An abused child is not receiving the nurturing or love that would promote an understanding of self and a general sense of security. The child is conditioned to interact with the world from a heightened state of threat assessment, which means he or she socializes without healthy trust, connection, or attachment. The child can no longer modulate his or her own emotions because others dictate the emotional state. Complex trauma creates a significantly diminished range of emotional choices. Fight, flight, or freeze is his or her norm, which leads to an overactive sympathetic nervous system. This can cause problems with digestion, sleep, and anxiety, among others. Trauma therapy can help with these issues.
The outcome of complex trauma too often leaves the imprint of “It’s my fault” and “I’m not good enough” as the narrative for all adult interactions. An inability or difficulty to maintain close friendships or long-term relationships can be the result. Emotional responses may often “hijack” the person, causing him or her to feel out of control with fear, anger, panic, sadness, and sometimes, the physical body. Complex trauma can also cause a disconnected or dis-associative experience. The triggered emotion may leave the adult feeling like a child. The reaction to a situation is grossly out of proportion to what would be expected, but the body and brain are operating in past “trauma time,” where the reaction would have been appropriate and even necessary for survival.
Complex trauma can be connected to chronic headaches, gastrointestinal problems, chronic illness, sleep disorders, persistent panic or anxiety, aggression, disordered eating, self-harm, addiction, depression, and sexual dysfunction.
Trauma, no matter how it occurred, can be challenging to overcome. Working with a professional counselor, experienced in trauma therapy, is essential to your future happiness. Lifeologie Counseling is here for you. Call us today to schedule your first appointment.