Events

Psychological trauma

Category: Events

Type

Involuntary

Introduction and description

Psychological trauma is a type of damage to the soul.  There is a subtle difference between shock and psychological damage, but the effects are very similar, they are often treated together in medical text books.

The traumatic event may involve either a single experience, or an enduring or repeating series of events, that completely overwhelm the individual's ability to cope or integrate the ideas and emotions involved with that experience. The sense of being overwhelmed can be delayed by weeks, years or even decades, as the person struggles to cope with the immediate circumstances.

Psychological trauma may accompany physical trauma or exist independently of it.

A whole raft of events can cause psychological trauma from such things as bullying, domestic violence, incessant verbal abuse, indoctrination, being the victim of an alcoholic parent or burglary or a mugging; and catastrophic events such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, war or other mass violence. In times of war, psychological trauma has been known as shell shock or combat stress reaction. It can be caused by car, plane or other vehicle crashes.  It can be caused by medical emergencies and events.  Long-term exposure to situations such as extreme poverty can be traumatic.

The term Continuous Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (CTSD) was introduced into the trauma literature by Gill Straker (1987). It was originally used by South African clinicians to describe the effects of exposure to frequent, high levels of violence usually associated with civil conflict. The term is also applicable to the effects of exposure to contexts in which gang violence and crime are endemic as well as to the effects of ongoing exposure to life threats in high-risk occupations such as police, fire and emergency services.

Background

French neurologist Jean-Martin Charcot believed that psychological trauma was one of the  origins of the mental illness known in far off days as hysteria. Charcot's "traumatic hysteria" often manifested as a paralysis that followed a physical trauma, typically years later, after what Charcot described as a period of "incubation".

People who obtain a spiritual experience from trauma can have anything from hallucinations, to visions, out of body experiences or more positively inspiration – it depends on how they learn to deal with the trauma.  Perhaps the worst form of experience, however, is simply acute perception recall, crystal clear, when a person may re-experience the trauma mentally and physically over and over again.

The memory may be suppressed by the will in order to protect the person, but of course any repressed memory may simply lead to expression of the underlying perceptions as upsetting images, thoughts, or flashbacks which may haunt the person, and nightmares may be frequent. 

The end result, unless the person uses these flashbacks and moments of perfect recall to help heal themselves, is illness.  “a pattern of prolonged periods of acute arousal punctuated by periods of physical and mental exhaustion.”  The illnesses can range from panic attacks, to depression, physical aches and real pain to heart problems, headaches and so on.  The mental becomes physical.

What marks the trauma victim out as a person is that they were sensitive souls in the first place, already capable of having an experience, but where the trauma has tipped the balance and made them far more susceptible to uncontrolled experience.

Treatment

Although by brute force and overload one may get a spiritual experience, it is clear that this is not an approach anyone would ever choose to use and the illness that results can eventually kill some people.  So there is a need for treatment. Getting a person to recall the trauma immediately after the event is of no use whatsoever.  This has been proved time and time again.  If anything all it does is reinforce the memory of the event.

The spiritual experiences have to be used to help in healing.  Furthermore, the subconscious, which is the seat of emotion has to be gently told like a child [because child it is] that the danger has gone.  You have to treat the subconscious like a frightened child, because frightened child it is.

Any form of symbolic, ritualistic or [strange as it might sound] game like exercises which would appeal to the subconscious can be used here to convince it that there is no danger any more.  Repetition, frequent repetition, with brightly coloured images and helpful sounds all help to convince this ‘third person’ that we have in our minds that the danger is in the past and that their memory and any patterns of behaviour which have started to emerge from this need to be erased.

Whoever helps in this needs to be as sensitive as the person who suffered.  They need to be empathetic, compassionate and kind.  They are taking the role of a parent to the bewildered child in this person, so if they themselves appear childlike or insecure, fragile or needy, then they will only exacerbate the problem.  It does not help for the person who is doing this to have problems of their own – this is not empathy.  Think parent/child – the child needs someone to trust and lean on for a while until they get over the trauma.

There are ‘self-administered psychological tests’ that have been devised for assessing trauma – devised no doubt by psychologists. Imagine for a moment the reaction of a child to this and you will see that this is the last thing they need.

Most of the therapies devised by psychologists appear to have been devised to make them money.  Sorry for the cynicism.

The best healers appear to be those who heal physical complaints – acupuncturists, reiki healers, rolfers and the occasional good psychotherapist and hypnotherapist.  See Healing yourself

How it works

Emotional overload plays an important part in the cause of any experience.  Psychological trauma can also lead to insomnia and sleep deprivation

But there is also input from the befuddling effect of trauma.  Trauma is frequently a violation of the person's familiar ideas about the world and of their human rights, putting the person in a state of extreme confusion and insecurity. This is also seen when people or institutions, depended on for survival, violate or betray or disillusion the person in some unforeseen way.  It is an attack on beliefs [memory]  and reason.

The person may also suffer from delayed Shock (see shock) - 'a psychological condition arising in response to a terrifying or traumatic event'.

You now  need to have the Model of the Mind open and have read How spiritual experience works.

If we look at this from a logical point of view, what we see is that the Will is being assaulted by a Threat  - a threat that comes from Memory not from external sources. 

The Will is being constantly bombarded by memories of past events that are serving to disrupt present activity.  They may also have an effect upon the person's health and the body often tells the Will DO SOMETHING!

But what if it can do nothing?  If it searches  Memory for a learnt function to deal with it, it is in danger of reliving the experience over again and unless the Will finds some way of creating a learnt function the threat returns.  

There is little input from the Reasoning function – after all what can it do?  The threat is not current but it was real at the time.  Interestingly, it is often the messages from the Subconscious that are the strongest, although we may not realise it.  The event will have been stored in our Perceptions and  any nightmares we have will have been built using perceptions not memoryIt is often the Subconscious that is crying out  DO SOMETHING, DO SOMETHING!!!  The Will may first tell the Subconscious  that it can do nothing and to cease complaining, but there comes a point where the Will gives up, exhausted, and lets the Composer take over.  The ego has been squashed.

And we get our spiritual experience.

That experience may well be one in which the Composer attempts to reconcile us to the event and help us put together [often via  dreams] learnt functions that help us cope with the trauma.  Never try to squash nightmares with pharmaceuticals, nightmares are played out in order to help us learn to cope.

 

Observations

I actually found quite a number of observations that came within this category, but they also came within other categories such as those connected with fear and war as well as physical abuse.   Thus you may find some of these observations listed in other categories as well.

Related observations