By Maria Anna van Driel
As they say, trauma is a vivid nightmare that comes while we are in this state of being ‘awake’. Not only is it, for a myriad of people, difficult to overcome the psychological bruises which are accompanied with trauma, it also takes tremendous perseverance and resilience to overcome this invisible battle that is taking place day-in and day-out.
Not knowing how to cope with it, you knock on the door of a professional psychologist or psychiatrist who will then let you run into a new wall by telling you to act as a stereo-type victim as well as that you have to replenish your medicine cabinet and…they have the best recipes for you to suppress any nasty thought and/or spooky dream, which will wake you up screaming, you are about to experience in the future.
There is no doubt that, for some people, medication is a true working remedy but, as we all know, we are all unique individuals meaning, everyone has their own way in responding to a traumatic event. Even though Cliniclowns are doing incredible and important work, a professional psychologist and/or psychiatrist does not have to dress-up and/or act as such all the time but is seems that the above mentioned psychologist and psychiatrist have forgotten that positivity and laughter, for instance, do have a deeper and longer effect in losing certain tensions whereby this suffering suddenly has a transformative power.
We have all hear about stress and its inevitability, yet succumb to the displeasure when it strikes us. While resilience may help to withstand the pain to some extent, PTGO allows us to grasp the knowledge of using the pain to change our lives for the better.
When we think about it for a moment, it is remarkable to see that the brain is, somehow, capable of ‘choosing’ such a vivid form of processing the stress that is accompanied with PTSD. In this it would be an almost logical line of thought that this reality is as real as the sandwich you are eating during lunch…right?
This made me curious about PTGO. I read many articles concerning PTSD and PTGO during the last weeks and even had the privilege to speak with several Neuro-Psychologists and (clinical) Psychologists via Skype. The pro’s and con’s of medical and spiritual healing processes were indeed interesting topics to discuss as well as trauma being the main cause for a foggy/altered reality.
However, be in religion, poetry, philosophy, or literature, the general understanding of how pain can be beneficial is not a new concept altogether. The scientific field of positive psychology has embraced this process of thriving and calls it Post-Traumatic Growth Order (PTGO) better known as the self-improvement one undergoes after experiencing life challenges.
The idea of Post Traumatic Growth Order is a popular one and describes how survivors of traumatic events cannot only heal from their trauma, but may actually grow into a stronger, more driven, and more resilient person because of their trauma.
With evidence-backed examples, the astonishing and eye-opening articles of experts, which can be read in this month’s issue of The Next Truth, will delve a little deeper than what we have known so far about trauma. They will help you in understanding the essentials of PTGO, how to weather it and how to apply this in our lives.