Trauma Under The Microscope
Updated: Aug 9, 2021
The effects of trauma is a global problem that touches all of humanity. Mental health diagnoses are common after effects of the human experience of trauma, one such diagnosis is termed Dissociative Disorder. The long-term effects of trauma on the psyche may be dependent on the stage of development in which a person experiences trauma. Early developmental trauma may impact a person's ability to regulate emotion. This inability could leave a person with attention deficits that impact learning, which develops into further problems including dozing, fidgeting, becoming emotionally wrought, and addictive personality. The empathic disconnection effects of these problems impacts relationships by causing further traumas.
The bottom line is trauma has the effect of reducing the neural connections in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. It’s this damage to the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VMF) that makes trauma survivors prone to reduced reasoning ability, and limited cognitive ability that paves the way to impulsive decision making. The role of the prefrontal cortex is to assist with decision making, and behaviour regulation. Trauma survivors cycle between distraction, avoidance, and addiction within their psyches. People that are generally disturbed are typically filled with unrelieved trauma that from a viewer's perspective looks like emotional dysregulation, scattered focus, disrespect for boundaries, lack of knowledge of their own emotions, disrespect for the feelings of others, avoidance, and dramatization cycles of conflict. People who chose to suppress healing from their trauma live in the turbulence of addiction, compulsions, co-dependencies, neuroses, and abusive relationships.
The development of a compulsive behaviour pattern is the psyches attempt to deal with stress, and the continual inability to understand, or identify emotions. Trauma causes a disconnect from the self. The process of developing a compulsive behaviour pattern in the first initial stage may feel good, this “feel good state,” is the rush of adrenaline, that has to do with the fight or flight response. Survivors of trauma remain in the emotional state of anger, and fear that impacts the cardiovascular system. This state continues with devastating outcomes until mindfulness is learned, or a person begins to heal enough to develop awareness.
Emotional dysregulation makes it difficult for an individual to understand, or acknowledge emotion, therefore one cannot explain what they are feeling, or how it is expressing in the body, in the moment. In some cases, damage to the prefrontal cortex creates two primary issues, the first being a disconnect that numbs out feelings associated with emotion, and secondly, a disconnect with the emotion in memory connected to triggering events that cause distress in current situations. Many survivors of trauma are uninformed, therefore, the reality for them is lack of understanding of what is happening within themselves, and how to interpret the feedback of experience, for example, learning not to take things personally, but also using experience as a mirror of the self, versus an attack of the self. In addition, some situations require analysis of emotional states, as they relate to emotional memory, caused by triggers in the present related to past events, however, the bottom line is an individual must self-regulate because the nervous system demands it. Everyone develops their own way to self-regulate, this may take the form of addiction, or healthy habits, either way the process is a coping mechanism to reduce stress.
An eating disorder is a common addiction that may be associated with the emotion of anger, we can also relate this issue with the solar plexus chakra associated with the stomach organ. Negative feelings typical of a closed solar plexus chakra are resentment, unworthiness, guilt, and self-hatred. A healthy self-esteem equates to a healthy solar chakra, as well healthy relationship to self through recognition of inner needs, and the maintenance of healthy relationships. The stomach chakra has a left brain thought process, therefore, if trauma reduces neural activity, the endocrine system affected with this chakra includes the adrenals responsible for the prefrontal cortex; we can speculate that one would not behave rationally as the left brain is entwined with identity, fears, and needs of the ego. Identity issues, self-loathing, control issues, addictions, aggression and oversensitivity to criticism are negative attributes of this chakra.
Early childhood social experience, and parental influence make an impact on a person's psyche, and solar chakra. Where things go wrong is when the chakra is negatively impacted by traumatic events. What can happen is the fight or flight switch gets stuck in a chronic trauma state, which propels the psyche to self-regulate. This process can turn to compulsive behaviours that fuel addiction. Reintegration of trauma states is necessary if one is to recover from trauma. Two known methods with proven scientific results that treat trauma are meditation, and Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy. HOT is excellent for Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CPTSD) survivors.
The process of healing trauma includes attending to the totality of one's existence. Not only the relationship to self needs recovery, but the relationship to others, as poverty is described as disconnection to community. While everyone, and everything is interconnected, trauma creates poverty stricken populations. Although western society supports banishment based on the judgement of good, or bad deeds, moreover than inclusion, it also promotes cultural practice that discourages capacity for enlightenment, subtly, by replacing it with deity worship. Faith in deity alone is claimed to follow social, financial, spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental transformation. To date this extremist mentality does not produce equality, or healing of the wounded in society. There must be a better solution. Seek your place of peace, your Bindu - the point of creation. Be love, and light.
Recommended experts in the field of trauma are: Teal Swan, author: The Completion Process. (2016)
Excellent material on the topic:
The Trauma Foundation, Trauma and the Nervous System: A Polyvagal Perspective, You Tube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdIQRxwT1I0
Freud, Anna NCCF, Childhood Trauma and the Brain/UK Trauma Council: You Tube, https:www.youtube.com/watch?v=xYBUY1kZpf8
Mediaco-op, Trauma and the Brain: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-tcKYx24aA