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Why trauma can affect people years after the event

Throughout life many of the things you have learned have been imprinted when your attention was focused or locked on the event. The more emotion you have linked to that event, the more powerfully the meaning you gave to the event at the time will be imprinted on you and the longer it will affect you in the future. Its as though your brain locks into a certain response based on how you viewed the information at the time, even if this information is incorrect, and refuses to change .Therapists call this the powerful emotional events as sensitising events because they are the ones that are causing all the trouble. You can eventually forget the causal event itself but can still be affected by it, sometimes in the form of phobias or panic attacks for up to years later.

Phobias and panic attacks are part of our ancient ‘flight of fight’ response, that kicks in when the body detects danger or in most cases – a similar situation to the sensitising event. Anyone who has suffered from phobias or panic attacks knows how difficult it is to talk themselves out of it because their emotion kicks in before your sensible thinking part does. What you are doing is reacting to an unconscious pattern that has been triggered by something you cant necessarily identify. Hypnotherapy and Psychotherapy enables us to work on these negative patterns at an unconscious level and make adjustments to the ones that are causing the problem.

What is anxiety and depression and why does it happen?

Anxiety feels like ‘fear spread thinly’ and rarely does it just go away by itself. You get jittery feelings usually in the stomach chest or throat…some people even describe the feeling of a lump in their throat as if they were about to cry. They can experience cold or hot sweats, clammy hands, nausea…They might feel confused or maybe not so confident. The feelings and physical effects of anxiety and depression can stop people from living happy fulfilling lives.

The sad fact is that if you don’t nip anxiety in the bud then other issues get sucked in until the cumulative effect is ‘fear spread not quite so thinly’ and increasingly it starts to have a negative effect on your life. Until one day you cant get away with avoiding something and it stops you in your tracks, maybe even with a panic attack and you are forced to do something about it.

It starts with a big shocking new event or a series of small events happening together very quickly overwhelms the processing part of the brain and it cant logically deal with them and file them ready for action. Thoughts from the event/s loop round in your mind looking for answer and after a while if there is no resolution the brain starts to thinks whats happening might be something serious maybe even dangerous. It escalates the thoughts to the limbic system where our ’fight or flight’ response lives. This is the point cortisol and adrenaline are dumped into the blood stream with the result that you start feeling anxious. That anxiety is meant to trigger you to decide whether to run or fight and if you don’t do this within a period of time the brain steps in again and downloads ‘depression’…to stop everything happening. That depression leaves you with an inability to do anything a complete lack of motivation “Im a failure”, “I feel terrible”, what was the problem event again…oh no! bang straight back into anxiety…then depression…anxiety…then depression. This will keep looping unless the pattern gets interrupted.

So what do we need to do to stop this happening? Identify the triggers, process out any tricky situations into long term memory, then the processing part of the brain does not need get the limbic system involved and there is no anxiety created and depression is not downloaded.