ARE YOU OVERREACTING OR DO YOU HAVE TRAUMA?
Last week, since November is Financial Literacy month in Canada, we talked money. We went over tools you can use to avoid getting stuck with debt and crazy credit card balances. If you missed it, you can catch up HERE.
This week is completely different. As we recently remembered our war veterans on remembrance day a couple of days ago, I thought it would be a good timing to talk about something that a lot of people suffer from, not just our war vets: Trauma. Managing my clients' trauma is one of my specialties, even more so now, as I'm a certified RTM protocol practitioner as of recently. Let's talk about trauma and about what it is exactly. Watch the following video or read the full blog below for more...
My clients sometimes ask me: "Nathalie, am I a trauma victim? What's going on? I keep reliving things, or I have nightmares about something, or I have flashbacks..."
Let's take a moment to really identify if you're you just overreacting, or if you actually do have trauma.
A couple of weeks ago, when we talked about sleep deprivation and its linked anxiety, we went over what happens in our brain, and we learned about our amygdala. Our amygdala is kind of a panic button, if you'd like. It alerts us of danger. It's usually regulated by our medial prefrontal cortex. If you have trauma, this panic button, the amygdala, is somehow stuck, and it stays on. It's like the button is constantly pushed and we don't know the difference between a memory and just something that reminds us of the memory, so we panic.
There are four different ways to experience trauma. You may be the one directly experiencing the event. You may also witness the event. Maybe you learned of something that happened to a close family member or a close friend, like a death in your family, for example. Or maybe it's a repeat experience. Ongoing, intense exposure, a long abusive relationship, it could be something like that. Usually, many of these are stacked on top of one another.
As a RTM protocol practitioner, I use a system in order to be able to measure the subjective units of distress.
First, I calculate the different reactions my client has when faced with memories of the trauma. Are they reliving the experience? Are they re-experiencing it? Do they have unwanted distressing memories, nightmares, are they emotionally upset when they're reminded of the trauma? They may even have physical reactions like sweating or an increased heart rate.
The second thing I look at is avoidance. Are they making efforts to avoid the thoughts or the feelings that are related to their trauma? Are they just trying to ignore it, or are they avoiding places that remind them of the trauma?
#3: Cognition & Mood
The next thing that I evaluate is the cognition, or the mood. Are there any parts of the event that they cannot remember? Are they viewing themselves or viewing others in a more negative way? Are they blaming themselves? Are they blaming others? Do they have intense negative feelings such as horror, fear, helplessness, anger, guilt, shame? Are they losing interest in some activities? Do they feel detached? Do they have difficulty experiencing positive feelings?
The last thing that I look at is increased arousal, or reactivity. Are they more irritable? Are they overly alert or on guard or aggressive? Are they jumpier? Do they have difficulty concentrating or difficulty staying asleep or falling asleep? Are they taking more risks? Sometimes, there's substance abuse and drugs and addiction, or very risky behaviors that go hand in hand with trauma.
The RTM protocol disconnects the cycle.
It stands for Reconsolidation of Traumatic Memory. It's a unique and effective breakthrough treatment for PTSD. It's a protocol that is unique, because there are no drugs involved. It's a series of re-imaging of the event in a different way. It was developed by Dr. Frank Bourke. He realized how effective this protocol was after 9/11. He worked with employees whose offices were above the hundredth floor of tower two and has since then made it his life's mission to scientifically prove the clinical effectiveness of the RTM protocol. This protocol is now available for the millions of people that need it.
You don't need to have been in a collapsing tower, at war, or in a burning house to experience trauma. Sometimes, you just want your life back, or get rid of the emotional connection to a past experience that really is bothering you.
Also, being afraid to fly, or just being uncomfortable in tight spaces are phobias that often come from trauma. I've helped someone that had a motorcycling accident. Someone that had a few bad years with drugs and prostitution, a client that was bullied as a kid and even someone that had a very humiliating experience facing technology, and have been really anxious when having to deal with technology since then, because they had identified themselves with that past experience.
We help people get their life back. It is a life-saving treatment. The best part is that it only takes about five hours to administer and it eliminates PTSD symptoms in over 90% of those treated. The US American Legion, the US Department of Veterans' Affairs, The Blue Angels and New York State Division of Veterans' Affairs are all supporting the RTM protocol as of now. Some funding will even become available for war veterans to go through this process.
Now, this is not just about our veterans, it's about you too. If you answered yes to any of these criteria: Reliving, Avoiding, Cognition and Mood, or Reactivity, maybe it's time for us to have a chat. You don't need to live with that. You can get your life back. Reach out and let's have a chat. I'll be happy to have a little discussion and then see how I can help.
HOW CAN I HELP?
If this blog about trauma resonated with you or if you found yourself answering yes to the criteria I mentioned above, maybe it's time to have a chat.
Book your FREE Virtual Coffee with me and let me help you get your life back.
Check out some of my previous blog posts...
How to Overcome Your Downfalls
The Top Enemy of Great
How to Become the Best Version of Yourself