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Many us have experienced trauma. For some, it happened recently. And for others, it took place years ago, even in childhood. In my practice, every day I see patients dealing with emotional or physical trauma. The effects can range from subtle to life altering.

The following is a common scenario. A patient comes to me with complaints of anxiety, poor sleep along with bouts of depression, intrusive thoughts and possibly compulsive/obsessive behaviors. He seeks help looking for relief of his anxiety and insomnia.

 Rather than asking “What do you think is wrong with you?” I’ve learned to ask, “What happened to you?” Their immediate impulse is to respond with a reflexive, “Oh nothing really out of the ordinary” or “You know just life…” But I’ve learned to not stop there.

I’ll take a moment then to let them know that many people suffer traumatic events in their lives - like child emotional abuse or witnessing or experience violence involving a close friend or relative. And that these events sometimes manifest as anxiety later in life.

Invariably something clicks in their memory - recollections they have suppressed, or simply learned to live with as their “normal”, come to the surface.

Once the trauma that is at the source of their anxiety comes to the surface, and they describe it out loud, the healing can begin. Tears often result. These tears are a combination of horror as the events are relived and relief that someone sees and hears them, and they don’t feel so isolated any longer.

Talking through the trauma and its effects help tremendously in lessening the impact on day to day functioning. Meditation, yoga, exercise, creative expression all help living in the present and maximizing mindfulness.

Now, with the availability of medical marijuana, I have seen patients deal effectively with their PTSD, live productive and joyful lives, and do so without traditional medications and all their associated side effects.

Trauma changes one’s brain. Until the narrative is exposed and dealt with, and manifestations treated, the recurrent psychological and physical symptoms will continue to haunt victims.

In Health,

MONACO Wellness


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