Why Meditation isn't always a Good thing when you Suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress

Meditation isn’t always a good thing.

When you suffer from Post-Trauma Symptoms, being hypervigilant and “on alert” is built into your system as a survival mechanism.

Relaxation through meditation will likely feel as though you are letting your guard down, which will be perceived internally as vulnerable and possibly even dangerous.

Meditation can become, then, an act filled with conflict. There is a part of you that sees that being under stress wears down your health on various levels and wants to relieve the pressure; there is another part of you that stays on “high guard” and “high energy charged” because of an uncompleted fight-flight survival activation due to the particular traumatic incidence or period you went through.

The Counter Productive “Effort” to Overcome your Condition

When suffering is persistent you tend to project towards its opposite– towards wanting to find a way to overcome it, to get rid of it, to forget about it, to relax, to let go, to understand it cognitively in the hope that the suffering will lessen– to feel better through seeking temporary pleasures and continuous occupations, and so forth.

Unfortunately none of this works in the long run. 

Real meditation is about meeting the present as it is, be it dissociation, anger, hurt, shame, anxiety, self-righteousness, grief and sadness, hopelessness and despair, disconnection, vulnerability, defensiveness, collapse, or blame.

There are tools for going about this. If you go too quickly and too soon into any overwhelming emotion or feeling, you will soon feel overwhelmed again.

To meet Post-Traumatic Stress on many different levels requires that the process be done with care, by going slowly into uncomfortable territory and managing your level of activation consciously.

How is meditation for you?