Post Natal Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD)

What is Trauma and PTSD?

PTSD Symptoms

Removing Trauma

Trauma

If we experience a single frightening event or a series of frightening events, over the coming weeks, months, years, those memories may fade and be recalled as an ordinary narrative memory of an awful incident or period of time. 

Traumatic memories do not fade in the same way though, and over time, may become worse.  These memories are often connected with a life threatening experience or terrifying serious events, and are more deeply embedded in the brain as a 'survival template', particularly during and post birth, when oxytocin (the birth hormone) puts us into an even greater state of alertness.  Memories even more powerfully embedded.  If not treated they may continue to fire off powerful, emotional reactions for the rest of the sufferer's life.

What is PTSD?

PTSD can occur:

  • when a person experienced, witnessed or was confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury or a threat to the physical wellbeing of self or others
  • when the person's response involved intense fear, helplessness or horror
  • when the traumatic event is persistently re-experienced  

Unconscious Programming 

In moments of terror, our brain and body is immediately put into 'survival mode'.   In this state, our instincts (subconscious) are open for programming – identifying and storing the patterns that would alert us to such a dangerous threat in future. Now, whenever we are confronted with anything that even vaguely reminds us of the initial trauma, we go back into the fear state again. 

Most learning occurs unconsciously or instinctively. During a traumatic experience our brain 'learns' certain things. The amygdala causes a massive fear response. It encodes memories of the experience. In future, anything at all that reminds the amygdala of the initial trauma (smell, sound, image, memory) will produce strong feelings of fear and put our body into a state of high alert. 

It's a common assumption that your thoughts determine your feelings, when in fact, your amygdala produces emotion before your thinking brain 'acts'.  The response needs to be quicker than the speed of thought for basic survival.  We can be aware of what is happening, but unable to know how to stop it.  
 

Time Distortion

During a traumatic experience we respond instinctively, without thinking. A particular brain activity called the 'orientation response' occurs and things can seem dreamlike and unreal during the emergency. Time becomes distorted and seems to flow more slowly. This dreamlike feeling of unreality is key to how trauma becomes encoded in the brain. Recent research by psychologist Joe Griffin has shown that instincts are programmed into us through the REM (rapid eye movement) state. REM consciousness doesn't just happen when we dream at night.
 

Hardwired instincts (instincts you are born with) are programmed into a REMing foetus before it is born. To learn new instinctive responses (such as automatic fear of something we were not previously afraid of) we need to go back into the REM state. Hypnosis and shock are both ways to access the REM state. Trauma becomes a hardwired memory because our attention is entirely locked into the experience. So during the trauma trance, instincts learn to fear.

 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - Symptoms

The symptoms of PTSD will include all or some of the following:

  • Frightening, intrusive thoughts and memories
  • Flashbacks of the ordeal
  • Feeling emotionally 'numb' and not connected with the world
  • Anxiety and Panic attacks
  • Poor sleep and nightmares
  • Feeling irritable, angry, hypervigilant (on edge)
  • An obsessive need to talk about the ordeal
  • The need to avoid any reminders of the ordeal 
     

Previous Trauma or Phobic Response

A previous trauma when left untreated (may include previous miscarriage, traumatic birth, childhood abuse or any form of violence), is likely to lead to further traumatising. Phobias relating to hospitals, such as needle phobias, if left untreated, will also increase the likelihood of further trauma.

Removing Trauma

The treatment of trauma and phobias highlights one of the great fallacies of psychotherapy.  Freud and his followers argued that if you discovered 'root causes' of a problem, then the problem would dissolve. But as many people have found, this is not the case. Emotional patterns can run despite us knowing why they do and how they originated.

75% of people who experience trauma will eventually dream it out (the brain's built in way of releasing emotional arousal) or eventually be able to talk about it. This causes the memory banks of such people to re-locate traumatic memory into 'narrative memory'. They'll know it was bad at the time, but it won't feel bad to think and talk about it any more. The remaining 25% have persistent trauma. Weeks, months, even years later it will still feel very current and awful to even think about, let alone discuss. The traumatic memory doesn't fade for these people and is logged as a current not a past threat. Their brain will be on the look out for anything that reminds them of the initial trauma. This is the way the protective emergency part of your brain errs on the side of caution.


Trying to get someone who is deeply traumatised to 'talk about it' may only make it worse as 'getting back into the memory' re-traumatises the person.

As trauma becomes encoded instinctively through the REM state, it is best treated by accessing the same REM state – and this can easily be done through a relaxed hypnotic state.


Relaxation and Dissociation are Key to Lifting Trauma Quickly & Comfortably

What is needed is a way to re-code the traumatic memory as something that is no longer threatening. The Rewind Technique (also known as the fast phobia technique because it's also used to lift phobias) is the quickest and most reliable way to lift trauma.  The Rewind Technique is recognised by NICE as effective in the release of PTSD.

Click here to learn more about the Rewind Technique

Please contact us to discuss how we can help you. This does not involve discussing your traumatic experience (unless you would feel it helpful).

Contact Rosie Goode 07806 994636 or click here to email us.
 

 

 

 

 

 

Effective therapy to release birth trauma . ante natal depression . tokophobia . post natal depression . PTSD . Support following miscarriage . stillbirth . emergency c-section . induction . forceps . ventouse . puerperal psychosis . Rosie Goode DHypPsych (UK) GHR . Cert HB Inst . NCT PNX&D . 07806 994636 . Throughout London & South East