The cycle of trauma is a term used to describe the way we can become so overwhelmed by trauma that it prevents us from being able to trust ourselves, and thus lose care and nurturing.
Trauma makes us feel like we’re not capable of taking care of ourselves. It makes us think that people will take advantage of us or hurt us if they have power over us. This leads to an environment where we don’t feel safe or comfortable anywhere, even when we’re with people who love us. People who are raised in a culture based on trauma end up being disconnected from themselves and the world around them.
When people are disconnected from each other and their communities, they’re more likely to feel alone and abandoned. This can lead them down a path of self-destruction or depression, which only compounds the original trauma.
Does trauma cause chronic illnesses?
Yes! In fact, traumatic experiences are linked to a higher risk of developing cardiovascular disease, as well as chronic conditions such as depression and post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS). Trauma also makes people more likely to develop other mental health issues such as anxiety and substance abuse.
We’ve all heard the phrase “breaking the cycle of trauma.” But what does it mean, and how do we start doing it?
The first step is to recognize that trauma can affect anyone—not just those who have experienced violence or abuse. The next step is to understand that when trauma happens in our communities, everyone needs to be involved in helping heal. And finally, we need to build community again.
What we can do is shift the culture of isolation and fear back into our communities. We can rebuild the community by bringing people together, encouraging them to talk about their fears, and helping them find ways to take care of themselves as they go through this difficult time.
It just takes an open mind: one that understands that everyone has something valuable to offer and wants to see their neighbors thrive. Which will further lead to individuals feeling like part of a bigger community.
We also need to create spaces for people who have been through trauma, so they can connect with others who have been there too. This means that everyone must work together to create a safe space where they can express themselves freely and without fear of judgment or retaliation for sharing their stories. It’s important to make sure that everyone feels safe and respected during this process.
Next, we need to increase collective resilience by doing things like increasing access to mental health services, providing opportunities for people with disabilities or chronic illnesses to participate in group activities and activities outside of work hours, and increasing access to free food at community centers such as public schools.
This new culture is not just about helping people heal—it’s also about empowering them to create a thriving community that is all-inclusive and empowering. It is also about building a new culture that caters to all people, regardless of their experience with trauma or other challenges. This new culture will be built on strong values such as empathy, compassion, accountability, and mutual respect.
We all deserve to live with dignity and be seen as equals. So it’s time we all do a little more focused listening, building bridges and not walls.We need to practice principles of reciprocity, empathy, trustworthiness and compassion for each other because we are all in this together.