We often associate alarms, sirens & activation of the body to run or fight as a trauma response, but there is another that is less discussed but can be just as common. This one looks a lot like depression.
In fact, many women are often misdiagnosed with postpartum depression or antepartum depression and given access to traditional treatments for depression. However, they don't feel better, because it's not clinical depression.
What's happening is, your nervous system has shut down your body to keep you alive. Have you ever seen a Nature documentary where a gazelle or an antelope plays dead to avoid being attacked by a lion?
Neurologically, the exact same thing is happening to you.
I see this happen frequently with my clients who have had long infertility journeys, recurrent pregnancy loss, are on extend bed rest or are in the NICU for many weeks or months. However, it can happen in any situation where your brain perceives danger (to you or your baby) for a prolonged period of time. You might notice aches in your shoulders or back because your posture has become slumped. You might find yourself in protective positions like arms crossed, legs pulled up or lying curled up in a ball.
Your partner, friends, loved ones or even other children might be trying to cheer you up but it's just not working. You feel terrible for feeling down, and then even worse for not feeling better while trying mood-enhancing treatment options like talk therapy, anti-depressants, nutritional changes and supplements.
I'm here to tell you: it's not you and it's not your mood. You're not overly negative or ungrateful for your life. You're not weak or broken. This is trauma.
If you've been following my This is Trauma series, you know that trauma means a nervous system frozen in "danger" mode. The good news is, you're not destined to feel this way forever. Nervous system regulation is possible and when we re-regulate your nervous system, you come out of collapse back to feeling vibrant and alive.
It doesn't take years to do. With the right techniques, you can start to feel shifts within a matter of a couple of weeks! That is what many of our The Whole Story members have experienced and if you're ready for the same, you can too.
Disclaimer: This post is for educational and informational purposes only. Do not change your treatment plan or stop taking medications without speaking with your psychiatrist or therapist first. If you are having thoughts of hurting yourself or someone else, please call 911.