Why do i feel traumatized?
Have you ever felt like your mind is working against you? That no matter how hard you try, you can’t shake off the memories of a particular incident? It could be something that happened in childhood, or an event that occurred recently. Whatever it is, one thing’s for sure – it’s making life difficult.
If this sounds familiar to you, then chances are that you’re suffering from trauma. But why do some people feel traumatized while others don’t even flinch at similar events? Let’s take a closer look and unpack the mystery behind feeling traumatized.
The Brain: Our Best Friend…and Worst Enemy
Our brain is both our best friend and worst enemy when it comes to trauma. Here’s how:
Fight-or-Flight Response: The brain likes drama
When we experience stress or danger (real or perceived), the amygdala – part of our brain responsible for emotions – sends out an alarm signal to activate our innate survival response commonly known as “fight or flight’. This response prepares us physiologically for self-defense by releasing stress hormones adrenaline and cortisol into our bloodstream. Thanks Amygdala!
This instinctual response has served us well throughout human history allowing us to react quickly during moments of crisis.
But what if there isn’t really any physical threat?
Unfortunately, today we often misinterpret social experiences as being threatening due to society’s oppressive culture albeit unconsciously which activates this same primitive ‘fight or flee’ mechanism leaving individuals inappropriately reacting with dread and anxiety fearing situations they may not need protection from.
A boss informing their employee about upcoming business review reflecting on performance, in less stressful circumstances might be viewed as challenging but motivating; however under very strict leadership running along extreme competition lines such talk can trigger ongoing traumatic feelings towards taking initiative on personal projects simply because instinctually interpreted as potential threats rather than challenge.
Hippocampus: The brain stores memories
Another part of the brain, the hippocampus, is responsible for storing and consolidating long-term memories. Bittersweet right?
But this structure relies on sensory input to help recall memory details- meaning what we see, smell or hear gives context around a specific event stored in memory.
As traumatic experiences activate our primitive ‘fight-or-flight response’ often hyper-focusing on threat detection that largely ignores surroundings visual stimulation due to narrow attention span so detailed enriching stimuli are poorly encoded leading you to remember only flashes of events but vulnerable vividly detailing all aspects associated with threatening cues particularly harmful when dealing with complex social interactions.
All kinds of things from surrounding aromas – even perfumes worn by participants at the moment scenes unfold- may create involuntary impulsive prompt cued worse encoding regarding previously encountered individuals engaging in conduct in conditions relatable enough for triggers which can explain persistently feeling emotionally disoriented without reasonable explanation.
Prefrontal Cortex: The brain regulates emotions…maybe not perfectly though
Lastly it falls upon our prefrontal cortex (PFC) where personalities reside aka executive functions. PFC plays an important role regulating how we think and feel thanks to impulse control while directing higher reasoning processing allowing us remain balanced despite stress. However under intense pressure such as frightful events serotonin is overproduced by your entire nervous system lowering cognitive function including amygdala inhibiting functions contributing GABA neurons among others enabling anxiety relief; breaking down these group activities would provoke negative sensation amplitude amplifying occurrences akin one another making recovery unbearable prolonged.
Trauma: It’s About The Experience
So why do some trauma sticks after experiencing any kind of crisis whereas others move past them easily?
Individual Perception And Coping Mechanisms Are Key
For starters everyone perceives situations differently according their perceptions never identical means everybody copes distinctively too therefore anything triggering exposure presents multiple meanings unique to the individual person.
While some possess excellent emotional and social skills for addressing painful past experiences others simply lack these same coping mechanisms, making recovery more difficult no matter how small or big the event.
The Universality Of Trauma
That being said, trauma is not a subjective phenomenon that impacts only isolated individuals rather it’s universal in face of harsh life events coupled with an interfering brain response designed around physiological changes exhibited both during real danger and when dealing with potential threat thus influencing daily mood reactions on broader levels than assumed by society understating importance causes various negative feelings associated often misunderstood following traumatic events.
By acknowledging each activity can contribute significantly towards combating difficulties faced instead of accepting them as inevitable helps create new pathways for healing to occur.
Who’s Most at Risk?
Anyone can experience trauma- regardless of age or gender; however certain groups exhibit higher risk factors:
Military Personnel: They signed up for this…but that doesn’t make it easy!
Military personnel are trained to be stoic but even they aren’t immune from experiencing traumas especially after hazardous tours out at conflict zones. This leads many returning home having undergone significant psychological duress trying readapt while recovering from PTSD furthering their symptoms.
Victims Of Abuse: Silent sufferers
Women and children seem most susceptible undergoing abusive relationships thereby freezing cognitive functions re-experiencing harmful situations themselves resulting depression.
A figure released by WHO indicates 1 in 3 women globally undergo domestic violence each year having been physically harmed regularly abused all which have multiple lifetime long-term effects leaving physical scars along mental.
Equally on alert since childhood conditioned into always expecting next punishment either manifested inwardly along rise shame & guilt affecting personal development worsening anxiety.
In different ways across history victims continue silently sustaining self-isolative habits internally allowing presumed abusers assume control over lives almost predicatively destroying trust overall hindering attainable healthy intimacy exciting lifetime channels not perceived from these vantage points nevertheless are available to those willing to communicate what they went through.
Essential Workers: Recognizing the heroes that keep our world going
The ongoing global pandemic has highlighted the role played by essential workers everywhere. Medical practitioners, delivery drivers, supermarket employees – all of them have been working tirelessly under extremely challenging circumstances for months on end making countless sacrifices while trying functioning optimally with as much PPE as possible along caring about one’s own family meanwhile living under extraordinarily emotionally harrowing conditions. is it a wonder their mental health takes hits?
It would be unrealistic not having Any develop PTSD symptoms during such times!
Recognizing Trauma Is The First Step Towards Overcoming It
Traumatized individuals often struggle alone grappling with internal feelings buried deep within themselves convinced no one cares frustrated because daily functioning becomes simplified; identifying triggers or healing individually seems an insurmountable task requiring significant effort before any progress is attainable.
But there’s hope and support out there! Seeking medical attention aimed at navigating traumatic experience can lead you onto the path rebuilding damaged broken connections reaffirming trauma isn’t something unshakable indefinitely causing only emotional suffering; reaching out therefore could mean entire families breaking free from chains torment held others back?
Now more than ever- amidst the still ongoing public crisis- is time deciding to heal ourselves exploring healthy habits enabling turning our lives around when tragedies unfold offering resiliency even when faced brutal honest truth afflicting us today!
So next time you feel traumatized remember this moment in order never forgetting how comforting it felt reading article providing clarity needed pursuing needed action towards solutions ensuring breakthroughs can occur preventing toxic cycles perpetuating overextending periods unnecessarily accompanied societal outside understanding empathy regarded vital first step every individual dealing worst scenarios thrown their way deserves succor – so take your first steps towards acknowledging exercising faithful acceptance conducive to gradual fulfillment restoring prior verve into existence now!