I saw a meme the other day, Adults: “Kids are resilient.” Also adults: “Well, I’m off to therapy to discuss all the traumatic s*** I’ve been carrying around since childhood.” While yes, humans in general tend to be “resilient”, this meme brings up a few things. First, that initial statement is used to minimize and brush under the rug childhood trauma that those children will likely carry with them for the rest of their lives. Next, the meme brings a very valid point. Yes, people develop coping skills, some not the greatest, and eventually some will start to work on that trauma with a professional, often decades later. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to be resilient. We need to acknowledge that we are in a mental health crisis and have been for the last 2+ years. Suicide rates, especially in children, are on the rise (to be blunt, they had no more resilience). Unhealthy coping mechanisms seen in Drug and Alcohol Overdose Deaths have also risen.
Going further, trauma is likely the basis for most physical diseases we face today and in many ways is like a lingering physical infection. Trauma is a focal intoxication that constantly reinfects and throws off the entire system. While this is greatly simplified, the mental/emotional state changes the hormones and chemicals released into the body and puts it in a specific state of being – often seen physically with lack of energy (including cellular energy/mitochondrial, ATP cycles, etc), decreased immune function and gut health from rigidity in the diaphragmatic arch trying to hold the emotions and feelings at bay, weight gain, visual signs of early aging, and over time, even cancer. In Natural Medicine we link, for example, Breast Cancer with the inability to give and receive love, normally due to a trauma in early childhood. Diabetes and Pancreatic Cancer, the inability to digest or deal with the sweetness of life, again oftentimes stemming from early childhood traumas.
Thankfully in today’s world we do have many tools at our disposal to address new or even long standing and deeply buried traumas, complex traumas, including non-verbal and preverbal traumas (including prenatal or preconception) like traditional talk therapy, or some where you don’t even need to talk (these are also needed for non-verbal trauma) like EMDR, Brainspotting, Colorpuncture, Somatic Release, just to name a few.
While you can’t truly heal from the trauma until the trauma event has passed, you can do things to help offload the system during, and while true healing happens after the fact, we must start now.