The workings of much of the mind remains a mystery
When we ask the simple question - 'where is memory stored' we realise that science does not know where memory is stored.' We know aroma, emotion and memory are linked. A smell can bring back long past memories.
Can we use agreeable essential oils to ease suffering as a result of trauma and increase wellbeing?
Shirley Price Aromatherapy College
•What do we mean by the five elements of wellbeing?
•The first element is about how you occupy your time or simply liking what you do every day: your Career Wellbeing.
•The second element is about having strong relationships and love in your life: your Social Wellbeing.
•The third element is about effectively managing your economic life: your Financial Wellbeing.
•The fourth element is about having good health and enough energy to get things done on a daily basis: your Physical Wellbeing.
•The fifth element is about the sense of engagement you have with the area where you live: your Community Wellbeing.
Causes of emotional or psychological traumaAn event will most likely lead to emotional or psychological trauma if:
Grief is a natural response to loss. It’s the emotional suffering you feel when something or someone you love is taken away. You may associate grief with the death of a loved one – and this type of loss does often cause the most intense grief. But any loss can cause grief, including:
Commonly overlooked causes of emotional and psychological trauma
Childhood trauma results from anything that disrupts a child’s sense of safety and security, including:
Emotional signs of trauma
Seeking help for emotional or psychological trauma
- Having trouble functioning at home or work
- Suffering from severe fear, anxiety, or depression
- Unable to form close, satisfying relationships
- Experiencing terrifying memories, nightmares, or flashbacks
- Avoiding more and more things that remind you of the trauma
- Emotionally numb and disconnected from others
- Using alcohol or drugs to feel better
Grieving is normal following trauma
Whether or not a traumatic event involves death, survivors must cope with the loss, at least temporarily, of their sense of safety and security. The natural reaction to this loss is grief. Like people who have lost a loved one, trauma survivors go through a grieving process. This process, while inherently painful, is easier if you turn to others for support, take care of yourself, and talk about how you feel
Are there stages of grief?In 1969, psychiatrist Elisabeth Kübler-Ross introduced what became known as the “five stages of grief.” These stages of grief were based on her studies of the feelings of patients facing terminal illness, but many people have generalized them to other types of negative life changes and losses, such as the death of a loved one or a break-up.
The five stages of grief:
Denial: “This can’t be happening to me.”
Anger: “Why is this happening? Who is to blame?”
Bargaining: “Make this not happen, and in return I will
Depression: “I’m too sad to do anything.”
Acceptance: “I’m at peace with what happened.”
Kübler-Ross herself never intended for these stages to be a rigid framework that applies to everyone who mourns. In her last book before her death in 2004, she said of the five stages of grief, “They were never meant to help tuck messy emotions into neat packages. They are responses to loss that many people have, but there is not a typical response to loss, as there is no typical loss. Our grieving is as individual as our lives.”
Common symptoms of griefWhile loss affects people in different ways, many people experience the following symptoms when they’re grieving. Just remember that almost anything that you experience in the early stages of grief is normal – including feeling like you’re going crazy, feeling like you’re in a bad dream, or questioning your religious beliefs.
Shock and disbelief – Right after a loss, it can be hard to
accept what happened. You may feel numb, have trouble believing that the loss really
happened, or even deny the truth. If someone you love has died, you may keep expecting
them to show up, even though you know they’re gone.
Sadness – Profound sadness is probably the most universally
experienced symptom of grief. You may have feelings of emptiness, despair, yearning,
or deep loneliness. You may also cry a lot or feel emotionally unstable.
Guilt – You may regret or feel guilty about things you did
or didn’t say or do. You may also feel guilty about certain feelings (e.g.
feeling relieved when the person died after a long, difficult illness). After a
death, you may even feel guilty for not doing something to prevent the death, even
if there was nothing more you could have done.
Anger – Even if the loss was nobody’s fault, you
may feel angry and resentful. If you lost a loved one, you may be angry at yourself,
God, the doctors, or even the person who died for abandoning you. You may feel
the need to blame someone for the injustice that was done to you.
Fear – A significant loss can trigger a host of worries
and fears. You may feel anxious, helpless, or insecure. You may even have panic
attacks. The death of a loved one can trigger fears about your own mortality, of
facing life without that person, or the responsibilities you now face alone.
Physical symptoms – We often think of grief as a strictly
emotional process, but grief often involves physical problems, including fatigue,
nausea, lowered immunity, weight loss or weight gain, aches and pains, and insomnia.
The difference between grief and depressionDistinguishing between grief and clinical depression isn’t always easy, since they share many symptoms. However, there are ways to tell the difference. Remember, grief can be a roller coaster. It involves a wide variety of emotions and a mix of good and bad days. Even when you’re in the middle of the grieving process, you will have moments of pleasure or happiness. With depression, on the other hand, the feelings of emptiness and despair are constant.
Other symptoms that suggest depression, not just grief:
Can antidepressants help grief?As a general rule, normal grief does not warrant the use of antidepressants. While medication may relieve some of the symptoms of grief, it cannot treat the cause, which is the loss itself. Furthermore, by numbing the pain that must be worked through eventually, antidepressants delay the mourning process.
Shirley Price Aromatherapy