Ptsd Isn't The Problem; It's The Solution. It's Just Not A Very Good Solution.

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The pain and suffering of PTSD is in part, I believe, the brain's attempt to get the person back to a situation where he or she felt in control--the fight or flight situation in which the person did something that led to his or her survival. Reliving the horror of the trauma is equivalent to being back in the traumatic situation. Once the initial trauma ended with the person's survival, and the person was safe, for some reason, safety didn't feel good like it was supposed to. The neurochemicals that flooded the brain during the crisis--dopamine, adrenalin, etc.--are missing now, and the brain is in a state of neurochemical deficiency. If the crisis went on for months or even years, the brain was constantly in a fight-or-flight mode, bathed in neurochemicals that made him or her feel better. Now that he or she is safe, but not feeling better, the brain wants the person to be in danger again to bring back the neurochemicals that made him or her feel energized, powerful, and (paradoxically) calm because he or she did something to control his/her environment, to save his or her life. So the brain induces memories and dreams to recreate the trauma for the person's benefit (according to the brain, anyway).

But the brain is not making a good choice here. It may seem like an efficient solution, but it is not. The brain needs to stop trying to put the person back in crisis; it needs to be trained to do something else to bring on the good neurochemicals. That something else could be one of the many therapeutic treatments that are available to trauma sufferers currently. I find that any kind of scanning activity does the trick--meditation, channel surfing, Solitaire, jigsaw puzzles, bird watching, writing, taking photos--but it's important to me that they be neutral and peaceful activities so that I don't acquire a new habit that is equally detrimental (gambling, for instance).

Anyway, just my two cents from decades of personal research and experimentation.


The pain and suffering of PTSD is in part, I believe, the brain's attempt to get the person back to a s...
For me it's hiking and for now working at the zoo I constantly scan the environment but it's pleasing not detrimental


Thank you for sharing your clearly open minded insight into the brains patterns regarding trauma. This is a bit of a different perspective about how our minds respond to current triggers, and I can see how the brain would desire those chemicals experienced while we responded to trauma and sought safety. Unfortunately I cannot recall any moment in which I felt in control as a child when I was abused and abandoned, although I'm sure there were some behaviors engaged upon that reduced the impact of the pain affiliated with said trauma. Yet, I never felt safe for very long growing up and was thrust into dangerous situations with dangerous people, which now has developed ongoing triggers in my adult life that causes me to experience danger with a lot of the public and most landscapes. Or, at least it is perceived to be so, so I can see how my brain would search for those chemicals that once cicrulated in my mind, and since they're nowhere to be found I then begin to experience abandonment flashbacks. It is during such times that (and this is quite often) I begin to act upon my most dominant 4F response, which is flight and defined as an urge for "constant busyness" to distract from such excruciating triggers. If anything else externally contributes to that pain then the cycle of self abandonment begins which are often times known as "critic initiated flashbacks". It is during such times that I must practice the act of grieving, reparenting, critic shrinking and acknowledgement of the flashback itself, not exactly in that order. It just occurred to me that practicing critic shrinking during mediation would be quite effective. My knowledge about this stuff is all due to the expertise of Pete Walker. Thanks again for sharing.


Very well said.

Just need to add - for some of us the traumas led to further traumas. Lack of education and there by lack of job and safe economy. That makes us kind of stuck in a bad circle also fysiologically. Its not just to release the traumas I think when your situation puts you in dire survival. I think therapy should start to focus on this too. Not only processing the trauma it self.


I really like that! I often find that things make more sense in my brain when I search for ulterior motives or reasons to distrust my friends. They've given me little to no reason to do so, so I try and hold back from this, but it just makes me feel more safe and more like myself. Funny how that works


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Interesting :)! I agree! And it's why I think Somatic Experiencing is such an effective treatment for trauma or PTSD, as it allows you to complete the loop - to use up that flood of hormones or energies to their full degree, as was intended for you to do by your body in the traumatic situation.

Traumatisation happens when you are flooded with hormones but your brain perceives that you were not adequately allowed to act on them to a sufficient degree. This is why people often become so mobile following natural disasters, etc, as they are busy going around 'fixing' things in order to burn off the survival energy. When this is blocked and when people are blocked from escaping danger adequately (for example if you are held down/or perceive yourself as unable to leave), then you become traumatised. Unresolved trauma leads to repetition compulsion because your brain, nervous system, or psyche (or all three) are trying to complete the loop. Something like somatic experiencing focuses on completing the loop and allowing your body to piece by piece work through all the energy it needs to work through and to slowly complete the loop...
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