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Emotional Traumatic Injury - The Invisible Trauma

Updated: Jan 17, 2021

There is a link between mind, body and spirit that has been scientifically identified. What happens to the body impacts the brain, the mind and the spirit. What happens in the brain, the mind and the spirit impacts the body.

This connection is something that experts like Dr. Bessel Van Der Kolk have spent decades researching, documenting the way trauma literally reshapes how both the body and brain work. This reshaping is called neuroplasticity, and changes the way one functions, thinks, feels, interacts with others and one's self. This rewiring has been identified and documented through radiologic studies, such as MRI. While physical traumatic injury is so easily identifiable, emotional traumatic injury is not visible or easily identifiable. It is however, very real and in need of very real support.

Emotional traumatic injury occurs when one experiences such things as violence, injury, molestation, abuse and yes, the death of a loved one. The need to survive takes over, and the brain literally goes on autopilot. The prefrontal cortex, the decision-making control panel, is put in a neutral state and our survival instincts, housed in the limbic system, takes over operations.

The body literally becomes a physical demonstration of the emotional injury. For grievers, forgetfulness, stuttering, loss of appetite, a sense of disconnection and fatigue are just a few of emotional traumatic injury's manifestations. The inability to integrate grief into one's life and move into a place of healing often turns into what is now identified as complicated grief. Individuals experiencing complicated grief are stuck in the acute grief stage, suffering in survival mode.

Scientific understanding of the impact of emotional traumatic injury helps us not only understand how this invisible injury changes our brain but it offers incredible insight into treatment possibilities. Interventions for emotional traumatic injury include counseling, medication and holistic healing modalities such as meditation, yoga and massage.

Emotional traumatic injury may not be seen, but it is very real. If you or someone you know is suffering from emotional trauma, help is available, and healing is possible.

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