How You Develop Trauma and PTSD

Developing and Coping with Trauma

trauma, PTSD, trauma treatment, PTD treatment, combat vets, anger, anxietyLife is pretty much predictable and you usually have a sense that you are in control. Sometimes life is exciting, and you feel on top of the world as adrenaline courses through your veins. But sometimes there are challenges and stress that also release adrenaline into your bloodstream and get your body ready to take the necessary actions to meet those challenges. Both of these situations are normal and help us to build character and resiliency.

But what if something shocking happens? What if you experience an accident or see a killing? What if you are robbed or see a loved one hurt? Although events such as these are rare, they do happen. And the results are the same for everyone. Whether you’re in combat, or are a policeman, fireman, or EMT, or just a civilian leading a normal life–you are now a victim.

Violence and aggression have a lasting impact on you, whether you realize it or not. While normal challenges and stresses raise the sympathetic nervous system to a certain level that prepares the body to take action, once the stress is handled, the body goes back to a resting state. Soon, you forget about what happened. But when something shocking happens, the nervous system stays activated and always on alert, telling the body it needs to take action. Continue reading

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Combat Vets, Trauma and PTSD-Part 1

Who Will Have Trauma and Get PTSD?

This is the 1st of 5 blogs that will show graphics on various aspects of trauma and PTSD.

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Although the data in these graphics are geared towards trauma and PTSD in the military, they also contain a lot of fascinating statistics about the general population.

In Part 1, the graphic shows how many in the U.S. will suffer from PTSD at some point in their lives and compares that with the number of combat vets. It also breaks it down into the number of women vs. men who will get PTSD.

The following 4 blogs will detail even more facts about what trauma and PTSD is, what its symptoms are, who gets treated, and what some of those treatments are.

I hope you find this series of blogs eye-opening as to the nature and prevalence of trauma and PTSD–not only in society but also in the military.

If you know someone with trauma or PTSD, encourage them to get help. If you are a parent of a son or daughter with PTSD, help them to get help. Even if you have to pay for treatment outside the Veterans Administration–which provides mostly horrible, antiquated, and ineffective treatment–do it. Do it for your children, their families, and their children. In my opinion, the most effective treatment is Somatic Experiencing.

Please share this series by clicking on the links below. The more information that circulates about trauma and PTSD, the more people who will seek help.  You can always contact me by filling out the form on the right or by clicking here.

One things is certain: trauma and PTSD do not get better with time–they get worse.

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Combat Vets, Trauma and PTSD – Part 2

What is Trauma and PTSD?

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This graphic shows who is more likely to develop PTSD from trauma. Although the symptoms of trauma and PTSD are the same, it is considered a trauma for the first 30 days. If the symptoms last longer than 30 days, then it is classified as PTSD .

However, symptoms from a traumatic event can take months, years, even decades to show up. Quite often, the symptoms aren’t linked to the original trauma due to the time lag between the event and the onset of symptoms.

This graphic also shows some of the results in one’s life from living with PTSD over time and not seeking help for it. One’s life continues to contract as they pull away from social situations and loved ones.

It is far better to seek help for a trauma, no matter how well you feel you have coped with it, before it develops into PTSD. After a surgery, an involved dental procedure, car accident, fall, mugging, or loss, go to someone who treats traumas such as a Somatic Experience Practitioner. This will not only make you feel instantly better, it will also stop unforeseen symptoms from popping later in life.

Click the links below to share this important information.

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Combat Vets, Trauma and PTSD – Part 3

Percentage of Combat Vets with Trauma and PTSD
since WWII.

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This graphic shows the prevalence of drugs and alcohol amongst combat vets, even those seeking treatment.

It also gives the percentages of combat vets with PTSD from all the wars the U.S. has been engaged in since WWII.

Finally, it show that combat is only one of the causes of trauma and PTSD in the military.

This is very sobering and highlights the need for treatment and taking care of our returning vets.

If you or someone you love has returned from the service and is grappling with trauma and PTSD, encourage them to get help.

For more information, click here. And share this information with others by clicking on the buttons below.

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Combat Vets, Trauma and PTSD – Part 4

Combat Vets Receiving Treatment for
Trauma and PTSD

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Check out the graphic on the left. It shows how many combat vets suffering trauma and PTSD don’t receive treatment and the main reasons why.

After going through so much, it is shocking the number of combat veterans who continue to live with trauma and PTSD both in the field and after returning home. Not only do they live with the after-effects, so do their families.

Encourage a loved one to seek help.

Spread the word by click below.

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Combat Vets, Trauma and PTSD – Part 5

Military Suggests How to Prevent and Treat Trauma and PTSD


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The  graphic to the side comes from the Military Health Matters website. I give a wholehearted endorsement to the suggestions in the balloons that tell you how you can lessen the effects of trauma and perhaps prevent PTSD from developing.

I do, however, take issue with their suggested treatments. The pros and cons of the treatments listed at the top of the graphic are discussed below.

Counseling and Psychotherapy

Trauma and PTSD have their origins in a bodily reaction to an overwhelming event. While counseling and psychotherapy can be helpful, they tend to work with the cognitive functions, or higher levels, of the brain. Quite often, they neglect the roots of the traumas that lie in the body. A somatic-based therapy is far more effective.

Prescription Drugs

Sometimes the symptoms of trauma and PTSD can be so severe that medications to help alleviate anxiety and sleeplessness must be given before any other type of treatment can be pursued. Still, the side-effects of this treatment can mask symptoms and lead to dependency.

Exposure Therapy

This type of therapy should be avoided at all costs. It tends to retraumatize and/or send the sufferer into a parasympathetic shut down. So even though the patients may report less anxiety and better sleep, their bodies lapse into a listless state that leaves them lacking in any sense of aliveness. Although the military loves this therapy, it is archaic and a cruel remnant of therapies that were created before the advent of neuro-imaging, which changed the face of trauma therapy and ushered in the far more gentle and effective somatic-based treatments. Often called Prolonged Exposure Therapy, it should go the way of pre-frontal lobotomies and dinosaurs.

Group Therapy

This is the best of the treatments listed on this site. Talking and sharing with others who have similar experiences creates a sense of community and a bond that goes far in helping relieve the symptoms of trauma and PTSD.

Somatic Experiencing

This is the best of all the treatments. It isn’t listed by the military because Somatic Experiencing has mostly anecdotal evidence, albeit strong and persuasive, to support its effectiveness. This is a body-based treatment that gets to the roots  of the traumas and PTSD that are entangled within the nervous system of the body. It is gentle and thorough and also has the added benefit of teaching the patient how to not become traumatized in the future. This is the treatment of the future yet is available nationwide right now.

To find out more about how you can deal with trauma and PTSD,  click here. Also, please share this article by clicking on the links below.

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Bullying and Trauma

Trauma from Bullying Destroys Lives

In this heart-felt video, Daniel talks about the bullying he received in school since very young. Luckily, Daniel has been able to get past the effects the lingering trauma of his bullying that continued over a long period of time. So many don’t fully recover.


One thing is for sure–bullying destroys lives.

Bullying all too often leads to suicide and sometimes homicides by the victims of the bullies now turned into perpetrators. Homosexual slurs (that started when Daniel was 6 years old) are prevalent in male bullying. Among the 28  school shootings in U.S. middle and high schools between 1982 and 2001, most of the boys that opened fire were teased and bullied mercilessly as a matter of routine.  Their violence was retaliation.  The  teasing and bullying was almost exclusively homophobic slurs. (Click here for more.)

Although Daniel doesn’t say how he healed, he did and has transformed his suffering into a way of helping others who have suffered from bullies. The trauma from bullying can be helped. If you know someone who has been bullied, encourage him or her (yes, girls bully too) to get help now.

If you were bullied, please comment below and share this with someone you know who could benefit from seeing this vidoe and article.

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Trauma in Individuals and Families

A Model of Trauma
. . . and how it applies to the individual and families.

The mechanisms of trauma and PTSD have been detailed over the past 30 years with the improvements in neural imaging. Less, however, is known about how trauma affects the family system.

The following diagram by Michael Reddy– at–graphically illustrates his point of view on how the dynamics of trauma affect both the individual and the family system.

trauma, PTSD, Family Constellations, family therapy, anxiety, stressFamily Constellations is a therapeutic technique developed by Bert Hollinger that addresses the effects of trauma in the family. Not only does it relieve current traumatic pressure on the family, it can also disentangle the traumas that originated in past generations that still exert their influences on the current generations.

While Somatic Experiencing may be one of the best tools for helping to heal trauma and PTSD in the individual, family constellations is one of the best methods for dealing with traumas that linger in the family system.. Working with either the individual or with the family affects the other. But when the 2 treatments are combined, they complement each other and the results are astonishing as each supports the healing in the other. Both the individual and the family can find resolution and peace with a new sense of aliveness for each member of the family.

To find out more about Somatic Experiencing, click here.
To find out more about Family Constellations, click here.

Comment below if you have personally witnessed the effects of trauma on your family– traumas that happened in past generations that are still echoing throughout the current generations .

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Managing Anger and Trauma

Anger Management or Trauma/PTSD Treatment?

Anger is neither good nor bad. Like most emotions, it’s perfectly healthy and normal and helps motivate us to take an action of some sort. Healthy aggression helps you to set good boundaries and spurs you to get what you want. Anger becomes a problem when it harms you or others. This is often the case when anger is the result of traumas or PTSD.

anger, PTSD, angry outbursts, anger managment, trauma,If your temper leans towards the hot side, you probably feel there’s little you can do to cool it down. But with focused intention and practice, you can learn to calm the triggers that set you off and gain control over how you express your emotions. When you do, you will start to develop better relationships, get what you want more easily, and lead a more satisfying life.

Sometimes, however, anger is the result of traumas in the past and the body’s reactions to them that continue to manifest in the present. If that is the case, then learning techniques to manage anger will yield poor results. Then in addition to anger, you’ll probably start feeling frustration and guilt over your inability to master your anger, which will make you more angry.

If you anger seems uncontrollable, it could be due these past traumas that influence your emotions and behaviors today. In that case, seeking treatment for the traumas is the only way to truly rid yourself of uncontrollable anger. Seek help now. Don’t wait.

How can you tell if you need something more serious than anger management?

  • No matter what you try, you constantly feel angry and frustrated.
  • If your anger causes problems at work.
  • If your temper damages your relationships at home and at work.
  • You avoid people and going places where you feel like you can’t control your anger.
  • If you have ever had run-ins with the law due to your anger.
  • If you have ever been involved in physical violence due to your anger.

Somatic-based therapies provide the best treatments for anger. They work with the way the neurology in the body has responded to past traumas and help the nervous system to reorganize itself so it responds to aggravating situations in a more appropriate manner. Personally, I recommend Somatic Experiencing, perhaps the best and most thorough of the body-based techniques.

It you’re interested in a free eBook on anger techniques, click here. However, if you’d like more information of trauma treatment, especially if you know you have a history of traumas or PTSD, then click here.

You don’t have to live with anger anymore.

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Brainspotting for Trauma and PTSD

Exciting New Treatment For Trauma and PTSD

Brainspotting is an exciting, effective new tool in the field of trauma and PTSD treatment. The following 10-minute video is of David Grand, its creator, talking about it and how it works.


Besides being effective in the treatment of trauma and PTSD, it is also a great help with physical pain and emotional issues and blockages. It also has a profound way of accelerating personal growth. In my practice, I combine Somatic Experiencing, arguably the best trauma treatment out there, with Brainspotting when treating trauma and PTSD.

Lisa Schwarz, mentioned in the video, is another expert in Brainspotting. To see a brief interview I did with her, to go my blog post of September 12, 2011.

For more information, or to experience a session of Brainspotting either face-to-face, over the phone, or by Skype, contact me. Or to see a list of other techniques I use, click here.

Have you heard of this before? Please comment below and share by clicking the buttons below.

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