Trauma is a 𝘣𝘪𝘵𝘤𝘩, and we all just wish it would go away. It’s a subject that many of us don’t fully understand which leads to misappropriate labeling and expression of our behaviors. Once we understand what and how it’s impacting our lives, we can start to untangle it from our habits.
Trauma is stored in our implicit memory, or subconscious memory, where it is able to show up in our thoughts and life without us consciously knowing it. This is different from our explicit memory, which encompasses everything that we are able to visual and actively think about.
Every time you experience something stressful, that brings up these subconscious memories from trauma, you tend to reach for the same coping methods that have historically worked. You have conditioned that beautiful mind of yours to respond predictably.
This typically means reaching for food, exercise, or drugs like alcohol.
What this all indicates is when we experience trauma, we can get stuck in a fight, flee, or freeze response. We often cope with unresolved trauma or trauma patterns by utilizing things outside of ourselves to deal with these “𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘤𝘬” patterns of stress.
The way most people relieve symptoms caused by trauma are by learned maladaptive coping strategies. It is theorized that if we address the underlying trauma through Somatic Experiencing we can let go of our faulty coping mechanisms and addictions that we were using to manage the symptoms of the “𝘴𝘵𝘶𝘤𝘬” trauma.
Addictive patterns, 𝘸𝘩𝘪𝘤𝘩 𝘐 𝘵𝘦𝘯𝘥 𝘵𝘰 𝘳𝘦𝘧𝘦𝘳 𝘵𝘰 𝘢𝘴 𝘯𝘦𝘨𝘢𝘵𝘪𝘷𝘦 𝘩𝘢𝘣𝘪𝘵𝘶𝘢𝘭 𝘣𝘦𝘩𝘢𝘷𝘪𝘰𝘳𝘴, are said to be an attempt to numb feelings of fear; relieve the feeling of powerlessness; self-medicate for psychiatric conditions; reduce anxiety; to feel unconditional acceptance among others who utilize the same coping strategy; etc.
Most people stuck in the addictive pattern loop are unaware of its etiology. They are oblivious to the fact that it was rooted in the attempt to manage lasting patterns of their trauma. Most people don’t even attempt to address their faulty coping mechanisms until they hit midlife. 𝗕𝘆 𝘁𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗽𝗼𝗶𝗻𝘁 𝗵𝘂𝗻𝗱𝗿𝗲𝗱𝘀 𝗼𝗳 𝗮𝘀𝘀𝗼𝗰𝗶𝗮𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝗵𝗮𝗯𝗶𝘁 𝗰𝘂𝗲𝘀 𝗮𝗿𝗲 𝘀𝗲𝘁 𝗶𝗻. It makes breaking negative habits incredibly difficult to address unless you relieve the stored trauma.
𝗦𝗼 𝘄𝗵𝗮𝘁 𝗱𝗼 𝘆𝗼𝘂 𝗱𝗼?
I want to emphasize that most of these methods require visits with a professional. A good psychiatrist or someone specifically trained in the methods I will mention can take years off your healing journey. It is best to seek out someone trained in somatic body work. There are also other modalities that are proven to be beneficial e.g., Sensorimotor Processing; EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing); Somatic Experiencing; EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique); and TRE (Tension, Stress, Trauma Release).
One of the ones I had a lot of success with was EFT and this is something I think anyone can do 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩 𝘰𝘳 𝘸𝘪𝘵𝘩𝘰𝘶𝘵 𝘢 𝘱𝘳𝘢𝘤𝘵𝘪𝘵𝘪𝘰𝘯𝘦𝘳. I do think more somatic work is needed for severe trauma, however EFT would stop a panic attack in the midst of my severe panic disorder and OCD — from which was spurred by a few near death experiences. EFT is an evidence based self-help therapeutic method, that has hundreds of studies to show it’s efficacy.
Blog post mentioned in the video can be found here.
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