Have you ever experienced any of the following?

Chronic stress
Physical, emotional or sexual abuse
Narcissistic, unresponsive or anxious parenting
Traumatic grief or loss
Major life transitions
Abandonment or neglect
Spiritual abuse or cultural genocide
Substance abuse or domestic violence
Motor vehicle accidents
Surgeries or medical trauma
Pre- or peri-natal distress
Illnesses or major injuries
Shock / high-impact trauma
Natural disasters or war

If so, you may struggle with some of these symptoms:

  • Big energy or a state of overwhelm (intensity, flooding emotions, reactivity)
  • Stuck in self-protective responses such as:
    • fight (anger / rage / resentment / defensiveness)
    • flight (anxiety / panic / fear)
    • freeze (dissociationdepression, exhaustion, disconnection from intimacy or relationships)
  • Distressing, intrusive or racing thoughts (“hamster wheel”), or difficulty concentrating
  • Self-criticism, negative self-talk, shame, guilt or self-loathing
  • Being caught in the pendulum swing between extremes with no middle ground (overwhelmed or shut down, rigid boundaries or no boundaries, intense emotions or none at all, loving someone or despising them, pushing people away or drawing them near, etc.)
  • Triggers and flashbacks, rehearsing scenarios, reliving the past or worrying about the future
  • Hypervigilance (being on guard) or lack of awareness to your environment / details
  • Physical symptoms like digestive issues, clenched jaw, teeth grinding, muscle tension or pain, jittery restlessness, headaches, shallow or constricted breathing, increased heart rate, hypertension, trouble sleeping or slowing down, weakened immune system, etc.
  • And feeling like you are well past your own Window of Tolerance most of the time

And you may have found yourself coping by…

  • Becoming addicted to people, substances / food or behaviours to help manage your overwhelm, pain or discomfort, to fill the void inside, or to know you’re “ok” (external ways of soothing)
  • Bottling things up or repeatedly venting things out over and over
  • Disconnecting, withdrawing, dissociating or avoiding
  • Caretaking for others at the expense of yourself
  • Overriding, minimizing or dismissing your needs, emotions or body signs out of fear of rejection, abandonment, disappointment or further pain
  • Wearing a mask or adopting a different persona to be accepted or to hide what is going on
  • Trying to find control wherever you can when everything seems out of control

Sound familiar?

Review our therapy programs or contact us to explore ways to understand yourself differently, discover new perspectives and skills to support you through your overwhelm, and identify a personalized plan to support you in your healing, recovery and personal growth.