The Search for Joy...... Beyond Trauma & Adversity

TRAUMATIC DIAGNOSIS OF LUPUS

Auto-immune disorder whereby one's immune system attacks internal organs. Melanie speaks  about how her home was out of order / too much stress increases symptoms

ADVERSITY to ACHIEVEMENT

Things Melanie did to get through the challenges:

Became Intentional

  • Stopped focusing on the negative 
  • Chose positive thoughts
  • Encouraged herself, not berate herself
  • Read inspirational quotes
  • Surrounded herself with positive, supportive people
  • Improved Nutrition
  • Started putting myself first

From DEATH SENTENCE to LIFE SENTENCE

  • Stopped people-pleaseing
  • Started choosing for HER
  • Stopped looking for validation from others
  • Stopped waiting for permission from others
  • Stopped yearning for approval from others
  • Stopped living up to others' expectations
  • Started making choices that worked for HER..... not for others
  • Started taking care of my body: listening to its signs that it needs better food / more rest / more space

WHAT CAN YOU CREATE?

If you could do anything..... and know that you would not fail..... what would YOU CHOOSE?

CHOICE

If you could choose who you wish to be who would you choose to be?


From victimhood to empowerment....... what would that take?

WHAT WOULD IT TAKE FOR YOU TO CREATE YOUR LIFE?

What can you DO or BE to change Your life?


TIR : a Method for Resolving Trauma

THE VIEWING PROCESS

To recover full awareness of a past distressful / traumatic incident by gently looking at the incident several times. Each viewing of the incident brings more awareness while releasing any unwanted thoughts and feelings and emotions.... until the incident is neutral.


To confront..... or to not confront.... that is the choice!


VIEWING involves addressing an issue that was not fully resolved. When we have an experience that is too painful for too overwhelming at the time, our natural defence system protects us by storing  the memory fully or partially in a part of our mind (the subconscious) that is not as accessible as our conscious mind (active memory). 


The painful memory may not be available in active memory, yet the effects can continue to affect us. The energy required for the memory to be suppressed can contribute to fatigue,  irritability, lack of alertness and clarity and an inability to remain fully present. 


In an attempt to avoid situations that "trigger" the memory of unresolved distressing events, a person can become limited in living to one's full potential!


SYMPTOMS OF UNRESOLVED TRAUMA

  • Unwanted emotions & feelings (pent-up energy)
  • Compulsions
  • Obsessions
  • Destructive behaviours
  • Addictions (drug, gambling, sex)
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Sleeping problems
  • Eating disorders
  • Weight problems 
  • Various other health concerns


RESOLUTION versus MANAGEMENT

Resolving an incident has a person gently confront and view, several times, a distressful incident until the person is aware of all the details and there are no unwanted emotions or feelings or negative beliefs attached to the incident; the incident becomes neutral.  

Managing an incident is coping with the symptoms of unresolved material because one avoids looking at pieces or all of an incident 



BENEFITS OF ADDRESSING TRAUMA USING TIR (Traumatic Incident Reduction)

  • More energy
  • Increased mental alertness
  • Improved memory
  • Sense of clarity about topics
  • Improved decision making
  • Better sleeping patterns
  • Renewed sense of living life to the fullest
  • Increased sense of joy and hope
  • Reduced fear / anxiety / panic / phobias


APPLIED METAPSYCHOLOGY

A systematic approach to understanding the universals of human experience. It is the study of the person, their abilities, and their experience, as seen from their point of view, not from an external viewpoint.

An application of philosophical principles to something practical in helping people get over their difficulties, including trauma.


TRAUMA is the relationship between something that happens in a person's life AND their reaction to that experience, something that is painful and difficult to confront. 

If not confronted and resolved, the information can be repressed and the negative effects continue to affect the person.

The paradox is deliberately not being aware of something one is aware of: keeping it psychologically close by so as to remember where NOT to look 

Interview with Dr. Frank Gerbode

How Trauma links to Mental Health

CHRONIC PAIN

Those suffering from chronic pain often have mental health disorders which include anxiety & depression

Interview with Dr. Owen Williamson

COPING MECHANISMS

  • Have a support system: talk to someone about your experience: debrief the situation
  • Express vulnerbility
  • Know ahead of time the signs of burn-out so as to prevent the development it
  • Exercise
  • Breathe deeply
  • Listen to and/or play music
  • Meditate
  • Eat healthy food
  • Self-reflect on how the impact of the incident

WARNING SIGNS OF BURN-OUT

  • Easily overwhelmed
  • Losing enthusiasm for their job
  • Change in sleeping patterns
  • Change in eating habits
  • Use of drugs & alcohol to help manage stress
  • Use of prescription drugs
  • Use of process additions: gambling, shopping, sex
  • Isolation: can lead to depression
  • Development of PTSD: flashbacks of the traumatic incident, ruminating a past event, nightmares, intrusive thoughts, suicide ideation, short-tempered, lack of memory, not being in the present moment, highly reactive / irritable, depersonalization, lowered empathy, 

HOW TO RE-FRAME AN INCIDENT

  • Retell: regain control of the story (rather than let the anxiety take over)
  • Rethink: see the incident from a different angle / perspective
  • Deconstruct:  see individual components of the incident and mentally tackle it piece by piece
  • Find Humour: is there any part of the story that could be seen as humorous?
  • Change: re-evaluate the impact of the incident and think of it from an angle of success ("I am strong - I survived")

THOSE AT HIGHER RISK

  • Firefighters
  • Doctors & Nurses
  • Paramedics
  • Psychologists
  • Psychiatrists
  • Counsellors
  • Police
  • Hospice workers

SALMAN RUSHDIE:

"Those who do not have power over the story that dominates their lives, power to retell it, to rethink it, deconstruct it, joke about it, and change it as times change, truly are powerless."

Tasks of Grieving a Traumatic loss

"Grieving is Love..... with no place to go!" Clair Jantzen

GRIEF is one's internal experience: sadness, despair, anger, guilt etc.

MOURNING is one's external act of grieving: writing a letter, journalling (helps process emotion..... in motion), visiting a gravestone, attending a funeral


How do you support a grieving friend?  Showing up...... Not speaking up!


Grieving & Mourning will empower you to get you through the sense of powerlessness, helplessness & hopelessness


Be deliberate in your act of mourning:


1. Accept the reality of the loss: to grieve and  to mourn. 

    Be truthful about all the emotions that you experience

2. Enter fully into the loss: tolerate the pain & give yourself permission to feel bad

3. Commemorate the deceased: find ways to convert memories of the loved one while alive      (collage)

4. Develop a new identity: move from 'togetherness' to 'aloneness'

5. Contemplate the mystery of life after loss: reflect on sense of mortality

6. Garner support: don't want to live alone? then why grieve alone! Invite people to support you

7. Discard any grief recovery timetable:   avoiding grieving prolongs grieving!


Honouring your pain = honouring your loved one

Trauma Impact on Emotional System & Internal Organs

ACUPUNCTURE

Within the perspective of mental/emotional wellness, Acupuncture is a process that moves the Qi (chee) through the body. Qi is energy that enters the body by air to the lungs which gets transported throughout the body via the blood to break up stagnant chemistry that can cause health issues. This movement of energy provides an opportunity for new perspective / point of view. A new perspective can lead to different behaviours. Different behaviours can lead to different chemistry which creates a different body outcome!


Acupuncture can:

  • Relax muscles
  • Turn up organs (increase bowel function to reduce constipation)
  • Turn down organs (calm bowels to reduce diarrhea, calm adrenal glands and kidneys to reduce adrenaline and cortisol secretion)
  • Turn up blood flow to heal a weak limb
  • Turn on immune function
  • Strengthen what makes a person feel safe
  • Diminish what makes a person feel unwell
  • Stimulate collagen and fiber which creates a spark which goes to a nerve which communicates with the  brain and organs which release a hormone or chemical which goes into the blood which changes the tissue

How amazing are our bodies? Thank you body! 

ORGANS & EMOTIONS

Liver Organ System: eyes, ligaments, flanks, liver organ, gall bladder, thyroid +

  • Anger, Rath, Rage, Depression

Heart Organ System: 

  • Joy (Love turned inward) 

Spleen Organ System: spleen, stomach, pancreas, pensiveness (thinking too much / worry) 

  • Pessimism

Lungs Organ System: 

  • Grief, Guilt, Regret,

Kidney Organ System: 

  • Anxiety, Fear, Dread, Foreboding, Panic, Heart palpations, Insomnia, Arthritis, 

Bladder Organ System: insecurity, prolapsed organ, incontinence,

CHANGE the ENERGY - CHANGE the REALITY

Changing your point of view / perspective changes the energy which changes the chemistry with changes your immune function: it is healing from the inside ~ out!


CHEMICALS IN THE BODY

Pain, trauma, stress, injury.... all change chemicals in your body which affect emotions: if you don't EXpress it.... you Depress it ~ In your body! The key is to move through your emotions.

The chemistry in the body from the emotion is what motivates your muscles to move through space and take action.


Anger is the chemical / the emotion to enforce our boundaries (strike a threat for example)


Rage is when you turn on every muscle in your body and EXpress those chemicals. If you are in a wheelchair - EXpress rage!

Rage will get you out of the wheelchair. Love will keep you out of the wheelchair.

MENTAL / EMOTIONAL / SPIRITUAL HEALTH

"Your environment shapes your character"

When eating, do not read, work or watch TV: your body doesn't have enough blood to generate digestion and mental processing and physical movement simultaneously. If your energy is being used for physical or mental activity then your body has less energy for proper digestion

Chinese Medicine:

Qi: energy in the blood

Shen: compilations of your personality

Jing: what you inherit from your parents (usually runs out in your 40s)

INTERVIEW WITH WARD WILLISON

Signs of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

MENTAL

  • Flashbacks of an event
  • Pictures that show up in your mind even when you aren't thinking about the event
  • Pervasive negative thoughts
  • Persistent negative beliefs about yourself
  • Difficulty focusing /  concentrating
  • Memory lapses
  • Nightmares / night terrors

EMOTIONAL

  • Bouts of anger or rage
  • Uncontrollable crying
  • Extreme guilt or shame
  • Extreme fear and/or panic
  • Rapid mood swings
  • Feeling numb or "shut down"
  • Feeling hopeless / helpless
  • Feel suspicious


PHYSIOLOGICAL

  • Anxiety and/or panic
  • Increased heart rate for no apparent reason
  • Difficulty breathing and constriction in your chest for no apparent reason
  • Easily agitated
  • Brain fog or head pressure
  • Dizzy
  • Chills

BEHAVIOURAL

  • Loss of joy
  • Loss of interest in regular activities
  • Lack of motivation / inspiration
  • Isolating & avoiding people
  • Unusually aggressive
  • Difficulty finishing tasks
  • Hyper vigilant: always on guard
  • Feeling jumpy or easily startled
  • Avoid people or places or things that remind you of an event

HEALTH SIGNS

  • Insomnia: difficulty falling or staying asleep
  • Frequent headaches
  • Disease & disorder
  • Nausea / vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Over-eating

CAUSES OF TRAUMA

  • Experiencing a trauma
  • Witnessing a trauma
  • Hearing a trauma
  • Imagining what a trauma must have felt like
  • Imagining how a trauma occurred
  • Abuse: physical, emotional, mental
  • Natural disasters: fire, flood, weather, earthquakes

Auto Immune Disorder ~ Stressful childhood?

What is Auto Immune Disorder?

When your body produces anti-bodies, designed to fight off germs and disease, yet attacks your own body tissue instead! This causes inflammation... which puts a lot of stress on the body.

What causes Auto Immune Disorder?

Some medications, some environmental toxins, certain chemicals, some bacteria, viral infections.... even a stressful / traumatic childhood! When the body is unable to eradicate the effects of these..... your body can develop auto immune disorder!

Common Auto Immune Disorders

  • Lupus
  • Diabetes, type 1
  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn's disease (attacks intestinal tract)
  • Hashimoto's thyroiditis (attach thyroid)
  • Grave's disease
  • Gillian-Barre
  • Ulcerative Colitis

Common Symptoms of Auto-Immune Disorder

  • Fatigue
  • Weight changes
  • Abdominal pain
  • Changes in bowel movements
  • Skin rashes
  • Joint &/or muscle pain
  • Muscle soreness / weakness / numbness
  • Hair loss
  • Dry skin

How to reduce effects of Auto Immune Disorder

  • Reduce stressors in your life
  • Create downtime
  • Avoid cramming so much into one day
  • Some medications may help
  • Avoid eating foods that cause inflammation in the body
  • Process & resolve any traumatic incidents that may still be affecting you (contributing to stress)

Childhood stress a contributing factor?

Yup! During childhood children are developing psychologically, emotionally, physically, physiologically. These systems are not yet mature so the stress can get imprinted in the child's immune system.... which continues to develop into adulthood.... with programming from childhood. The environment can influence gene expression; if the environment is traumatic / abusive / stressful / neglectful..... then the body can store this. The body will "produce" that which is programmed!


Dr. Amy Myers writes an excellent book called "The Auto Immune Solution". 

Dr. Amy Myers

Possible ASocial Symptoms of Trauma

ASOCIAL & ANTI-SOCIAL

Asocial is when you avoid social interaction and/or you are inconsiderate or hostile to others


Anti-social is when you are unfriendly, withdrawn, avoidant, not wiling to communicate with others, standoffish, use disruptive and/or distasteful behaviour to drive others away

LOW EYE CONTACT

Do you have difficulty wanting to have eye contact with people or purposely ignoring their attempts to communicate with you?

LOW COMPREHENSION

Do you find that you can hear what people say yet you have difficulty getting their point? Or you respond in a way that doesn't pertain to what they are saying?

Do you often not respond to what people say because you don't really understand what they are saying?

LOW FACIAL OR EMOTIONAL RESPONSE

Do you find that you have very little facial expression OR too exaggerated facial responses? 

Are you reactive? Get defensive often?

Or do you feel numb?

NERVOUS OR INAPPROPRIATE LAUGHTER

Do you find that your humour comes out in weird ways because you don't know how to handle certain situations? 

Do you laugh when something isn't actually funny OR don't laugh when something IS funny?

Blog: TraumaTalk

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