Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Thursday's Therapy - Unpackaging the Princes' Top 10 TRUTHS about Child-Loss Grief - Truth #7c) Child-Loss Grief is pervasive throughout...our Mind

Thursday's Therapy

Unpackaging the Princes' Top 10

TRUTHS about Child-Loss Grief

Truth #7c) Child-Loss Grief is pervasive throughout...our Mind.

#7) Child-Loss Grief is pervasive and invasive throughout your system. It is multi-dimensional, affecting your body, soul, mind, heart, and spirit.

Child-Loss Grief is pervasive throughout...your Mind.

On this Thursday's Therapy, we examine how Child-Loss Grief often affects our minds:

The trauma of losing your child goes beyond the emotions of grief and into Trauma, and this trauma affects your brain. You have sustained a form of brain damage when you lose your child. Neuronal connections aren't being made like they once were.

When people say, "You just need to move on," they do not realize what they are demanding. We lost our child; we came face-to-face with the death of a child we loved more than life itself. We became traumatized and damaged by that death (and by the unsuccessful attempts at defense, or the inability to prevent that fatal blow to our precious child)!

We cannot just "will" our grief and trauma out of the way. We cannot simply "choose" to move on. God didn't design our systems to be so callous as people (civilians anyway) want us to be. It just doesn't work that way.

"Some things are so traumatic, they don't make sense to the human brain. Rationalizing the trauma will not heal an autonomic nervous system disorder. The autonomic nervous system does not listen to reason or logic...

"Traumatized people are not suffering from a disease in the normal sense of the word. They have become fixated in an aroused state. It is difficult (if not impossible) to function normally under these circumstances..."

~Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D.

As Hoge says,

"Memories of life-threatening events are not stored in the same parts of the brain as other memories or thoughts. They are stored in deeper areas of the brain called 'the limbic system'...

"The limbic alarm system 'hijacks' the conscious rational areas in order to insure that the person's entire attention and focus is directed toward survival. The ability to be self-reflective or consider things in a rational sequence diminishes."

~Charles Hoge

van der Kolk goes on to assure us,

"It's also normal to think about, and to remember bad things that happen to us. This alone is not the cause or the source of PTSD. Thinking about a trauma doesn't cause PTSD. If that were the case, every American, every human being on earth for that matter, would be suffering from PTSD. People with PTSD tend to feel weird, defective, or crazy because they can't stop thinking about (and/or) reliving the trauma. Traumatic things happen so fast, they don't have enough time to be encoded into narrative memory, so they present themselves as symptoms of a disease (PTSD)...

"The symptoms of PTSD are actually very sensible, and orderly ~ even though they can also make your life feel as if it's out of order. The symptoms of PTSD serve a sensible and orderly purpose in the healing process. It's important for trauma survivors to listen to those symptoms and to do the footwork to discover what they are trying to tell them. Re-experiencing the trauma for example, is the most uncomfortable symptom of PTSD, it's also the symptom that gets the most people into treatment. Re-living, or re-experiencing is how we integrate the trauma into our lives. By creating a narrative memory of the trauma, the raw emotions that are attached to the memory usually fade."

~Bessel A. van der Kolk, M.D.

Doctors Bessel A. van der Kolk, James Briere, Therese A. Rando, Charles Hoge, and other premier experts in the Trauma field attest to the damage done to the brain in Trauma. Child-Loss Grief IS Trauma. Many of us are traumatized right away in that our brains are not able to remember the simple tasks of daily life. Everything we once did without thinking, we now have to concentrate and give ourselves twice as long to do those tasks. Many of us go on to exhibit symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

"PTSD can result in physical, cognitive, psychological, emotional, and behavioral reactions that all have a physiological basis... If we take each component of the DSM (The Diagnostic and Statistics Manual) definition of PTSD and break it down... every "symptom" of PTSD stems from things your body normally does in response to severe danger or stress. PTSD symptoms can be manifestations of normal stress reactions to threatening situations, as well as a disorder that requires treatment. That's the paradox of it."

~Charles Hoge, M.D.

{When the experts declare that PTSD victims avoid reminders of their trauma, those of us actually going through this trauma may have a different take on this part of the PTSD description.

Tommy and I have never had a problem with being reminded of our trauma. To NOT be reminded of our trauma would be tantamount to NOT being allowed to think about our precious daughter, and THAT is never acceptable to us. "Reminders of the trauma" is not what we are running from. We are aware that our brains are traumatized. We are aware that our brains need safety from any kinds of toxicity so that we can have the room to do the appropriate processing of all the trauma that has hit us and thrown us to the floor. We are not running from that trauma.

What we run from is any other unnecessary toxicity added to the traumatic loss so that we can help our poor traumatized brains process this very painful information and thus integrate this traumatic material (that we never wanted to happen) into our lives, into who we are now. The ability to integrate this trauma in with who we are now is the most we can do to facilitate any kind of healing process for our poor war-torn hearts, minds, bodies, and souls.}

"Of all the different treatments for PTSD that have been tested, the most consistently effective involve Narrating the Story of the Traumatic Event in some way so that the story becomes part of who you are...

"After telling the same story in sufficient detail, the memories of the traumatic events gradually become more organized, and with more emotion and connection and with more acceptance and less distress in the form of guilt, self-blame, anxiety, or physical symptoms...

"Fundamentally, most effective therapies for PTSD involve telling the story of the traumatic events in one way or another so that they become more tolerable and bearable."

~Charles Hoge, M.D.

(highlights, mine)

Picture thanks to Grieving Mothers, Facebook

Charles Hoge, M.D., Once a Warrior--Always a Warrior

Bessel A. van der Kolk, Traumatic Stress, and research articles received at his composium in February, 2010 and also found on the internet.


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