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The below information may be helpful in making decisions about your treatment, feel free to explore.

What happens when you are traumatised?

 

Most of the time your body routinely manages new information and experiences without you being aware of it. However, when something out of the ordinary occurs and you are traumatised by an overwhelming event (e.g. a car accident) or by being repeatedly subjected to distress (e.g. childhood neglect), your natural coping mechanism can become overloaded. This overloading can result in disturbing experiences remaining frozen in your brain or being "unprocessed". Such unprocessed memories and feelings are stored in the limbic system of your brain in a "raw" and emotional form, rather than in a verbal “story” mode. This limbic system maintains traumatic memories in an isolated memory network that is associated with emotions and physical sensations, and which are disconnected from the brain’s cortex where we use language to store memories. The limbic system’s traumatic memories can be continually triggered when you experience events similar to the difficult experiences you have been through. Often the memory itself is long forgotten, but the painful feelings such as anxiety, panic, anger or despair are continually triggered in the present. Your ability to live in the present and learn from new experiences can therefore become inhibited.

 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

 

Each person reacts to trauma in his or her own unique way. Nonetheless, there are common reactions which many people share.

A Normal Reaction to Abnormal Events:

A traumatic event is an emotional shock. It is not easy to take in what has happened and to come to terms with it. After a trauma, it is quite normal to experience all kinds of unpleasant feelings, emotions, and body sensations. These may take some time to die down. In the meantime, memories and images of the trauma, and thoughts about it, come into your mind even if you try to shut them out. These experiences may be confusing and even frightening. You may wonder if you will ever get over the trauma, if you are losing control of yourself, or even if you are going mad. These worries are entirely understandable.

The most common reactions:

1. Fear and anxiety

2. Re-experiencing

3. Physical arousal

4. Avoidance

5. Feeling low

6. Difficulty concentrating

7. Loss of control

8. Guilt and shame

9. Anger

10. Self-image and negative thoughts about other people and life in general

11. Reminders of the past which may be as disturbing to you.

ACE: Adverse Childhood Expericences

The Adverse Childhood Experiences Study is the largest, most important public health study to date. Mentions of the ACE Study  have, in the last year, become a buzzword in social services, public health, education, juvenile justice, mental health, pediatrics, criminal justice and even business. Many people say that just as everyone should be aware of her or his cholesterol score, so everyone should know her or his ACE score. Click below to find out:

ACE was the first time that researchers had looked at the effects of several types of trauma, rather than the consequences of just one. What the data revealed was mind-boggling.

The first shocker: There was a direct link between childhood trauma and adult onset of chronic disease, as well as mental illness, doing time in prison, and work issues, such as absenteeism.

The second shocker: About two-thirds of the adults in the study had experienced one or more types of adverse childhood experiences. Of those, 87 percent had experienced 2 or more types. This showed that people who had an alcoholic father, for example, were likely to have also experienced physical abuse or verbal abuse. In other words, ACEs usually didn’t happen in isolation.

The third shocker: More adverse childhood experiences resulted in a higher risk of medical, mental and social problems as an adult.