Over the past ten years of being in practice I have come to learn that many people do not realise that they are depressed and that many people don’t realise that they are traumatised. Also, often when depression is severe or resistant to treatment it is often because it is actually trauma. The effects of the “freeze” response in trauma are the same as depression. For example, flatness, nunbness, lethargy, low energy, feelings of hopelessness, feelings of isolation and despair. How do we define trauma? I like what
Peter Levine has to say about this in his book Healing Trauma (p. 8). He says “..we become traumatised when our ability to respond to a perceived threat is in some way overwhelmed.” He also says “trauma is about loss of connection – to ourselves, to our bodies, to our families, to others, and to the world around us. This loss of connection is often hard to recognise, because it doesn’t happen all at once. It can happen slowly, over time, and we adapt to these subtle changes sometimes without even noticing them. We may simply sense that we do not feel quite right, without ever becoming fully aware of what is taling place; that is, the gradual undermining of our self esteem, self confidence, feelings of wellbeing, and connection to life” (Healing Trauma, p. 9).
So what can we do about it? If you resonate with any of this I recommend that you get Peter Levine’s book, Healing Trauma. I’m going to be talking about some things to do about it over the next week. See you then :).