Notes on trauma, PTSD and finally healing

A little collection to think about:

In situations of terror, people spontaneously seek their first source of comfort and protection. Wounded soldiers and raped women cry for their mothers or God. When this cry is not answered, the sense of basic trust is shattered. Traumatized people feel utterly abandoned, utterly alone, cast out of the human and divine systems of care and protection that sustain life. Thereafter, a sense of alienation, of disconnection, pervades every relationship, from the most intimate familial bonds to the most abstract affiliations of community and religion.
Trauma and Recovery
Judith Herman


The causes of trauma have three things in common:

  • An External Cause
  • Violation
  • Loss of Control

The effects of trauma are surprisingly commonplace. These include:

  • bewilderment and confusion, an inability to understand what is happening or why it happened
  • a strong sense of denial, an inability to convince yourself that the experience was real; your denial is reinforced by the denial of those around you and especially of people in authority
  • sleep problems including nightmares and waking early
  • flashbacks and replays which you are unable to switch off
  • impaired memory, forgetfulness, memory which is intermittent, especially of day-to-day trivial things
  • exaggerated startle response
  • a deep sense of betrayal
  • obsessiveness – the experience takes over your life, you can’t get it out of your mind
  • depression
  • excessive shame and guilt
  • undue fear
  • emotional numbness, an inability to feel love, hope, or joy
  • physical and mental paralysis at any reminder of the experience

Tim Fields


Trauma is about broken connections. Connection is broken with the body/self, family, friends, community, nature, and spirit, perpetuating the downward spiral of traumatic dislocation. Healing trauma is about restoring these connections.

Peter Levine, Ph. D

and again from yesterday, Ram Dass who is speaking of when he had a stroke, but it applies to much more of the human experience:

After any major physical “insult,” as they call it, it’s all too easy to see yourself as a collection of symptoms rather than as a total human being, including your spirit — and thus to become your illness. Fear is powerful and contagious.

At first I allowed myself to catch it, worried that if I didn’t do what the doctors ordered, I’d be sorry. But now I’m learning to take my healing into my own hands. Healing, after all, is not the same as curing; healing does not mean going back to the way things were before, but rather allowing “what is now”.

**these were first collected here in the side bar of the site

More on trauma and the body here

and PTSD in general here

About Monica Cassani

Author/Editor Beyond Meds: Everything Matters