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What Is Trauma Reactivity?

Trauma affects the central nervous system and puts the body into a high sense of alert. Trauma experiences trigger our instinctive fight-or-flight response, which alerts us to either run from danger or to battle the potential threat. During experiences that lead to trauma, we are either unable to do either of these things effectively or unable to forget the memories of these experiences. The unresolved feelings of facing life-threatening or disturbing events can put our bodies into a highly reactive state.

Reactivity means to respond quickly at the moment with little to no thought involved. Most animals respond to any danger in this manner: a squirrel will quickly scurry away from the presence of any large animal or a dog will bark incessantly at approaching strangers.

Human beings, however, have high orders of cognitive thought that attempt to rationalize or evaluate threats. For example, a victim of sexual assault could be lured into a sense of safety by a trusted individual and is then unable to process the assault that their body is attempting to flee from. In a purely, reactive state, we would run from or fend off all danger, either perceived or real.

Trauma reactivity is the heightened state of awareness and reactivity that follows a traumatic event. You may be generalizing the things that have happened to you and are now experiencing feelings of wanting to fight or flee from anything reminding you of your trauma. Reactive symptoms include being jumpy, increased heart rate, excessive sweating, getting upset easily, or feelings of panic and anxiety.

These symptoms can become intrusive, as human beings rarely face danger in our daily lives. These symptoms of reactivity can create difficulty in finding mental wellness and feeling safe in the world. Healing from trauma involves teaching the body to remain calm and to quiet the alarms of the central nervous system.

Do you experience feelings of trauma reactivity? Do you have a difficult time relaxing? Do you experience panic attacks and other symptoms of extreme anxiety following traumatic events? There is hope for recovery from these symptoms! Call The Guest House today at (855) 483-7800 for more information on how you can cope with your symptoms of trauma reactivity or other symptoms of trauma! Our comprehensive, holistic approach emphasizes the healing of both the body and the mind to help our clients recover from trauma. Get help for you or a loved one today!