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Most people who have PTSD do not believe they have PTSD. This is because the symptoms of PTSD creep up quietly, slowly and over time. Due to this time lapse between event and symptoms most people cannot link the event to their symptoms of panic, pain, suffering, depression, anxiety, migraines, constant fear, and constant worrying.
What’s really happening underneath the skin, specifically in the nervous system, is that when trauma happens fight/flight or freeze responses are triggered. These are natural, instinctual survival tools encoded within all human beings. When the fight/flight/freeze responses do not get expressed, this helpless energy stays in the nervous system. In other words, the nervous system get’s triggered and is now stuck on “ON.” This “ON” switch leads to flooding of chemistry in the nervous system and the person feels unsafe and exists in a state of constant vigilance.
If that is not bad enough, there are side affects from this flooding of survival chemistry in the nervous system. Excessive survival chemistry can lead to metabolic health issues such as high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, high cholesterol, migraines, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, loss of sleep, poor concentration and an over-all feeling of helplessness.
Over time the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness combined with metabolic health issues erode the self and self-esteem plummets. Shame sets in. And suddenly, we feel like we are forever in no-man’s land or that we are always drowning. And worse, we feel “there is something fundamentally wrong with me.”
Somatic Experiencing (SE) treatment, developed by Peter A. Levine, Ph.D. goes directly to the nervous system where the stuck traumatic energy resides. My goal is to help you teach your nervous system to come out of PTSD gently and with great compassion.