Recovery from trauma starts with acknowledging the existence of bears. It requires the involvement of a safe tribe. It necessitates the telling of our story and the healing of our wounds. And it requires action to keep us safe from further bear attacks.
So this was me, then: a tick-box list of symptoms demonstrating how screwed up I was. ‘Loser!!’ it screamed at me, casually. The more items I ticked, the more it screamed: ‘Bigger loser!’ Forty items – tick, tick, tick: ‘Biggest loser in the world!’ And so shame sat like a heavy puddle of tar in my stomach.
When we've suffered abuse in childhood, we often experienced pain. And that pain was reflected back in the eyes of our abusers as pleasure. We then take that template and expectation into our adult relationships. In this blog post I explore this topic by drawing on my experiences in one particular therapy session.
‘I’m not seeing a doctor!’ I insisted with a look on my face that was intended to end the debate once and for all. As far as I was concerned, it was simple: I wasn’t going to the hospital, walk-in centre or GP surgery, because I couldn’t go. I couldn’t cope with going. Such was my abject terror that, unless it was a matter of life or death, I avoided all things medical. The problem? This was rapidly becoming a matter of life and death.
It might have been ‘just a routine blood test’ but that didn’t stop me passing out. Again. From a teenager through into adulthood, even the word ‘medical’ could render me light-headed. For a long time I didn’t understand why I was such a ‘wuss’, as I saw it.
Dr Nick Read, a retired medical professor and now a psychotherapist, explains the link between trauma and irritable bowel syndrome - and what can be done about it.
The 'trauma traffic light’ represents three physiological states that the body can shift gear between, depending on levels of threat or security in the world: the green zone, the amber zone or the red zone. Join me as I explain this concept that I developed from Stephen Porges' polyvagal therory.
What medications should be used in the treatment of dissociative identity disorder? This fact sheet takes guidance from the ISSTD’s Treatment Guidelines for DID.
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