Human being, a complex mixture of the past and present events that shaped us into the person what we have become now. Those events made you learn the hard and easy way. In that process of living we have been forced to struggle and tried to win each and every battle. Fighting your life battles could left you wounded and broken – as well as leaving you with some series of primary and secondary traumas. But at the same time, we are trying to heal ourselves in the aftermath.
Healing was defined in terms of developing a sense of personal wholeness that involves physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual aspects of human experience (Egnew, 2005). Whereas psychological trauma is the unique individual experience of an event or enduring conditions, in which: (1). The individual’s ability to integrate his/her emotional experience is overwhelmed, or (2). The individual experiences (subjectively) a threat to life, bodily integrity, or sanity. (Pearlman & Saakvitne, 1995).
As a person with traumatic past, I finally realized that I need some professional help from a psychologist to assist me in dealing with the trauma itself. It was not an easy decision to opt for a session with a professional, but it was much needed and I felt like it’s the right time to make peace with all of those past events.
First session was all about history taking. I have to open my past, be honest about all of my experiences until me and my counselor are both able to understand the main cause of the trauma itself. The first session is very difficult, as a person who rarely open up and expressed the way I felt about anything and everything, I have to be strong and able to answer all questions from the counselor without hiding anything. same thing goes for the second session. The difference is, the counselor wanted me to make a timeline of my life and told her which developmental stage was the hardest for me.
third, fourth and fifth meeting was the implementation stage. I have to remember all of those unpleasant memories, I have to make it alive for that session, and tell the complete story to my counselor when she was implementing the EMDR therapy itself.
EMDR is a therapy that is commonly used to heal traumas and other psychological disorders. EMDR is Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing. Saphiro (2014) based on his research on Twenty-four randomized controlled trials support the positive effects of EMDR therapy in the treatment of emotional trauma and other adverse life experiences relevant to clinical practice. Seven of 10 studies reported EMDR therapy to be more rapid and/or more effective than trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. Twelve randomized studies of the eye movement component noted rapid decreases in negative emotions and/or vividness of disturbing images, with an additional 8 reporting a variety of other memory effects.
Lee, Taylor, & Drummond (2006) stated that EMDR therapy was initially posited to be more “gentle” and therefore amenable for this debilitated population because “distancing” rather than reliving has been found to be correlated with treatment effects, and the eye movements used in EMDR appear to immediately cause parasympathetic activation, resulting in physiologic calming.
To be honest, the EMDR therapy really helps me a lot. It helps me to be honest to my true feelings, to open up about how I feel without being exaggeratedly emotional and to see one life phase as an event – that it is a part of our life that shaped us today. Well, I may not be 100% healed, but from the results of my follow-up sessions, I’ve made a good progress in the healing process. Those disturbing memories and feelings haunted me at times. Like a drug addict experiencing withdrawal symptoms, I practiced mindful breathing and grounding to help me focus that I am living in this present time.
I am not shy to tell people that I’ve been struggling with a psychological trauma. That is me and what happened to me. What matters is, I have people I could trust and people who I can call for help – also a decision to seek professional help. If you are suffering any kinds of psychological trauma, mental health problems even mental disorders – SPEAK UP and NEVER be ashamed of it. Mental health is as important as physical health, so why should we be ashamed of the world because of it?
I’m a psychology undergraduate and even I need help with my traumas. It’s okay to be not okay. For everyone reading this page, I love you, remember to always be there for somebody who is important to you – it helps. Always remember that you are not alone. Psychological first aids are now very accessible – any where you live!
If the mainstream media doesn’t wanna talk about mental health, anxiety, suicide, depression or worse – schizophrenia, we will fight and I will fight alongside you.