Shame and Trauma

I receive comments from readers that show me how often trauma and shame are linked.

Chronic pain and trauma can make a person feel helpless and this causes shame. Sometimes people blame themselves for accidents or for behaviours that lead to injury. Often we behave in certain ways that are reckless or even self-sabotaging because of trauma.

Trauma causes the body to react in ways that are automatic. A stress response is an automatic response. It can be flight or fight, but often the response is a freeze response. A person can’t be blamed for an automatic response when it is linked to survival. People with complex PTSD, PTSD, and a history of recurrent trauma are often stuck in this state.

Sometimes you can be so overwhelmed or so frozen, that you feel the need to hurt yourself. It is very difficult to find a state of calm when you feel this way. The more overwhelmed you are, the more help you need. And the harder it is to find help. When you are overwhelmed, even therapists and health care providers often find it difficult to help you.

When your body is so overwhelmed, either with pain, or with emotion, the Limbic system switches on the alarm center and this causes pain and emotion to be even worse. The worst kind of pain is pain from nerves – burning, hypersensitivity, numbness, tingling, pain worse at night, pain even at the lightest touch. This pain needs special care and is hard to treat. I have addressed some of these issues in Nerve Pain.

It is very difficult to use any of these tools – even watching videos – when your body and brain are screaming in agony. I suggest watching a video for a minute or two then stepping away and practising breathing (Step 2) and then trying the Daily Program.

I hope you find health care providers that can help.

All the best


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