If injury can be equated to an earthquake, then its multiple manifestations, the majority of which exert their effects on a person for the rest of his life, could be considered its aftershocks. But just what is trauma? Trauma is an automatic reaction to the threat of security or survival. It’s an imprint on the mind, which results in its own rewiring by way of its inherent neuroplasticity or capacity to reconnect its countless neurons.
The amygdala, both almond-shaped nuclei located at the end of the hippocampus from the limbic system, serves as the brain’s “smoke detector,” continuously scanning for impending danger, even if this danger is merely an approximation of a counter-survival or threatening episode experienced decades earlier. It receives and processes information much faster than the top, neo-cortex part does, and when it perceives a hint of what’s already been demonstrated as harmful, it activates its fight-flight-freeze mode mechanics, generating high levels of stress hormones that prime the central nervous system to respond and prepare the man to take appropriate, survival-augmenting activity.
The danger can be perceived or actual, present or simply retriggered in yesteryear. Primed and pumped, he becomes armed to fight or escape the danger with the assistance of high oxygen consumption, an elevated heart rate, and increased blood pressure. While standard memoires can be jarred, traumas are retriggered, together with their physiological effects, and are stored as suspended, disconnected fragments, not interrelated institutions that tell a specific story. That trigger can attain hairpin proportions. Someone could physically and intellectually proceed, however, unless his injury was resolved and incorporated, he stays forever emotionally attached to it. It creates a duality of past and present, like he were made to put one foot in each period.
Trauma results in a change. It removes the individual from the driver’s seat and reduces him to a passenger, harnessing extraordinary capability to direct and derail his life, and shifting the debilitating effects amassed from the past in the present. Bessel van der Kolk in The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma (Viking, 2014, p. During such retriggerings, the mind reacts the way it did during the first event, deluding the individual into believing that the injury is persistent at the very instant and that there has been no passing of time between the first and present incidents, because his dorso-lateral prefrontal cortex, place of period registry, is deactivated.
With repeated retriggerings, which might lead to almost chronic mental, physical, psychological, and bodily senses, a lot of the world has been seen and interpreted though the injury, like it were an extension of it. This results, needless to say, in the best distortion of a person’s reality. Immersed in the past, the brain attempts to defend itself from approximations from the present.
Traumas don’t present themselves such as stories with beginnings, middles, and endings. Instead, they just offer originally uninterpretable clues as to their source in the shape of flashbacks, isolated images, sounds, fragments, bodily sensations, nightmares, and snippets of disconnected desperation and dread. Van der Kolk (Ibid, p. Ignoring it makes it heighten and create sensations that put the individual in hyper drive, like a tornado were raging in him, severing his control and making a life of its own. Desperate to escape both the detriment, he might not necessarily have the ability to spot, and the emotional storm inside him, he might resort to any method of decreasing it, if it be the real fleeing activities it dictates or dulling and dousing it with substances and alcohol.
One of injury’s conundrums is that the first experience ends in non-registry of this event’s time; hence, when it’s later retriggered, the man is unable to put it in chronological, differentiating view, by realizing, “This happened to me when I was five. Now I’m 50.” The section of the brain that’s otherwise used throughout non-traumatic times remains clean. This produces a dual-sided problem: the greater a person’s injury is retriggered, the more stuck in his past be becomes the less living and immersed in his current he feels.
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Without intervention, treatment, or twelve-step program participation, it will become a gathering snowball. Indeed, the more it’s triggered, the more power it exerts and the longer it retains its unrelenting grip into the past. It hijacks and inundates the individual, as it gains a life of its own and subjects him to secondary victimization-first when he underwent the first, life-threatening episode and secondarily when he encounters the deluge of stress hormones and bursting emotions.
This explains one of their adult child behavioral traits, which says that the man is a reactor, not an actor, because he immediately startles and stirs because his responses straddle the time lapse between the time of his first trauma and his present one. It evenly robs him of a substantial part of his life’s quality, since he’ll do anything to avoid the excruciating sensations he’s exposed to prevent what ignites them, including embrace complete isolation.
Fight or flight
A individual, in essence, becomes struck in his fight or flight mode, like a button on a computer was gloomy, but he is not able to disengage it. Van der Kolk (Ibid, p. Unless they are addressed and solved, someone will almost certainly never be the same again. Although traumas appear to subside after the danger has passed, they’re not, despite what the individual could think, agreeing to the “gone and forgotten” file. Indeed, like a pebble dropped into a pond, injury causes a ripple effect, by affecting those exposed to it through warfare, rape, and abuse. Its retriggering isn’t merely all-encompassing and commanding, but strips a person of present-time power, rendering him helpless as he was when the initial episode had happened.
Dr. Tian Dayton at Heartwounds: The Impact of Unresolved Trauma and Grief in Relationships. “Once (they’re ) triggered, (they) get directed at whomever or whatever acted as the trigger, and for a moment the wound is provided voice-not the ideal voice, possibly, but the one voice in which it understands how to talk.” Its aftershocks are numerous and unrelenting.
The first of them is post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. Because the brain’s most basic goal is to make sure any organism’s survival, a reminder of an earlier, unresolved trauma causes its crude portion to trip its own circuits and flooding the body with a deluge of hormones so that it may once more prepare itself for flight or fight activities. Ironically, the danger does not necessarily need to be real. Re-experiencing an internally raging storm, the man or woman is made to act upon it or resort to whatever remedy that he can find to douse it.
Suddenly and unexpectedly exposed to a real or perceived life threatening occasion or individual, which elicits intense fear, horror, and helplessness, he’s not able to protect or shield himself he experiences flashbacks, nightmares, and intensive and uncontrollable emotions. Although his first trauma may have occurred decades before and he managed to endure it, he never completely recovered from it, as memories always recycled within his reorganized nervous system.
The longer it is retriggered, the more automatic it becomes, until the individual gets stuck and invisibly into his mind’s replay. Although it continually reacts and wreak havoc with its meso-cortex, or psychological, part, it fails to notify the logical, pre-frontal cortex portion precisely what the danger is-nor necessarily is it, because it largely suspends its reasoning ability and overtakes it.
Although PTSD symptoms are equal to the turning of a solid hose to douse a burning building, its own water continues to spew forth after the flame was extinguished, not able to be stopped till it drowns the construction itself. What starts as help ends as injury, and whether the original threat doesn’t hurt or kill a person, his unregulateable brain will, if only in nightmarish intensity. The only remaining link between the initial and retriggered injury is that the physiological sensations whose intensity that the individual has experienced either or via repeated reactivations.
Another aftershock–and among the adult child behavioral characteristics-is a detachment from others and the world. Perpetually believing he is on the outside looking in, such a man is separated from others, regardless of what could be close physical proximity, due to his lack of confidence and repressed fears. These consist of those bottled up detriments to which he had been exposed, but where he couldn’t escape, in addition to the chance of alcoholic radicals moved to him and currently flowing, with no knowledge, through his bloodstream.
Yet a third injury aftershock might be the absence of a decent parental role model. If a individual’s parents grew up with the identical unstable, chaotic, violent, and alcoholic conditions that they made for their offspring, they might have only been present. Prisoners, possibly, to their own dependence and unresolved upbringings, they leave their kids amiss to know why, but still very abandoned. Inconsistent and unreliable, they neglected to nurture their offspring’s development, leaving them without appropriate parental role models to emulate or resources into whom they could plug themselves.
Self-image is generated by the reflection a individual’s parents endeavor on to him, leading to his internalization of the opinions, evaluations, feelings, and ideas. If, by way of instance, a father states that “My son is a useless nothing,” he will believe it. For many children it’s safer to despise themselves than to risk their relationship with their caregivers by expressing anger or by running away,”. “As a consequence, abused children are likely to grow up thinking they are fundamentally unlovable; this was the only way their youthful minds could explain why they had been treated so poorly. You know what occurred to you the first time you had been forced to close, inextricable touch with your abuser! Children with histories of abuse and neglect learn their terror, pleading, and crying don’t enroll with their caregiver,” according to Van der Kolk. “Nothing they can say or do stops the beating or attracts help and attention. Unlike adults, they have no additional authorities to turn to for assistance.