Emotional or physical trauma is a complex condition. When we experience something as extremely threatening AND we feel helpless to stop the condition, often this can lead to us feel traumatized. It is an expected response to feeling terrorized and powerless. The more quickly we address the emotional and physical symptoms that result, the more likely we will return to normal functioning.
When our bodies or emotions are attacked, a natural series of events will happen to our brains, bodies and emotions in an attempt to deal with the threat. OUR BRAINS: Our amazing brains, when threatened, will signal the body to quickly release stress hormones (Cortisol) to regulate our blood pressure and how our body will use its storage of fat, sugar and carbohydrates for energy. OUR BODIES: Our pupils may dilate so we can see things more clearly, our heart will pump more quickly to make our fists and legs more powerful, we may feel nauseous or even lose control over our bladders or bowels so we won’t be weighed down with digestion and we can run faster. OUR EMOTIONS: We may emotionally “numb out” if the pain is too great, similar to how when we hit our thumb with a hammer, it temporarily loses sensation. We may feel overwhelmed. This complex reaction to acute stress is adaptive and useful to handle an immediate threat.
However, our systems are not equipped to withstand all this stress on a regular basis. It will take a negative toll on the body as if a vehicle were continually revving its engine; it would more quickly wear out the life of the vehicle. If we continue to have symptoms more than 4 weeks after exposure to a traumatic event, or are continually exposed to threatening traumatic events and unable to protect ourselves (when we are young or as adults), then there is a possibility we will develop a condition called Post Traumatic Stress. It is as if the brain gets stuck in that alert state (hyper-vigilant), tense, irritable state (hyper-aroused) or avoidant behaviors. Specialized photographs of the brain demonstrate that a person with Post Traumatic Stress is not just feeling more stressed, their brains have been injured, changed. This means their bodies, brains and emotions tend to continually overreact to any events whether they are low or high on the stress scale.
GOOD NEWS is that Post Trauma is a condition that we have learned to treat with evidenced based treatments. It’s important if you have been exposed to trauma that you receive an evaluation and treatment from experts in treatment of trauma. Our brains, bodies and emotions can heal from their injury, our immune system can be stored to more effectively ward off disease and physical and psychological fitness restored. Learn about the options available to you by calling Rita Romero, PhD to begin your recovery process.
~Rita Romero, Ph.D.
Who doesn’t want to live a healthy life as long as possible? There has been an increased focus on research investigating all the factors that influence our longevity. It seems that the top influencers are not diet and exercise or even heredity but have more to do with the quality of our social relationships and social integration. You can learn more about his Ted Talks below:
Value of Vitamin C
Want to lower your chances of cognitive decline, and protect yourself from depression and anxiety? Eat your oranges!! Or at least ensure you are ingesting some form of Vitamin C. The following links describe research regarding the effects of Vitamin C not only to immune functioning such as fighting off colds but also how its protective benefits in reducing dementia and in mental health. Once 10 year study involving 3000 participants showed that for those taking the Vitamin C, they had an 88% reduced chance of developing dementia. The other research link describes the advantages of Vitamin C supplementation in reducing depressive and anxious symptoms. Take a look at the links below for more in depth information.