Dissociation and avoidance behaviors

Dissociation and avoidance behaviors
Dissociation is the essence of trauma. The traumatic experience is split off and fragmented so that the emotions, sounds, images, thoughts, and physical sensations enter and are re-experienced in the present. These people react to even the smallest irritations as if they are being annihilated and cannot understand why. A common reaction is to reorganize their lives to try to avoid these memories. But the constant battle against invisible dangers is exhausting and makes them tired, depressed and exhausted.

While reliving trauma can be frightening and even self-destructive, a lack of presence can be even more damaging over time. The kids who act out at least get time and attention. But the ones who simply fade out don’t bother anyone and are left alone to lose their future piece by piece.
Difficulties in integrating traumatic memories
Under normal conditions, our emotional and rational memory systems work together to integrate new experiences into a continuous flow. But during traumatic events, many regions shut down: linguistic areas, areas responsible for creating our sense of time and space, and the thalamus, which integrates raw sensory data.

The result is a memory that is not coherent and organized in a logical narrative, but is stored as disordered “fragments” of images, sounds, and chaotic bodily sensations. In effect, a wall is erected between the two parts of a dual memory system. Traumatic memory is not integrated into the combined, ever-changing sense of what we know about ourselves.

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