Being someone who dislikes that people are put into boxes of ‘disorders’ and personalities types, I see the individuals who have been through a trauma and are having difficulty functioning or adjusting to life post trauma, with a range of different difficulties.
Thankfully, back in the 90’s, EFT was founded to help the Veterans of the Vietnam War. This technique needs to be widely available to the troops of today that come back from war and have to find a way to live a ‘normal’ life again.
What is Post Traumatic Stress, and who gets it?
PTSD (also sometimes know with a ‘syndrome’ PTSS) is a name used to describe a job lot of symptoms that are a result of trauma. There is often a delay in the showing of the symptoms, and of the diagnosis. There can be a real confusion over how to help someone, and is often misdiagnosed as depression. Depression is commonly a symptom of Post Traumatic Stress.
Trauma can come in a wide range of situations.
As mentioned, men and women are coming back from war suffering severely from PTS.
Women who have been on the conveyor belt of today’s standard hospital birth procedures are frequently left shell-shocked and develop symptoms that are incredibly difficult to live with.
PTS can occur with victims of muggings, abuse, car accidents, natural disasters, even perceived threats. We don’t have to have been at the scene of a terrorist attack to be badly affected by what we have seen or heard.
Firemen, paramedics, police officers – even though it is their ‘job role’ to be there, it doesn’t mean that they are not traumatised by things that they experience. It does seem to make it harder to get help though, as seeking help may be seen in some workplaces as a weakness. When, in fact, seeking help is one of the strongest and most positive things you can do.
What are the symptoms?
Re-living the event, over and over, through nightmares, night terrors, in your waking hours, anytime, anywhere. Even when distracted, something symbolic can bring the events back vividly, as if you are going through it again. Feeling like things will never be better or normal.
I would rather spend time focusing on how I can help you, but for the sake of understanding, I will list some responses that people have:
- Feeling detached, alone, fearful, immense sadness
- On extreme alertness, not able to switch off
- Lack of concentration
- Anger and irritability
- A dependency on distraction such as drinking or another addiction to try to numb the feelings such as gambling
- The feeling of “what’s the point?”
- Emotionally numb
- Severe anxieties
I don’t want to go on any further, yet there are many other emotions and physical problems people can be going through.
Can I get through this?
Yes, please keep hope. There really is effective help for you.
There are different choices, but I will share with you the one I have found the most effective and the least painful to go through. Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is an amazing therapy that is difficult to explain, but gobsmaking to work with. It is better to experience than for me to explain, but I will attempt it!
Every emotion has a physical symptom – for example, if we are nervous we can get runny tummies, anger builds with muscle tension and adrenaline pumping round the body. Loving feelings give us that warm fluttery feeling, and releases the chemical oxytocin in our bodies. Feelings of arousal cause blood to go to our genitals and a very strong desire. Stress causes people to tense their jaws and muscles in shoulders tighten.
My list could go on, but my point is that our bodies and minds are fully connected, and our bodies also store memories – good and bad.
EFT works by joining the talk therapies with the energy therapies, tapping on acupressure points to be a little more specific.
How it helps is difficult to put into words, but the effects of EFT are incredibly noticeable. We may not be able to change what has happened in our past, but we can change how we feel about it now, and how our bodies and minds react.
If you are suffering with PTS symptoms at the moment, then you may struggle to see how, but please have hope, as it really can be something that is behind you, and not something you have to try to live through.
It also very pleasing to hear that working with EFT (and also alongside Neuro-linguistic Programming – NLP) that we can ease and take away the raw feelings without having to fully re-live what has happened with the painful emotions. It is the most gentle and yet the most effective therapies that I have ever come across.
What is the difference between Depression (or post-natal depression) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Often misunderstood and misdiagnosed, depression (and PND) is actually one of the symptoms of PTS, alongside other potential symptoms. Often depression is diagnosed, and the other symptoms are lumped in as a supposed result of having depression. I have found that his is NOT usually the case in my experience.
In summary, dealing with the trauma that caused the post-traumatic reaction helps to elevate the symptom that is known as depression.