When we are faced with trauma, our brain has to find a way to deal with it. Often trauma becomes so overwhelming that it is beyond our brain and our body’s capacity to deal with the experience taking place. If you add into this mix, an emotional connection or a very young age when it happens, it exponentially increases how difficult it is to process. The more the senses are engaged, the more deep the traumatic experience runs.
In order for the brain and the body to deal with it, often there is a dissociation between the event taking place and how the mind and body respond. In addition, there is often a numbing or minimizing effect that takes place. Imagine for a moment that if the brain and nervous system did not do this, many traumatic or stressful experiences would trip the entire electrical system in our body.
I Thought My Experiences Were Routine
In my early days of healing, I remember thinking that some of the experiences I had been through were just routine moments for every other person in life. It wasn’t until other trauma survivors began telling me that these experiences were anything but normal, that I began to understand just how much my mind minimized what was going on. Our brains are very smart when it comes to dealing with overwhelming and traumatic situations because they try to protect us at all costs.
In conversion disorder (Functional Neurological Disorder), there is often such a disconnect between what the individual recalls and what they actually experienced. Minimizing trauma in conversion disorder patients is about as normal to the individual as it gets. In fact, from my own experiences, I would say that conversion disorder or Functional Neurological Disorder patients minimize trauma to the extreme degree.
Example Of Minimizing Trauma
For example, if we were to cut off the leg of a conversion disorder patient (not that we would, but this is for illustrative purposes only), the conversion disorder patient might focus on a scratch on their finger, rather than their leg cut off. It would be almost as if they didn’t see or FEEL the cut off leg, but they would notice the scratch. In essence, they would be more worried about the scratch. I realize this is a strange example, but I’m really trying to point out, just how much is minimized in a conversion disorder patient.
Connection With Past Trauma
While I realize that many people don’t like to think there is a connection to some past traumatic experience and often in the early stages of healing, those connections are almost nonexistent, if one is going to heal, eventually you need to deal with those traumatic moments. You may not be able to articulate what events happened in your life, but if you listen to your inner self, it will guide you to healing.
Unfortunately too many people feel that conversion disorder means that psychologically something is wrong with you and you are broken . This could not be further from the truth. I get upset when I see people being put down by the medical establishment or by others in life attempting to make a conversion disorder patient feel as if there is something wrong with them.
In a nutshell, the signal from the brain to the body as been interrupted by the brain trying to protect the individual from the trauma they have experienced. It causes a shutdown or a numbing to the point where the individual is no longer connected to the felt sense of their body. When this happens, physical conditions are manifested that have no basis in biological cause and effect.
Disconnect From Traumatic Experiences
When you begin to understand that the brain has protected you from experiences you have encountered and as a result of a normal process with your body goes into numbing or minimizing so that you disconnect from those experiences, you give yourself the point to begin healing. Functional Neurological Disorder or conversion disorder is not something you have to live with, but it does require the courage to go within and reconnect your mind and body together through the felt sense.
Healing From Trauma
Minimizing trauma may be what got you through that horrific moment, but in order to heal, you must use that same energy to help transform your life. Healing is possible, although it is not easy. Unfortunately there are very few that understand the course of treatment for this and patients are often left to wander through life on their own. It does not need to be that way and I know that it is possible to heal from this as evidenced by my own life.