Obstacles to healing Post Traumatic Stress.

Obstacles to healing Post Traumatic Stress.

man in a dark forestBlog #2
The Fear of healing

As a follow – up to my first blog, I felt that it was important to address the issue of fear. This is one of the obstacles which can get in the way of healing. There are already far too many obstacles to healing from the effects of post – traumatic stress.
The fear of going through the healing process is understandable. If someone believes that it is impossible to feel better again, they may fear that they will be forced to endure the pain for the rest of their lives. This is common for those who have carried emotional pain for a long time. It can be hard to imagine that negative thoughts and feelings can be changed. They may also fear healing because of self – image issues. If you believe that you don’t deserve to feel better, this can be a significant obstacle. It might become necessary to examine beliefs in order to overcome some fears.
They might also fear the process of healing itself.
The people who struggle with Post Traumatic Stress have not somehow lost their common sense. They have not suddenly become weak or broken. However, some covert sense of power has managed to take over their freedom to define survival in a natural way. Something has caused them to see the world differently. I believe that it has more to do with hidden relationships which are not readily apparent. The linking of anger to fear is one example of a power relationship which can covertly affect our freedom to remain centered. The linking of grief and fear can also mess with your ability to maintain a balanced perspective. It’s too easy to be swept up in the fear of impending doom after losing enough friends.
When somebody returns home from the battlefield, it can become a vicarious transfer for them to begin fearing the loss of a relationship. The fear of being accepted without judgement is a real source of concern. Also, the fear of being rejected by family or society is the reality for some. The uncertainty of employment adds to the anxiety of soldiers returning home. We have all heard the stories of brave veterans who ended up being homeless. There is much to be afraid of after being in combat.
If you stack up enough sources of fear, you can easily begin to feel frustrated and angry. You don’t deserve this. Before you know it, these combined feelings can get the better of you. The insidious thing about combined emotions is that once they take hold, they are not going to let go. They will continue to haunt you and cause you to seek relief somehow. All too often this will lead to self –medication.
It is no surprise that the confluence of toxic thoughts and feelings are so overwhelming to people after being in combat. The problem is that people tend to believe that this is somehow their fault. This is a great source for a cascading of fears. The more fear takes hold of you, the greater the frustration and anger. When you fear that you are to blame for things beyond your control, it can be debilitating.
If people begin to fear that they are weak or broken, then they can develop the need for self – medication. However, this can just exaggerate the fears. It is the most personal fears that have the greatest power to get in your way.
• What are the fears about healing emotional trauma?
• Why are people bound by fear?
• What can be done to alleviate these fears?
I believe that it’s important to address every obstacle to healing and wellness. Fear can certainly be a significant obstacle to overcoming the effects of PTS. It is very understandable for people to be so bound by the power of fear. These fears are very real. They do not mean anything about the person who happens to be in this situation. Post – traumatic stress makes us have doubts about self. It causes us to question the things that we have always known to be true about us, and this leads to becoming fearful.
There are already too many issues to juggle when you are faced with PTS. Fear should not add to the mix. When you can neutralize one emotional factor, you can begin to unravel the power of PTS. Once you have succeeded at taking power away from one emotional issue, then you will have the courage to face the others. You will see for yourself that this can be sorted out and resolved.
So how can someone overcome these fears and get down to the business of healing?
• Safety – It is so important to feel safe in the chosen healing format. This can be a group, or personalized counseling. It could also be an online source which offers total privacy and confidentiality.
• Relating – It’s vital to the process to relate to the experiences of others. Within a group healing experience, there is a symbiotic sharing. This is reassuring to hear that others have had similar experiences.
• Acknowledgement – This is an important component of the process of healing. We all need to be acknowledged. Within a group circle, this is both given and received.
• Acceptance – Being accepted for what you have endured is also vital. This is especially true when you feel safe that you will not be judged.
These are the components of healing which can neutralize the fear of creating positive change. Those who go through such a process quickly learn that their fears were unfounded. Once you get beyond the fears, you can realize that other obstacles are not as difficult as previously imagined.

Rick Murphy