Monday 2 January 2017

Want to discover why trauma affects us in the way it does and how to get through it?

I am still reading the substantial but incredibly informative and helpful book The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma by Bessel Van Der Kolk who is one of the world's foremost authorities on trauma and recovery. Really and truly if you want a proper understanding of the effects that trauma has on the mind and body, and techniques and treatments that may help you to recover from traumatic memories, I'd say this is the #1 'bible' on the subject.

The early pages talk a lot about childhood trauma which may not be relevant to people like us who have been through the nightmare of an eating disorder, whether as a sufferer or a carer, but it's worth persevering with the early chapters because the later chapters are excellent.

Most helpful of all (apart from the recovery techniques and why some therapies may work while others do not) is the description of why the brain behaves as it does and its links to the rest of the body (e.g. that knotted feeling you get in your chest during panic attacks).

If you ever feel guilty in some way for feeling the way you do or that you should be able to 'fix it' by 'waking up and smelling the coffee', then please do read this book because it will make you realise that it's not your fault, that recovery isn't straightforward or quick, and that your feelings and actions are one-hundred-per-cent normal for someone suffering from a trauma-related problem like PTSD.

Gosh, the brain is complex - and incredibly wonderful at the same time!!

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