Understanding Your Response to Trauma (Part 2 of 8)

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(Understanding Your Response to Trauma (Part 2 of )….

What effects might I experience?

1) Reexperiencing the Trauma

  • “flashbacks” or intrusive memories of the trauma: You may experience flashbacks in which you intensely relive the trauma, as if it were really happening again. You may feel all the same emotions and sensory experiences again. You do not lose consciousness during a flashback, but you may have difficulty distinguishing here-and-now reality when a flashback consumes you. This can be a frightening experience, especially since you may see, hear, smell, taste or feel things related to the past traumatic event that are not actually there in your current reality. This does not mean that you are “losing your mind.” Such flashbacks are an entirely normal part of the response to trauma as you struggle to rework and integrate the experience. If you had another traumatic experience years before this one, you may even find that sudden flashbacks about that previous experience get mixed up with flashbacks about your more recent traumatic experience.
  • nightmares about the trauma or other scary content: You may have nightmares that vividly replay the traumatic event or that just replay fragments of your experience. You may have nightmares that repeatedly replay themes of helplessness, horror, anger, or other feelings related to the trauma. You may awaken very upset and sweating profusely, without remembering any nightmare.
  • insomnia: You may often feel “too wired” to sleep. Your nightmares may be so alarming that you become fearful of sleep. You may associate darkness with danger. Being left alone with your own thoughts, without the distractions of your daytime activities, may prompt memories of the trauma which make it difficult to sleep. Coffee or alcohol may interfere with your sleep like never before. Persistent insomnia or awakenings during the night could also be a sign of developing depression which can be treated with medication.
  • intense response to reminders or symbols of the trauma: You may experience sudden panic, irritability, anger, grief, horror or vague “sinking” feelings that sometimes seem to come “out of the blue.” Sometimes you may recognize at the time, or later, that your feelings are in response to a reminder of the trauma. Such reminders can be obvious or they can be so subtle that you may not easily recognize them as connected with the trauma. You may also experience strong feelings when faced with a monthly or annual anniversary of the traumatic event. You may find that, quite unpredictably, you dissolve under ordinary stress that you would usually take in stride. You might find that music is intolerable, that children’s behavior or noise is hard to take, or that you can’t watch television because the feelings come.  (cont…..to page 3 of 8)

Understanding Your Response to Trauma (Part 1 of 8)

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The following is from an article I read about stress, anxiety, and trauma.  I am sharing it with you all in the event that you, or someone close to you has suffered a trauma, or multiple traumas.  I was reading about this to help me understand my own confusing responses to the severe trauma of the last year and a half of my life.  I will divide the article up into EIGHT posts (1 per day), so that it will be easier to read.

With that said, I will begin.

What is a traumatic event?

Among the many stressful events of living, we can be faced with extraordinary circumstances that leave us feeling terrified, powerless, and/or horrified in the face of threatened or actual injury or death. Examples of traumatic events may include:

  • natural disaster
  • catastrophe caused by human error
  • catastrophe caused by failed equipment
  • physical or sexual assault; rape
  • robbery/mugging
  • serious motor vehicle accident
  • witnessed violence, injury or death
  • combat, torture or imprisonment
  • threats of harm to self or loved ones; stalkings
  • domestic violence and physical abuse
  • fire and burn survivors
  • destruction of one’s home
  • life-threatening illnesses and treatments

How do we usually respond to a traumatic event?

Sometimes immediately, and sometimes after brief or even extended delay, most of us will experience intense feelings and symptoms related to the traumatic event. Not every person experiences the same aftermath to the same trauma. However, you are likely to bounce back and forth between periods during which you relive the trauma and other periods during which you are benumbed of feeling and avoidant of any thought or reminder of the traumatic event. This is entirely normal. This normal, acute response to trauma is not called “post-traumatic stress disorder” unless it is persistent over time and does not gradually heal.  (cont….on page 2 of 8)

Did You Know ? ? ?

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The Ostrich eyeball is bigger than it’s brain!

ostrich-eye1

Ostrich

The eyes of the ostrich are about the size of billiard balls — their brains are smaller, meaning they’re not very smart birds. Although ostriches aren’t brilliant, they are capable of running at tremendous speeds of up to 40 miles per hour to escape their natural predators. They can cover 10 to 16 feet in a single step…….annnnnd, they tend to run in circles 🙂

In addition to having eyes that are bigger than their brains, ostriches also lay the biggest eggs in the world (3.5 to 5 pounds). Although an ostrich egg is the largest of all eggs, it is the smallest egg in relation to the size of the bird.

The Ostrich egg will weigh 1600 – 2300 gm (about 3.5 to 5 pounds) and is equivalent in volume to 2 dozen chicken eggs.