Have you ever said or thought “I feel like a zombie today”? If you have, then you’ve gotten an idea about what it is to live with trauma. Whether you suffer from trauma or PTSD or not, you might be interested to know there are some striking similarities between zombies and living with trauma. Read on to find out!
Trauma is a Very Common Phenomenon Today
With all of the stressors of modern life, from gun violence to wars in other countries, to environmental devastation, as well as incidents of abuse in families and in society, there are plenty of people who suffer from trauma. Not everyone who’s experienced these things has trauma, but it is a natural outcome of any overwhelming and devastating incident. It doesn’t matter whether it is objectively overwhelming or not, but if the person experiences it that way, it can certainly be traumatic. So what’s the connection to zombies, you ask?
The 4 Ways Trauma is Like Being a Zombie
Both trauma and zombies can eat people, and/or their brains. Zombies literally will eat people and/or their brains, trauma does this in an indirect way. Studies have shown that suffering from PTSD results in people’s brains secreting too much of certain brain hormones that can cause the brain to slowly deteriorate because of the hormones being repeatedly triggered by stimuli that will overtax brain function, putting more emphasis on brain stem function and shutting down higher brain functions. People with trauma and PTSD sometimes develop addictions which can deteriorate the body as well and lead to premature aging. Look at chronic smokers or people who abuse crystal meth and you can see the ravages this can cause.
Both zombies and people with trauma walk around in a trance-like state. Zombies do this all the time, but people who are traumatized are often entranced by the automatic responses they have to certain stimuli. As I mentioned above, part of their brains are shut down, so they literally don’t have all of their mental capacity available to them. This causes them to appear to be doing things in a very repetitive and habitual manner.
Both zombies and trauma are persistent. Zombies will keep going until they are stopped in the worst way possible, and trauma is very persistent as well. The same memories will keep coming up in the very same way unless or until they are halted by effective trauma therapy, or the person dies...hopefully not like zombies! The reason trauma is persistent is that it is trying to let the person know they need to get help to get the traumatic memories to be healed such that they no longer bother the traumatized persons. Too often this is dealt with by way of addictions to substances or other harmful behaviors.
Both zombies and people with trauma are distracted by noises. If it’s not noises that distract people with trauma, it is other things that can easily trigger them into an upset emotional state. Each person is different, so what triggers one isn’t the same as what triggers the other, but the bottom line is that triggers for retraumatization are there for every person with trauma.
What To Do If You Feel Like a Zombie and Suffer From Trauma
The key for every person is to get help. Seeing a psychiatrist or therapist who is trained in treating trauma can be essential for making progress. I’ve been helping people suffering from trauma for over 10 years now as a clinical social worker, and I can assure you that progress can be made in getting past trauma. It can be a combination of medication and therapy, but you are not destined to live like a zombie the rest of your life. If you would like to find out if I can help you, feel free to give me a call at 512-374-0100, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or you can just leave your information in the form below. I can schedule a free 15-minute phone consult so you can decide whether trauma therapy with me would be right for you or not, but whatever you do, you were never meant to live like a zombie!
About the author: Scott Kampschaefer, LCSW is a private practice therapist in Austin, Texas. He has an extensive background in working with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder at a clinic for older adults with these disorders in Austin. He now works with adults and adolescents 14 and up in private practice. His new e-book is entitled Life’s Lessons from the Young and the Old and is available for purchase on Amazon.
Click here to learn more about how Scott can help you with trauma.