Unfortunately, not everyone are born with the same chances to thrive and grow like others. In fact, Norway is one of the lucky countries, and I have discovered time and time again, that being brought up here, is really like winning the lottery. But: Don`t let that fool you; Mental health is a huge problem here, as in many countries. Many live with severe problems and have not had the scaffolding they needed when they grew up.
I will continue this post with sharing more information about a topic I am very concerned about, since I work with it daily. The subject is trauma and dissociation, and I have chosen to reblog a post from a woman who must fight every day, against every type of challenge in the world. Please know that this entry might be triggering for others who have experienced trauma, and keep from reading it if you are at a bad place right now. Thank you for your respect.
Nina, clinical psychologist
Don’t know about you, but we/I are firmly in the freeze camp.
Always have been.
A few years ago, I had some sort of assessment done by a Psychiatrist who drew up a diagram showing the window of tolerance see here for more info.
She said that in her opinion, I was functioning in a state of hypoarousal.
Which means I’m at the bottom end of the chart. When I was officially given the D.I.D diagnosis, H said the same.
Some traumatised people are in a permanent state of hyper-arousal which is where the fight /flight response comes in. An example being that when in a situation that is perceived as threatening, a person may display extreme rage and aggression. However, when a person reacts with hypoarousal, they become quieter, may appear depressed, and withdraw. ( see here for further information.. ).
The freeze response is where I am.
It is a pretty regular thing for me to ‘find myself’ unable to move sitting curled up behind my bathroom door.
I shut down when in a situation that feels threatening (note, just because it feelsthreatening doesn’t mean it actually is). ‘Playing dead’ was what I did during traumatic experiences, and what I continue to do. Fighting and fleeing were not options. Theyshould be now though, I think.
While I recognise the reasoning for the freeze response, I also see that it causes huge problems in my day to day life.
I am not alone with this way of responding. It seems that it is the response of most of the rest of me, if not all.
Am beginning to accept that during time loss especially those times where I have evidence of having been out (where?) and being with (abusive?) people, that freeze response may have heightened risk rather than lowered it.
Now, I think (?) we need to learn how to fight and how to flee when in genuinely threatening situations. We also need to learn how to tolerate things that feel threatening but are not. Am not sure if that is possible since it seems from what I’ve read that those responses are learned during very early childhood.
Really hope this makes sense.
Thank you for reading.
- The Freeze Response (jovannaharris.wordpress.com)
- Effects on Sexuality of Childhood Trauma (childhoodtraumarecovery.com)