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What are Trauma Triggers?

Trauma Triggers can appear in two different forms.  One kind is the trigger you have and you are brought back to your trauma instantly.  A certain scent, a certain sound or sight. 

The other trigger you can experience is an emotional reaction to a circumstance you find yourself in.  For example, if your trauma happened when you were a child, you reacted in a certain way to protect yourself.  Let’s say you did not live in a safe environment.  You are now an adult, and you hear a noise outside.  You may immediately jump to the conclusion that you are not safe – someone is out to get you.  You immediately put yourself into the fight, flight or freeze mode (sympathetic nervous system).  You figure out that it was your cat outside.  You are emotionally exhausted due to putting yourself in the sympathetic mode and now have all these hormones floating around in your body and it will take several hours before these hormones will totally go away. 

What’s a Body to do?

When you are trauma triggered hormones are released and it is causing irritation and causing damage in your body if it happens over and over again.  By understanding what is happening in your body, and by taking control of your body with simple tools, you can help this hypervigilant inflammation cycle to slow down.  Here, at TRACI-P2 you will learn some of the tools to use when trauma triggered and understand the mechanism of trauma.  You will have access to tools that are designed just for people like us with chronic illness and pain.

I believe the many “all your tests are good – I don’t see anything wrong” medical diagnoses I received were because my illnesses were not physically traumatic, but emotionally traumatic leaving me in a fight, flight or freeze system almost constantly.  The effect it had on my body was gradual but hard to diagnose.  I believe the more we understand just how connected the brain and the body are - the faster we will be able to help each other in our chronic illness and pain.  Not all chronic pain and illness is caused by trauma.

-Carol

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