Category psychology

They came alive again

November 10, 2016 psychologyWriting  No comments

SPOILER ALERT: from this point on, I will be examining Running to Stand Still in-depth. If you haven’t read it yet, and don’t want it spoiled for you, stop reading now.After trauma the world becomes sharply divided between those who know and those who don’t.

Whether the trauma had occurred ten years in the past or more than forty, my patients could not bridge the gap between their wartime experiences and their current lives. Somehow the very event that caused them so much pain had also become their sole source of meaning.

In the group they found resonance and meaning in what had previously been only sensations of terror and emptiness.

When you can’t be fully here, you go to the places where you did feel alive—even if

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From a song he’d once sung

November 3, 2016 psychologyWriting  No comments

SPOILER ALERT: from this point on, I will be examining Running to Stand Still in-depth. If you haven’t read it yet, and don’t want it spoiled for you, stop reading now.“Looking back now, I realize I have been peeking into the deserted alley for the last twenty-six years.” – Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner

Charlie has been looking back at that note on the table for the past nine years. And just like Jamie, everything he does, everything he is, is marked by that moment. It is his most defining characteristic.

Now, being left by your wife and the mother of your children may or may not constitute a legitimate traumatic event. But it is the moment that has defined his life ever since she left. And so, just as people stay stuck in trauma, he is stuck in the

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Just let me hold you

October 27, 2016 psychologyWriting  No comments

SPOILER ALERT: from this point on, I will be examining Running to Stand Still in-depth. If you haven’t read it yet, and don’t want it spoiled for you, stop reading now.

Our capacity to destroy one another is matched by our capacity to heal one another… Language gives us the power to change ourselves and others by communicating our experiences, helping us to define what we know, and finding a common sense of meaning… We have the ability to regulate our own physiology, including some of the so-called involuntary functions of the body and brain, through such basic activities as breathing, moving, and touching… We can change social conditions to create environments in which children and adults can feel safe and where they can thrive.

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Lost in the playback loop of horror

October 20, 2016 psychologyWriting  No comments

SPOILER ALERT: from this point on, I will be examining Running to Stand Still in-depth. If you haven’t read it yet and don’t want it spoiled for you, stop reading now.

On top of how prolonged trauma marks and defines Jamie’s life, the effects of trauma are brought again into sharp focus when she is attacked in the parking lot.

Some effects of trauma:

Loss of Self

    

Numbing

 

The Reorganization of Perception

Easily triggered The stress hormones of traumatized people, in contrast, take much longer to return to baseline and spike quickly and disproportionately in response to mildly stressful stimuli.

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A truth as strong as gravity

October 13, 2016 psychologyWriting  2 comments

SPOILER ALERT: from this point on, I will be examining Running to Stand Still in-depth. If you haven’t read it yet and don’t want it spoiled for you, stop reading now.“The greatest sources of our suffering are the lies we tell ourselves.” Elvin Semrad

To understand Jamie is to understand that trauma marks every single part of her. Everything she does, the way she thinks, the way she perceives the world, are all systemic of the prolonged trauma inflicted on her by her mom leaving, and the consequences of her subsequent downward spiral into drinking and drugs.

But to understand trauma it to understand that, above all else, humans are wired to survive.

The most important job of the brain is to ensure our survival, even under

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The body does not lie

October 6, 2016 psychologyWriting  No comments

Working with trauma is as much about remembering how we survived as it is about what is broken.

I read The Body Keeps the Score before I started on the second draft of Running to Stand Still, partly out of personal curiosity, partly because I had every intention of going back to school for counseling or social work and I was trying to learn as much as I could in the time before I applied to graduate programs.

Turns out, I actually didn't want to go into counseling or social work (people are exhausting, I prefer books and characters). But reading TBKTS was not in vain. As fate would have it, TBKTS ended up having a huge impact not only on the story I was working on but on my very writing itself. I was able to draw bits and pieces of information

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Kill Anxiety: One Zombie at a Time

February 24, 2016 LifepsychologyThoughts  No comments

A few weeks ago, I talked about how I often find myself in a place of freak out and anxiety because I'm trying to figure out how to solve a problem before it even becomes a problem. 

And as frequent as my large-scale life/identity/existential crises have been lately, it's my run-of-the-mill, everyday anxiety about routines and tasks that is the more common antagonist in my life. 

And my anxiety these days is nothing compared to how it used to be.

The first times I can remember feeling anxiety was in middle school. Everyday after school, on the bus ride home, I would get this searing pinpoint of pain in between my shoulder blades like clockwork. (At the time, I didn't know that it was a physical manifestation of anxiety.)

This is also about the time where my mind

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Rewrite this Story: Identifying & Rewriting Bullshit Scripts

December 2, 2015 LifepsychologyThoughts  No comments

 

Scripts are those stories that are so ingrained in us that they are our truth. For good or for bad, they determine our lives. 

It's only by becoming aware of them that we are able to challenge and rewrite them. 

In my last post, I delved into the dirty details of my scripts so that you could have some concrete examples of what they look like, how they manifest themselves, and the seeds of where they come from. 

So how do you start to identify your scripts? 

Let me start by saying, the best way to do this is to see a therapist. Because that is what they're trained to do. (As I am not a trained professional, just a mere Psych major with many a year spent in therapy and self-exploration, what I'm about to share with you is not to be taken as the utmost

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Scripts—more than just the stories we tell ourselves

November 25, 2015 LifepsychologyThoughts  4 comments

Scripts are more than the stories we tell ourselves.

Scripts—programs—are so deeply ingrained into our psyches that if you were to reset your entire brain (get to the code, if you will), you would remember: how to breathe, water and food are essential, and your scripts.

Scripts are things that we know as truth, even when logically and cognitively we know they are not.

Scripts are typically programmed during your childhood. But they can also be wired in later on in life too.

Scripts determine your life. For good or for bad. Because you play them out over and over again in your life. Most of the time, without even realizing it.

Scripts are what makes people enter into bad relationship after bad relationship, or exist in a perpetual cycle of self-destruction,

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The Highly Sensitive Person

September 12, 2013 LifepsychologyThoughts  One comment


For a very brief period of time I worked at Barnes and Noble. And while I loved the store, generally liked the people I worked with (even my bosses), and really enjoyed the discount, I had a hard time with the job.


For the month I was there I was mostly at customer service, and while it is in a book store, you are still working in retail and selling a product. You are working with people all day long. I would work a seven hour shift and come home completely exhausted and drained. On my days off I couldn't get off the couch. I often felt very overwhelmed and felt like crying. I instantly became this weak person. I didn't feel like myself. I couldn't shake the feeling that it wasn't "real" - like it wasn't real life. I just didn't understand what was wrong with me. I was more

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