Do you think you can think your way out of trauma? Maybe you should think again! Multiple research articles show that the effects of a traumatic past are not only limited to our minds. Every part of our being is affected by trauma. What you may not realize is that trauma is also stored in your body. It can disrupt your memory storage and change your brain.
Trauma can manifest physically as headaches, muscle tension, stomach problems, or an inability to concentrate. It can even contribute to more serious physical ailments such as heart attack, stroke, obesity and cancer, according to medical research done at Harvard. Beyond that, coping with the after-effects of trauma can lead to chronic depression and anxiety.
The British Psychological Society confirms this viewpoint. As an interesting sidenote, in its annually published report, they stated that depression “wasn’t a mental disorder but rather an adaptive response to adversity.” Moreover, depression is ”best thought of as an experience, or set of experiences, rather than a disease.” Polyvagal theory endorses this perspective by stating that depression is a ‘biological defense strategy.’ In other words, depression is a manner of being that our body uses to protect itself from the after-effects of a traumatic past.
As a licensed professional counselor associate (supervised by Dr. McKinley Johnson, LPC-S), I have spent years learning strategies to help my clients overcome their trauma. Therapy has the potential to free you from fear, hurt, and anxiety as well.