June 6, 2011

Trauma & Fear Associated With Natural Disasters

"The world breaks everyone and afterward some are srong at the broken places". - Ernest Hemingway
In a year where natural disasters seem to be the predominant theme; floods, earthquakes, nuclear plant explosions, tsunamis, we are bombarded with images of despair. We will all connect with and experience the collective fear of each other as human beings, to some extent we all will experience some of the trauma, fear and hopelessness in some way. These events also remind us of our fragility and how suddenly our lives and communities and the world can change.

As individuals these events will have a different meaning depending on past traumatic events experienced, the ensuing reactions can be experienced from mild anxiety to complex trauma – even if we experience these disaster ‘s first hand each experience will have a different meaning and response for each person.

Someone who has experienced traumatic events in childhood, or who has had many traumatic experiences will have a different response than someone who is experiencing trauma for the first time in their adult life.

The results of traumatic events become stored in our psyche and body energetically. When we experience a traumatic event our protective mechanism is usually the fight/flight response which enables us to deal with the fear or danger of the event at the time, what happens as time passes however is that the stored fear becomes anxiety which can surface at any time we feel under threat or are reminded of a traumatic event – these reminders can become ‘triggers’ to recreate the anxiety or trauma of the past. We often have no awareness at the time of the connection of the event and the trigger.

People who experience ongoing or repeated trauma can suffer ‘complex trauma’ which can leave them in a state of constant anxiety, commonly known as ‘generalised anxiety disorder’. The symptoms of anxiety can manifest as ‘panic attacks’, hypervigilence, difficulty sleeping, flashbacks, as well as physical symptoms such as high blood pressure, physical tension, and reduced immune response.
As a collective consciousness it is helpful to be aware of the effect these repeated images and stories of traumatic events and natural disasters can have on each of us. They can trigger stored memories of trauma or loss and grief.

“Nothing is so awful we can’t talk about it with someone” - Protective Behaviour Group
An experienced counsellor can help with understanding about uncomfortable symptoms and emotions and help you develop the inner resources to deal with them. For more information about our counselling service please call our office or email: support@enoughisenough.com.au
Deborah, Counsellor at Enough is Enough
What Lies Beneath?
The old saying "The Tip of the Iceberg" is so true because most of the iceberg is under the surface. We as human beings sometimes only see the "tip" in ourselves and others. This video provides you with the opportunity to explore for yourself: "What lies beneath of MY Iceberg?" and how it can relate to any negative emotions, reactions and responses that you would not like in your life.

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