Sharing – Why Complex Trauma Survivors Can’t Just ‘Get Over It’

If you think people dealing with PTSD, or CPTSD can “get over it”, I hope that you’ll consider this:

“All in all, traumatized people relive the events as though they were continually recurring in the present. Events are re-experienced in an intrusive-repetitive fashion, themes are re-enacted, nightmares and flashbacks persist, and there is an unrelenting state of danger and distress.”

It’s important to remember that for many child abuse survivors, and others with CPTSD, telling them to get over it because it’s in the past is entirely inaccurate. For their nervous systems, it is not in the past. It is a current, ongoing, threat. Imagine seeing someone yelling for help from the top floor of their home while flood waters rush into the ground floor. You wouldn’t tell them to “get over it”, you’d help them act. Everyone would recognize that action is required to get the person to safety.

Now imagine if your brain is telling you that the flood waters are coming in and you need to act, but the water isn’t really there and there are no actions you can take that will get you to safety. No matter what action you take that need to act to move to safety never goes away. It’s a constant.

You don’t decide to get over that. It’s not impossible to heal from it but it’s going to require quite a bit more than just deciding to get over it. So maybe you’d do a lot more good supporting people through that process instead of demanding they get over it so you can feel more comfortable.

Go read more about the neuroscience of CPTSD at the link below.

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