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Trauma ? Trauma over!

EWith stubborn health or life problems? An underlying trauma may be the problem. While the past few decades have witnessed quantum advances in the study of trauma, its consequences, and treatment, most people still see car crashes, falls, assaults, divorces, abuse, emotional upheavals and, more simply: unique events that happen to someone else. .

At some level, trauma is just a physical, emotional or spiritual overload that we are unable to process in the moment, due to factors such as fatigue, danger, vulnerability, lack of external support or internal resources. In this sense, trauma is situational. Nine times out of 10, a particular impact or insult may not reach the threshold of trauma. But when it does, our brain instantly dumps the overload into our tissues without us being aware of it.

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If this well-established reflex helps us to survive the crisis, it also perpetuates it. Now parked in our tissues, the energy of the overload actively diffuses to our whole being that we are in danger. In other words, until they are found and expelled, these buried contents immerse us in a dysfunctional and traumatic past. It also explains many of our eccentricities and neuroses.

In the immediate aftermath of a traumatic event at any age, if there is no one to confide in and comfort us with, it is at least as traumatic as the actual event, if not more so. However, humans are most vulnerable to trauma during the first 27 months after conception, when our survival is entirely dependent on others. During this critical time, even momentary service – or a severance of connection with our mother or primary caregiver – such as leaving us to cry ourselves to sleep, is life-threatening and can induce anxiety, insecurity or terror. Because the infant nervous system is such a work in progress, these interruptions can lead to serious developmental delays such as ADD/ADHD and other cognitive and behavioral issues.

A seemingly innocent moment of neglect can also lead to addictions, allergies, autoimmune challenges, eating disorders, other physical and mental illnesses, and even criminality. These situations are not necessarily the result of bad parenting, neglect or abuse. Mom, dad, or anyone else may have physical, financial, or emotional issues like postpartum depression, or may just have conflicting responsibilities.

In the 1980s, we learned that many of those who suffered from PTSD during military service had already been traumatized as children, leaving them less resilient than their peers. After stagnating for decades, the American psychiatric community has finally recognized the existence and seriousness of PTSD in children. Indeed, the psychiatric community has also recognized 10 negative childhood experiences (ACEs) that increase susceptibility to school truancy, dropping out, crime, substance abuse, and serious health problems. Often linked to socioeconomic status, these negative experiences include things like witnessing physical abuse or having family members incarcerated or being addicted to drugs and alcohol.

There is hope: trauma and its worst consequences are treatable, as shown in the film “The Wisdom of Trauma” (viewable online for a small donation). Dr. Gabor Matés’ books “Scattered Minds” and “In The Realm of Hungry Ghosts” showcase the science linking early trauma to ADD/ADHD and addictions. Those with health issues could benefit from working with someone trained to find and remove trauma that has been parked in the body.

Our next column explores the link between trauma, allergies, and autoimmune complaints.

– Bend, LMT resident Mike Macy is an avid skate skier, fat tire biker and bird watcher. His book “BodyWise” transmits the knowledge acquired in 35 years of clinical practice. Contact him at [email protected]