are victimized or severely emotionally (or otherwise) injured, they often retreat into a safety zone of distrusting others.
Even one or two relationships in your life that are based on unconditional love and kindness, would add great value and comfort to your life. There are still people who have the ability to offer this to you.
The people that still understand the value of relationships are also sometimes the ones who are most easily injured by the people who see no value in trusting relationships. Other people have become bitter and no longer believe anyone is worth bothering with.
Finding these golden few caring relationships in your life isdifficult. Lessons are often learned in painful, sometimes devastating ways.
Learning about abusive personalities and how to deal with manipulative people has now become a survival skill. It is necessary to know the red flags of an abusive person and to be able to recognize the signs of an abusive relationship early on.
In order to find healthy friendships and partner relationships we must learn how to set healthy boundaries. In turn we have to respect the boundaries of others.
Wasting our time on relationahips that do not nurture and support us is time we could be spending with someone much better for us.
Even interactions with family members who deplete our energy, and lower our self esteem, should be minimized.
Life is too short and you are to valueable to settle for unfullfilling relationahips. Material things do not make up for meaningful relationships.
Value yourself and believe that there are people who would value you for the person who you are inside. You are worth it and your quality of life matters.