Summary: Take a psychological quiz to find out if you have PTSD and experience an EFT Tapping script to help resolve trauma and abuse.
- No two people respond to trauma exactly the same way.
- Take the PTSD quiz.
- Experience EFT Tapping for resolving Trauma and Abuse.
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Hello, my friends. Welcome to Move Into Resilience. I’m starting my four-part series on PTSD because this is PTSD month, or PTSD Awareness Month, the month of June. So I’ll be doing some episodes to help you to understand PTSD and how we can help ourselves to become more resilient to preventing it and also to resolve it. So I thought it would be helpful to start right away with referring back to an episode that I did that is called Trauma and Resilience, Episode 12. And in that I talk about the different forms of the trauma response. In that, I talk about the possibility of there being a fight or flight, which is a sympathetic activation or more active kind of response. In fight/flight you’re doing something. And then there’s also, on the other opposite end of that, the collapse or withdrawal. And that is where we find it to be, or perceive it to be, life threatening, and we collapse or curl up. And then between those two we have a combination where we’re activated and we’re also deactivated at the same time. So it’s kind of like having the brake on and the gas on simultaneously. And this occurs in a situation where there is danger but the inability to move, so there’s immobility along with danger. And that’s what leads to this freeze, what I call the activated freeze, because we’ve got some sympathetic activation happening at the same time as this collapse. And this can lead to PTSD, or in other words post-traumatic stress disorder. And we can have this happen in different situations, based upon previous traumas that we had in our lives or if we are a certain age, a certain developmentally-aware age—pre-verbal. We can have trauma in utero. There are many different ways that this can happen and it’s not the same for everyone. So one person may go through a traumatic event and come out the other side, feeling that they’ve grown from it; they’ve learned from it; and they’re not stuck. While another person may have exactly the same experience of the trauma, but get stuck and that’s what we can call this disorder. And in the diagnosis, there are several characteristics that they look for, psychotherapists, psychologists, psychiatrists, in the mental health field, that would look for particular answers to these questions that they have a list of. Twenty questions that they would ask and that would help them to determine whether or not you are in this disordered state. Now one of the things that I want to make clear is, again, you don’t have to have PTSD just because you have danger with immobility. It doesn’t always happen. What happens is when we’ve had this experience and, like I said, something beforehand that led us to being already at a heightened state and so add one more trauma to the mix and perhaps you go into this PTSD. But it can also happen before you’re even aware. So if your mother is under stress, there are stress hormones in the fluid inside the womb, and so as you’re developing you’re kind of swimming in a sea of stress hormones. And this can also result in this disorder even though you’re just tiny and really haven’t experienced any trauma. It’s more a matter of there is danger, because these stress hormones are coming in constantly and you can’t get away from them.
[04:51] PTSD Quiz
So I thought it would be important to go through these different diagnostic questions so that you are familiar with what they are looking for when they’re trying to diagnose a person with PTSD. Now if you feel that this is something that perhaps might be activating to you, then I would suggest that you don’t watch this part or listen to this part. But I would like to go through this so that it is clear to all of you what the diagnosis is about. So here we go. In reference to a particular event–the traumatic event. And what they would ask you is what was the most traumatic event that you can remember, and that’s again coming from a place of you were aware of it. So if it was in utero/preverbal, you were really tiny, you may not have a remembering of the event, obviously. But if we can just assume we’re going to be using something that is rememberable from your past. So we’re going to be asking these questions about a very stressful experience—something that you would keep in mind as the worst event. And keeping that in mind, indicate how much you are bothered by this particular problem within the last month. And you’ll give it a rating from zero, which is not at all; one is a little bit; two is moderately; three is quite a bit; and four is extremely. So you can write these down if you’d like, or mark these down for yourself and just see where you land.
Here we go. In the past month, how much were you bothered by:
- Repeated disturbing and unwanted memories of the stressful experience?
- Repeated disturbing dreams of the stressful experience?
- Suddenly feeling or acting as if the stressful experience were actually happening again (as if you were actually back there reliving it)?
- Feeling very upset when something reminded you of the stressful experience?
- Having strong physical reactions when something reminded you of a stressful experience (for example, heart pounding, trouble breathing, or sweating)?
- Avoiding memories thoughts or feelings related to the stressful experience?
- Avoiding external reminders of the stressful experience (for example, people, places, conversations, activities, objects, or situations)?
- Trouble remembering important parts of the stressful experience?
- Having strong negative beliefs about yourself other people or the world (for example, having thoughts such as I am bad, there is something seriously wrong with me, no one can be trusted, the world is completely dangerous)?
- Blaming yourself or someone else for the stressful experience or what happened after it?
And remember we’re marking the zero for not at all; one for a little bit; two is moderately; three quite a bit; and four extremely.
- Having strong negative feelings such as fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame?
- Loss of interest in activities that you used to enjoy?
- Feeling distant or cut off from other people?
- Trouble experiencing positive feelings (for example, being unable to feel happiness or have loving feelings for people close to you)?
- Irritable behavior, angry outbursts, or acting aggressively?
- Taking too many risks or doing things that could cause you harm?
- Being “superalert”, or watchful, or on guard?
- Feeling jumpy or easily startled?
- Having difficulty concentrating?
And 20. Trouble falling or staying asleep?
OK, so if you scored yourself, now you can add those up. And the number that we’re looking for, sort of a cutoff, is 31 to 33, right in that range. If you have that number, then there’s probably a good chance that you’ve been struggling with PTSD. Now this is not a sentence, a life sentence, this is something that can be cured. Remember, there’s an episode I made called PTSD Can Be Cured [episode 025] and it’s true, there are many techniques that can help resolve the trauma response and to get your body back into a nice healthy baseline so that you are not easily startled and so forth–all of these different conditions. So we’re remembering that this is in the body. This isn’t something that you’ve decided to do. This is a reflex. It kept you safe, so give yourself a little pat on the back and say, you know, “Thank you body, for keeping me safe and keeping me out of the danger that was perceived, and now I’m ready to start to do something different.”
[12:44] EFT Introduction
What I’d like to do now is to invite you to see if we can find some ways to shift this out. One of the very most effective methods of treating people with PTSD has been shown to be EFT Tapping. So we’re going to be doing an EFT script right now that relates to a traumatic event or abuse, and the situation around that, and seeing if we can cause a shift in our subconscious mind which then will allow us to turn off that trauma response to come out of the PTSD symptomology and to feel better. The way that we start this is you will begin by putting yourself in touch with an acupoint. In the EFT Tapping world, they use many points. We do many different points around the face and the body. And for this one we could do that, but I think it’s just more simple if we just hold somewhere. And I’ve done this before, it’s one of my favorites–it just feels nice. We’re using both sides of the body, so there’s bilateral stimulation, which is great for whole-brain integration. We are in contact, we’re going to be using our hand here on the chest below the collarbone. So you spread your hand, put your fingers underneath one side of the collarbone, or one of the collarbones, and the thumb underneath the other one, so your hand is resting on your chest. And I like this one too because it connects me with my heart. And the heart is a very powerful organ. It has a great, very strong, electromagnetic field—way stronger than our brain. And it is something that when it feels good in the heart, that sends a message up to the brain that all is well. So this is a really nice place to place your hand while we’re doing this script. And when we begin I’d like us to start by taking three calming breaths so that we can get ourselves ready for the experience of the script. This script is called Trauma and Abuse, and if you feel as though it’s probably going to activate you, then I don’t suggest that you listen at this time. Maybe get yourself a little bit more calm and in a nice environment where you are feeling very calm and ready, and then we can do this together. And by having your hand underneath the collarbones, you will be providing yourself with that calming, soothing touch that will tell the nervous system all as well. So even though you may be saying things that sound pretty strong as you’re calming yourself by using this touch and touching these acupoints, and having your hand over your heart, you will calm your nervous system around these thoughts. So that’s the concept behind doing this.
[15:59] EFT Tapping Script
So let’s begin by taking three calming breaths, through the nose and deep into the lungs. Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale. And with your hand spread and placed beneath your collarbones, repeat after me either silently or out loud.
Even though this stuff happened, I choose to love and accept myself
Even though this stuff happened, I choose to love and honor myself
Even though this stuff happened, things have happened to me in the past that have caused me a lot of pain and I’m still carrying a lot of that pain. And even though this stuff happened, I choose to deeply and completely love, honor, and accept myself and, to whatever extent possible, I choose to love, honor, and forgive the others that were involved, because I choose to be free.
This stuff that happened
These painful things that happened
All this pain that I experienced
All this pain that I’m still carrying
I choose to clear it
I have a right to clear it
I don’t owe it to anyone to hang onto this pain
Part of me might think I do
Part of me might believe
That I should hold onto this pain
That I need to hang onto this pain
Maybe to make sure it never happens again
But I know I’ve had enough pain
And I choose to release it
Releasing it at a cellular level
And releasing it all the way back through my past
I don’t want to carry it anymore
But if I let go of this pain
Does that mean I’m forgiving these people
Because maybe they don’t deserve that
And maybe I need to hang onto this pain to punish them
But the only one being punished is myself
And I deserve a break from that
I know I’ve suffered enough
And I choose to set myself free now
Setting myself free from this pain
Setting myself free from the fear
All the fear that I experienced
And all the fear that I’m still carrying
All the fear that it might happen again
All this fear that I think I need to protect myself
I can find better ways to take care of myself
I’m here now
Whatever that stuff was
I came through it
I choose to acknowledge how strong I am
And I choose to feel more confident in myself
And I choose to really love myself
So I’m allowing myself to heal with this love
In body, mind, and spirit
And now take a nice breath in through the nose, deep into the lungs. And exhale. Great. Thanks for joining in, and send yourself some appreciation for doing so.
[22:32] Trauma Repeats Itself
Trauma isn’t something that we have any say in. Our response to trauma is a reflex, so please be kind to yourself; be gentle. Know that unless we do release it, unless we do resolve it, our body will find ways to relive the trauma and to find another example so that we do resolve it, give us another chance to resolve it, so we’ll keep having traumatic events in our lives until we release it. Very important. If you want to look at my website, MoveIntoResilience.com, I have some information there and I also am offering a free session with me, where we can talk about all of this stuff and you can get some clarity on how to move forward. I hope you’ll check that out.
So in our review today, to review what we’ve gone over is PTSD is a combination of the brake and the gas on at the same time, and it really puts our body into a lot of tension and also sort of this feeling of just can’t really get going; lack of motivation. So this combination is very exhausting, and it does take a toll on not only your body but your brain. And there’s an episode that I created around that too: Stress and Our Brain or How To Prevent Dementia. They’re the same episode, just different names. And we talk about how stress also causes the brain to start basically kind of eating itself up, so we don’t want that either. We’re trying to release these things from our body so that we can move forward in life. And oftentimes, after people have had traumatic events, they do grow from it and there’s a learning process. And the resilience that gets developed is amazing, so lots of positives here. And I hope you enjoyed the EFT tapping script and that you can listen back to this and do that for yourself. So be gentle, be kind to yourself and just know that there are ways to resolve your trauma and to end PTSD. It can be cured. That’s all I have for you today and I’ll see you in the next episode. I’m Pamela Stokes. This has been Move Into Resilience. Take it easy.