Complex Trauma and PTSD Exhaustion, Fatigue and Tiredness
I reckon this is one of the most common symptoms accompanying PTSD and Complex Trauma; to be utterly exhausted, tired, fatigued, not having the will nor the energy to do anything, and especially so after a triggering activation, when one’s story, accompanying emotions and adrenaline gets going. It saps the very life force and can take days to become fully renewed, only to be wasted yet again, in a heartbeat.
Suffering PTSD is cyclic: Trigger sensitivity or dissociative behavior might increase leading to more withdrawn periods of reclusiveness, making it harder to connect again to one’s self and others. And so it goes on and on cyclically, until attended to.
Tiredness as a Symptom of Complex Trauma and PTSD
It is not uncommon that sufferers of PTSD in time develop ME or fatigue syndrome. In fact it is one of the major symptoms accompanying PTSD, as are; migraines, fibromyalgic pains, irritable bowel syndrome, depressed immune system and inflammation.
Fatigue, tiredness, lethargy and exhaustion can manifest in different forms. It can be from a flat out draining attack related to what you are dealing with and suffering from. Or it can be a lingering, sullen but persistently pervasive, exhausted state.
The first one is pretty obvious. Your flight/fight mechanism has kicked-in through a triggering event, and after it has run its course you will have to pick up the pieces and attempt to build yourself up again as best as you can.
Besides a triggering activation, there’s a lot of energy invested into keeping a traumatic state steadily static, and this is mostly held at an unconsciously level.
Rupture of Boundaries and the Nervous System Responses
Post-Traumatic Stress has a maladaptive pattern in response to an overwhelming experience or period in one’s life. Rather than having been able to adjust and integrate the experience and feelings, it has breached your boundaries, healthy containment and sense of self.
Feelings and sensations generally manifest through the body. When we judge a sensation or feeling as ‘good’ or ‘bad’ it becomes emotionally polarized and tends to become cyclic, unsteady and pathological. This inevitably happens when you go through a traumatic experience or period in life.
Emotion residing in the body creates tension, and in terms of body-tissues it creates ‘knots’ or concentric tension. Emotions affect primarily the nervous and endocrine systems, and organs; from there on the effects travel to the muscular-skeletal system where pain first occurs due to the body’s enervation. These ‘knots’ or ‘cysts’ in the body are holding the emotion, as though frozen, and with deep traumas or early life trauma, it even stores the memory of the original, pervasive event.
The Body as Container and the Price to be Paid
The body-mind keeps these emotional tensions, these energy cysts in place to the best of its abilities at the cost of enormous energy. It might be preferable to choose pain, discomfort or disease instead of coming to close to the sensation of the overwhelming helplessness in the face of the traumatic residue.
The remainder of your available energy has to compensate for keeping a traumatic state, with accompanying body tensions in place, which can result in lethargy, depression, tiredness, fatigue, ME and many other conditions and diseases.
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