When Depression is The Elephant in the Room

When you talk about Complex Trauma or PTSD, depression is going to be somewhere in the mix as a symptom.

Depression is also one of the most complex symptoms related to Post-Traumatic Stress, as it has multiple effects:

  1. Most Post-Trauma symptoms are cyclic, and especially so with Complex Trauma and PTSD.

    You first go through a fight/flight nervous system response, which is often offset by a trigger and accompanied by hyper-vigilance, anxiety, anger and a whole set of other physical and emotional symptoms.

    When this activation phase has run its course, you usually go into freeze mode, due to being overwhelmed, and sink for a period into numbness, dissociation, and depression.

    Depression here is thus directly related to a “burned out” state after the fight/flight activation, as part of this Post-Trauma symptoms cycle.

  2. Depression can act as a buffer against underlying feelings that are more upsetting emotionally—like extreme guilt, loss, worthlessness, anger, anxiety and deep hurt.

    Here, depression acts as dissociation to protect ourselves from feeling constantly overwhelmed by emotion.

    It does, of course, come with a cost and the measure of that cost—depression versus feeling overwhelmed—is often made at an unconscious level.

  3. Disruptive traumatic experiences, and periods that we haven’t had the opportunity or ability to integrate causes a split within us, in our identity. We seem to store these pains in deeper parts of our mind and our body.

    The energy that we have available to us on a daily basis is very definitely finite.

    Keeping fragmented parts of ourselves locked in the psychological past and in our bodies, out of necessity, takes up a significant amount of energy. If we are then left with very low energy to deal with the demands of life, family, and work, it should come as no surprise that we might well be coping with depression.

    In essence, depression relates to a lack of free-flowing energy; whatever the underlying causes of that trapped energy are require our attention.

Unfortunately, depression is so very common in our world today that it is hardly ever recognized and seen in the context of Post-Trauma residue; that it forms part of a set of symptoms due to a coping response.

  • Do you want to reduce anxiety, hyper-vigilance, and being “ON” alert constantly?
  • Do you want to move out of a dissociated, fatigued and depressed state?
  • Do you want to work with anger and reestablishing boundaries?
  • Are you interested in sleeping better, having better relationships, and being able to live a normal life?

I have created The Trauma Care Audio Guided Meditations which address the most fundamental insights into the processes of trauma and dissociation and how you can work through them.

Roland really gets to the heart of what it is like to live every day with CPTSD . He writes with a unique insight and authenticity rarely found elsewhere. The underlying truth and message is despite any trauma that happened in your life, there is hope.

meditation for complex ptsd

Niahm, Ireland