Frozen Trauma article in YOU magazine for Mail on Sunday

By Benjamin Fry

Overwhelmed? Constantly over-reacting? More of us than we think are suffering from frozen trauma.

view as a pdf or at dailymail.co.uk

Benjamin Fry

Benjamin Fry

Your life looks fine – even enviable – on the surface. But underneath you are more stressed and anxious than anyone realizes. You’ve been called ‘over sensitive’ or accused of ‘over reacting’ because the setbacks and stresses that other people seem to take in their stride can knock you for six. You’ve also been told that you are attractive, bright, full of potential, and yet somehow, you have failed to find real success in relationships or work. You are not weak, or lazy or self pitying. You are overwhelmed; stuck in a state of anxiety and distress that has been massively misunderstood and wrongly diagnosed. The good news is that there is a radical and transformative new way of understanding it, and of getting yourself unstuck, for good.

I know what this feels like. I was ‘stuck’ myself for years until, in 2008, I suffered a complete breakdown. I looked like an unlikely candidate for a breakdown. I was a trained psychotherapist, and a privileged person in many ways. I grew up in a wealthy family, went to Eton and Oxford, my first job was as a teenage model for Mario Testino, and I then became a successful nightclub entrepreneur. By 30 I had made my first million, married a wonderful woman and was living in a big house with a much loved child, the first of five. It looked like a golden life, but inside I was falling apart. I trained as a psychotherapist, treating patients in my own practice and working on TV programmes such as Freaky Eaters and Spendaholics. But I always felt as if I didn’t properly ‘belong’ with my colleagues. Many of my patients generously told me that I had helped them, but the truth was that I understood them because I was exactly like them, full of anxiety, unhappiness and isolation.

What was wrong with me? I had lost my mother, who died from aplastic anaemia, when I was eleven months old. For the next two years I lived with family friends, while my father rebuilt his life and career. He would visit me frequently, and after he remarried took me to live with him and his new wife. Our early years are fundamentally important in our emotional development, so I was always aware that my mother’s death had scarred me, and that early experience had contributed to my anxiety. But I loved my father and went on to have a successful life, so though I was never glib enough to say I had ‘got over’ that loss, I believed I had survived it.

By 2008, my ‘golden’ life was unravelling. My wife was pregnant with our fifth child, and I was in deep trouble. I had made a series of property speculations in Greece that crashed badly, and which ruined us financially. We had to leave our home, rent a smaller place out of London and beg my father to bail us out of our huge debts. Poor me, eh? I know that this isn’t the worst problem someone can have. I had the privilege of a safety net, and if I’d made money before, maybe I could make it again. But I didn’t see it that way. It felt utterly overwhelming and devastating and sent me into a spiral of worry which led to serious clinical anxiety and depression, and finally into a suicidal despair because nobody could help me recover. Only the thought of my children stopped me from killing myself.

I tried everything: my doctor, the NHS, church, the Priory – I even tried a faith healer. Nothing worked. I was well informed and well connected, but I discovered a massive failure in our therapy system, which repeatedly misdiagnosed me, or just medicated me (which often made me worse). Finally, after a series of therapeutic failures and disasters, I found myself at Mellody House in Arizona, where I discovered what was really wrong with me, and what had been wrong with me all my life. I was suffering from post traumatic stress The death of my mother at such a young age had sent me into deep trauma, and rather than recovering from it, as I had thought, it had ‘frozen’ inside me.

Trauma is not a word most of us use about the bad things that happen to us. We think it refers only to extremes, like soldiers in a combat zone. But so far as our minds and – crucially – our bodies are concerned, trauma means anything that causes us stress so overwhelming that our physical response to it is to ‘freeze’.- think of a rabbit caught headlights, and unable to move. This ‘frozen’ material is usually stored up in childhood and then triggered in adult life by a new stress like a bereavement, a break-up, a car accident or a redundancy – the kind of ‘normal’ stresses that we’ll all experience it at least once in our lives. Most of us recover fully from our traumas, but some of us don’t. Why some of us don’t what happens to us as a result and how we can heal, is at the heart of the new science of trauma. Mellody House has created a radical new understanding of the causes of psychological distress that many therapists believe is the greatest leap forward in this field in our lifetime.

This new model of thinking was mainly pioneered by a man called Peter Levine, who spent years studying the habits of wild animals under stress. Imagine a young gazelle, grazing peacefully with his herd, when a lion appears. We’ve all heard of the ‘fight’ or ‘flight’ response to threat: when the threat is too big to fight, the gazelle runs for its life. As the lion bears down, Pete Levine noticed that often, the gazelle would suddenly drop to the ground, as if shot, moments before the lion caught him. About to be caught and killed, it ‘freezes’. But sometimes the lion keeps running – there are other, fatter gazelles to chase – and the gazelle would wake from its frozen state and escape. But before it did, it would behave in an odd way, shaking and twitching all over. Over time, Levine realized what was happening: the flight response floods the gazelle’s body with hormones and stress energy to enable it to run for its life. If the threat is removed, that energy is no longer needed, and the body discharges it – the gazelle would do it by shaking and twitching its body. All animals instinctively process their trauma. But humans are too self-conscious, too ‘clever’ to act on like the frozen gazelle who shook and twitched and shuddered his way out of it once he came to. Our sophisticated brain tells us that this is ‘crazy’ behaviour, which is disturbing for us and for those around us, especially when there is no visible threat in sight. Instead we push it down, take a pill, think or talk our way around it, and tell ourselves we’re fine. Mentally we may have rationalised it, but biologically, that energy – crying out for release – is stuck.

Perhaps our first big stress happened, as it did to me, when we were very young, and we simply weren’t able to process it thoroughly. Or it felt so overwhelming, we didn’t manage to discharge that stress energy fully. Having begun with animals, Peter Levine went on to test this theory with patients, and found again and again, that problems such as extreme emotional sensitivity, anxiety, depression, and many behaviours such as OCD, ADHD, borderline personality and eating disorders, could all be traced back to a frozen trauma. If we think of our bodies as a measuring jug, that original threatening event filled us almost to the brim with stress energy. any new stresses – even small ones – quickly causes our stress to ‘spill over’, which is why we can become so quickly anxious and overwhelmed. This kind of anxiety and stress are not just emotions, but physical responses trapped in our nervous systems. Peter Levine discovered that if he could help his patients discharge that energy , he could ‘reset’ their stress gauge, and help them to heal.

That was the treatment I received in Mellody House, where they had been pioneering this new model of trauma treatment in a residential setting for more than seven years. It changed my life, and inspired me to set up a clinic in the UK to replicate that treatment over here. I’ve seen many examples of frozen trauma, and how it damages peoples’ lives. Sarah, in her late thirties, came to our out-patient clinic in London because her second marriage was on the verge of collapse, and so was she. Only recently married, she was driving her husband away with her rages and ‘withdrawing’ behaviours. This had been a pattern for all of Sarah’s relationships. She’d fall quickly and deeply in love, convinced that this person was her ‘soul mate’, and lavish them with attention. But once the relationship was established, she constantly ‘tested’ this love with cruel behaviour. When he grew angry or distant in return, she’d despair, feeling abandoned and terrified. Sarah’s mother had a difficult labour with her first child and she wanted no more children – Sarah was an unplanned pregnancy. Sarah absorbed her mother’s feelings of rejection, which continued during her childhood. Although fed and cared for, Sarah never felt loved or wanted. This long term lack of safety overwhelmed her system and so traumatised her, and that trauma had frozen. In adult life, she set people up to reject her, and every new disappointment brought her closer to breakdown.

My clinic uses several methods for unblocking trauma, but to begin we’ll talk about the earlier experiences and feelings. Instead of dwelling on the events, I ask the patient to observe how their body feels. Sarah became aware of her clenched body language, and of how her stomach would feel tight as she discussed her mother. The big breakthrough with this therapy is understanding that the stress is a biological one, so although I don’t touch my patients, the therapy focuses on physical sensation and we use Somatic Experiencing and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. Patients will usually observe a physical response as energy is released. Some will feel warm – they may break into a sweat – or cold. Twitching and shaking are common. We treat the nervous system, not the past – which can’t be changed, but can lose its power to control our lives in the present. We treated Sarah just like a fallen gazelle, and like a gazelle, her biology was intelligent enough to do its work once we opened up the pathway. Once released from her trauma, Sarah’s rages and terror of abandonment disappeared, and she has a very different approach to relationships.

Another patient, Kate, treated at our residential clinic in Oxfordshire, told me how she every time she thought she was ‘in trouble’ with authority figures –such as being late for work – her heart would race and her chest feel tight. Her fear of people with power over her stemmed from her early life with strict parents and an even stricter school. Constantly in ‘flight’ mode through her childhood, she had built up too much stress energy to discharge it properly, and the frozen stress haunted her interactions as an adult. In a case like this, it’s helpful to stop worrying about the ‘trouble’ and observe your reactions. Instead of saying ‘my boss is making me crazy’, think, ‘I notice when my boss gives me a look, I instantly experience worry and stress’. Now see if you can identify the physical sensation that goes with this feeling. As you do, you start to connect with the deep mammal instinct that knows how to let go of that stress response, and if you are lucky or after you have practiced this for a while, you may notice a response in your body, such as trembling or other form of energetic release. You may feel an emotion connected with this – sadness, anger – you may even cry. This is what happens as the trauma thaws and it passes quickly, leaving you feeling better afterwards.

While self-help is possible for many of us (see box), for deeper or very stuck traumas, it is too difficult to try to manage this process alone. Cara came to see me with a history of bulimia and self harming. She had been sexually abused as a child, and her early adult life had been her heroic attempt to overcome her history and not to be defined by it. She worked at a bank, bought a house, and earned a lot of money. But always anxious and sensitive, she abused food and alcohol, before her increasingly black depressions undermined her career and the self harming started. In early sessions she curled up in a chair in a foetal position, and our first job was to make her feel ‘held’ and safe. We worked with a happier memory from her childhood –a best friend whose family welcomed Cara to stay in their loving home,- and this became her ‘safe place’ to go to when she felt overwhelmed. Releasing too much trauma too quickly can be retraumatising and so has to be managed very carefully. It doesn’t matter what happened, only what that event caused to happen: the stress is frozen – unfinished. So one person from a war and another from a dysfunctional family might have the exact same symptoms of frozen trauma in the body. Our nervous systems can’t distinguish between a car accident or a person – it just understands threat, and the same stress energy floods our system in response to both.

This is the big difference between this treatment and conventional talking therapies, especially those that try to ‘retrain our thoughts’. Our thoughts are not the main problem (although they can then contribute to it), they are a symptom of a deeper cause. We need to tap into the deep ‘mammal brain’ which is part of all of us, below the rational level, to the sensing, non verbal place where the damage is stored. After eight weeks in residential treatment, Cara still had work to do but looked, moved and felt like a completely different person.

My story ended happily too. I went through multiple stages of both physical and emotional releases of my own trauma, sometimes shaking, sometimes twitching, experiencing some deep grief, sadness, loss and some real anger at times. My children were delighted to have their father back, but it had taken a toll on both my marriage and my children. Trauma always affects those around us as well as ourselves. My illness and absence – which of course, they have experienced as an abandonment, along with their fear that I was so ill I might die and never return, upset my family deeply. Having seen how well I was doing with this therapy though some of them also have now had the same treatment to recover from the trauma of this passage of our lives. They are all doing much better. It takes support, patience and love to recover from trauma, but it can be done. Feeling overwhelmed does not have to rule your life, or be a permanent part of it. Somewhere, something happened to you that caused you a huge stress, and you have been unable to release that trauma. But our bodies are wise, they know exactly what to do; they have been doing it for hundreds of millions of years. All we need to do is get out of our own way and let that happen. I did it, and so can you. The rewards are life changing.

SYMPTOMS OF ‘FROZEN TRAUMA’

Feeling overwhelmed: do things you used to cope with now feel too much?

Repeating relationship patterns: are you having the same problems with different people?

Over reacting: later, do you think your reaction was bigger than the problem deserved?

Isolation: do you feel lonely – but safer when you’re alone?

Rage: a form of over reacting, but linked to the fight/flight response.

Anxiety: is your ‘threat response’ on all the time, even when you’re safe?

Depression: when your system crashes from being ‘always on’ (anxiety)

OCD: keep checking things? You haven’t ‘completed’ your response to something that was dangerous.

ADHD: can’t sit still and focus? No one can if they feel under threat.

Self medicating: A stressed system is hard to bear. Do you medicate with drugs, food or alcohol to calm yourself?

HELP YOURSELF:

For temporary relief :

Aromatherapy. Calming scents such as frankincense go straight into our nervous system.

Press your feet into the ground and feel the size and strength of the earth: it tells our body that we are, literally, ‘grounded’.

Breathe: Breathe through your nose slowly, and exhale through the mouth. This mimics the body’s response to rest and safety.

For longer term help:

Read ‘Waking The Tiger’ by Peter Levine. It explains the science behind the new understanding of trauma, and includes a CD to guide you through the process by yourself.

Develop a habit of noticing your physical sensations rather than your thoughts. Do this as much as possible.

Engage with tried and tested mind/body work such as yoga and meditation.

For professional help:

Find a practitioner in ‘Somatic Experiencing’ – Levine’s method – at seauk.org

Or Sensiorimotor Psychotherapy at sensorimotorpsychotherapy.org

Contact Benjamin Fry at www.khironhouse.com

If you would like a weekly email about new posts on our blog please sign up for our mailing list in the box above right. 

37 Comments

  1. Comment by health tips on

    Hello, after reading this amazing piece of writing i am too delighted
    to share my experience here with colleagues.

  2. Comment by Juliann on

    It’s in point of fact a great and useful piece of info.

    I’m happy that you simply shared this helpful information with us.
    Please stay us informed like this. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Comment by Joanna Devereaux on

    I was interested to read your blog. I am exploring the newer ways to work with trauma and somatic work is so important. mindfulness and body awareness and understanding of your body is undoubtedly changing. I will continue to view your blog and hopefully learn more and connect with others who are exploring other ways of helping those who are traumatised and helping people to realise what trauma is. Thank you.

  4. Comment by Lucy Jones on

    ps I have tries ‘talking therapies’ for years and they have not helped me much!

  5. Comment by Lucy Jones on

    A brilliant article and very relevant with the way the world is today-communities affected by war- and for individuals who have suffered from childhood trauma- like myself. I first heard of EMDR from a friend who had it in the States and she also had her adrenal levels tested as these can be depleted if the person has suffered trauma and has repeated stress related issues- As I was one of these people I did have my adrenals and thyroid tested by Dr Peatfield who is one of very few holistic endocrinologists in the country and went through my life story and also asked- Is your relationship stressful now? Though my thyroid and adrenals are in much better shape -I am suffering from PSD in my daily life and as a mother of three I am struggling with my relationship which ironically is with a volatile angry man so yes my relationship is stressful but I also realise that despite this I have deep unresolved pain- I am starting EMDR at end of the month and would love to come to your groups in the future when finances are more stable Thanks again for your brave testimonial.

  6. Comment by David Lillie on

    Hello Benjamin, an excellent article and summary of Peter’s work. I would recommend people to Peter’s newest book “In an unspoken voice” as having a much better description of the work and science behind it then was in Waking the Tiger. Also, the newest books by Pat Ogden and others: Trauma and the Body: A Sensorimotor Approach to Psychotherapy, and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: A Therapist’s Manual for Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. I have used the NLP rewind technique for years, but find it can’t be used for people whose resources are low – SE is much better for them. There are now a few SE practitioners in Northern Island and the Republic of Ireland.

  7. Comment by Suzanne Lee-Cooper on

    Hi Benjamin,
    Fantastic article and great to see you have a biodynamic craniosacral therapist on your team. Peter Levine’s Waking the Tiger was a set book when I trained and dealing with bodily held trauma was very much part of our training. Some sort of body therapy coupled with a talking therapy definitely seems to be the best way forward and has led me to train as a psychotherapist too.

  8. Comment by austin wyse on

    Hello Benjamin, it was wonderful to read this article in a mainstream publication (I only read it last night after a friend ‘saved’ it for me.) I have recently published a book which has the potential to help people understand the subject of frozen trauma and other relatively unknown subconscious obstacles to healing (simply and quickly.) Would it be possible to send you a review copy?

  9. Comment by Sarah Collins on

    This is a fascinating contribution to the treatment of trauma in the UK and I wish you every success Benjamin. Have you heard of the Rewind technique, originally known as the NLP Visual- Kinesthetic Dissociation protocol (VKD), and adapted by Dr David Muss specifically for trauma? It is an exposure technique I use with clients so that they can safely re-experience intrusive thoughts and images without having to verbalise any information, and I’ve had encouraging results with survivors of trauma ranging from rape to accidents in childhood and atrocities of war. It is much faster than EMDR is generally as recovery can be achieved within 1-3 sessions. I’m happy to tell you more if you’re interested. Best wishes, Sarah Collins

    1. Reply by Benjamin Fry on

      @ Sarah. Thank you for your comments. I will discuss this with our clinical team.

  10. Comment by Eugenia Kol on

    Hi Bella, EMDR is an eight phase treatment which incorporates a lot of the bodywork techniques when the therapist is attuned. I use EMDR and a lot of my work within this process is noting what the body says and what that means for the client. I wonder if anyone else integrates EMDR and Bodywork therapy?

    1. Reply by Benjamin Fry on

      @ Eugenia. Sounds great. The integration of these two is the core of Khiron House’s work, plus group work to establish safe, regulated relationships.

  11. Comment by Diane Holley on

    Thank you for sending me this link.
    I now know what my 35 year old son is feeling. He has been suicidal, and I fear is now.
    I have written to my GP for help as I know Khiron house has NHS places. My letter was sent 3 weeks ago I have not yet received a reply. We have made an app. to see him soon. I am desperate for his help. But have no faith having been thro the NHS so many times! Diane

  12. Comment by Sandra on

    Hi I have spoken to you before via email. I believe having read a few of your articles that this treatment would help me. I am truly floundering at the moment. My second marriage has failed and nobody understands that I really can’t do this. I am in a dreadful mess and yet I am viewed as a strong, capable, attractive well educated woman, whoopee do, that is not what is going on inside. I am scared, lonely, unable to sleep and crying alot of the time. I know where this comes from but I can’t resolve it on my own. The break up has brought the trauma back to the surface.

    I cannot afford your fees, is there no way that you could make this treatment affordable to many more people, could you perhaps base your fees on their income, I would gladly pay what I can afford it would be so good to feel better, I can’t live like this and nobody understands.

  13. Comment by helen on

    I have several of these diagnoses, and I assume I must have some kind of trauma, although i have no idea what it would be really, no amount of therapy has worked so far, maybe i wasn’t old enough to really understand it or something.
    Not that it matters of course.
    I enjoyed reading the article and felt I gained something from it, thank you x

  14. Comment by Vivian Broughton on

    You might also be interested in some other new, and in my view very important, work in the area of early attachment trauma and the inevitable entanglement with the trauma of others in our families. This work is pioneered by a German Professor of Psychology at Munich University, Franz Ruppert. He is doing a lecture on October 4th in London on the topic of the Psychodynamics of Traumatising Relationships, Perpetrators and Victims. More info at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/event/7750364549. Best wishes

  15. Comment by Melanie Jewell on

    I would just like to reply to Linda Rogers’s email and let her know that there are sensorimotor psychotherapists in several different countries, including the USA (where it originated), Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Finland, Sweden, Spain, Germany, New Zealand, and of course the UK. Linda’s email didn’t specify country of residence, but with some luck, it may be in one of the above countries!
    I also thought this was a very well written and much needed article.

  16. Comment by Sue on

    I work with CBT as a mental health worker and see so many people who may present with frozen trauma. CBT can work to a certain degree but it can be a sticking plaster effect with those who do suffer from past trauma.

    I myself recognise that I also may have frozen trauma from the past which goes back as far as birth. I remember feeling anxious from as young as 3! My parents were very strict and smacking was all the norm in the 70s. I always felt traumatised after each smack or if my mother gave me a certain look. I was heavily criticised. My experiences have lead me to the work I do today. I recognise that I shake when I am being observed in my work or others watch me. I on always on guard for something to go wrong even though I can reframe. The anxiety it produces stresses my body out. I always put it down to the mild learning difficulties I have.

    I could relate to the article in so many ways. I purchased “Waking the Tiger” and currently reading the book. It is fascinating.I am also seeking support for myself to start the process of unlocking trauma. I am looking into sensimotor psychotherapy and somatic experiencing. I am finding that the cost of therapy is very expensive and a lot of the practitioners are based 2-3 hours away from where I live. If I obtained a large sum of money I would book myself into Khiron house like a shot. I would also love to train in the area of frozen trauma after therapy myself. I pray the nhs take this on as an evidenced based approach in the future.

    I am sure the right thing will come along at some point for myself and this may spread throughout the uk for other people to access.

    Thank you Benjamin for sharing your experiences

    1. Reply by Benjamin Fry on

      You are very welcome. Thank you for the feedback.

  17. Comment by Bella on

    How similar is this to EMDR?
    Very helpful article , thank you very much

    1. Reply by Benjamin Fry on

      In our clinic, which is based on Mellody House (now sadly closed) which Peter Levine consulted on setting up, EMDR and SE are used side by side. They work in similar ways but have different qualities, like cousins perhaps rather than siblings. The combination, if done in an informed way, is particularly effective.

  18. Comment by amanda bowes-shorten on

    Ive suffered ambiguous loss and my grief has never been recognised. Labelled as a drama queen, ive also been attacked physically by total strangers and been punished for trying to get justice. My abducted children remained abducted because no one would listen. The person who took them has mocked me for years so I now have no family worth knowing and the only friend i have isnt close and cant help. This was 20years ago. I forgot what happiness is and hate all those in authority.
    At 58 the only respite will be death. Sleep is rare and nightmares continue.
    I just cant wait to die, hurry up.

    1. Reply by Benjamin Fry on

      I’m so sorry. Are you able to access any kind of treatment or support?

  19. Comment by alley alabaster on

    I have complex PTSD after hypnotherapy (to stop smoking) went wrong.After many years waiting and floundering in the mental health service,i got referred to the complex trauma team and i have been having E.M.D.R treatment.It sounds similar to what you said in your article but is it?
    Also do you know of anyone who has had hynotherapy go bad?I would love to speak to someone about this but can’t find anything on the web.
    Wishing You Well.
    Alley

    1. Reply by Benjamin Fry on

      That sounds like a good referral for you. I’m wondering which team that is? EMDR does work in similar ways yes. I had a client some years ago who got ‘stuck’ after hypnotherapy so I think you may not be alone. However it is probably not very common. I would expect that your treatment should be able to help. If not, please do come back to us and we can review it.

  20. Comment by Helen Rebello on

    What a fantastic and well-presented summary of a relatively unknown or dis-regarded topic, which is actually really common and hugely significant.

    The understanding you have of frozen trauma, your honesty and ability to explain it in layman’s terms is wonderful. I will definitely share this article with my clients if that’s ok, as you’ve managed to eloquently convey more than I often do in my sessions!

    Thank you – and I’m delighted that you’re now living a life of freedom from the past-traumas that had bound you 🙂

    1. Reply by Benjamin Fry on

      Thank you!

  21. Comment by debbie on

    my husband has been struggling with depression for years, he felt so let down by the “experts” who insisted that CBT was the only answer – but it just didnt work for him and they seemed to be cross by this – when I read this I felt a Eureka moment – I also believe he partly remembers this as during a half sleep episode he was relieving it but in a heart beat he came too and doesnt remember a thing – I am hoping to persuade our local mental health team to explore this with him – Thank you Benjamin – you may have just saved his life

    1. Reply by Benjamin Fry on

      I hope that you can get the help you need. CBT has the unfortunate side-effect that it puts the responsibility for treatment on the client’s ‘thoughts’. This has some validity, but if the real problem is lower down the brain-stem, in the non-verbal part, then this is a flawed concept from the outset. CBT can modify symptoms but may also be overwhelmed by a different source of symptoms.

  22. Comment by christopher on

    I believe I have frozen the stress suffered when I had to have my dog put down fifteen years ago, and this affects me in a way no-one understands if I am separated from my children by my ex-partner – being powerless to stop the separation, or in the case of my dog, to having to let him go. Is this a likely scenario please – my life is a mess?

    1. Reply by Benjamin Fry on

      It is possible, but likely that this incident has stirred up something from earlier.

  23. Comment by Linda Rogers on

    Although suffering from PTSD from a knife attack 5 years ago, it wasn’t until I read this article I realised that I have been suffering from frozen trauma since my younger brother died when I was about 6 years old and this now explains my anxiety, my fear of everything, my depression – literally everything about my life. I’m 61 years old now and the toll this has taken on me is now finally coming home to roost – having gone through bullying in the workforce twice now, I just want to find a cave and never talk to another human being as long as I live (except for my children) – the trouble is I cannot afford to do this and the stress this is causing me now is tenfold to what I have suffered in the past – no-one understands how much energy it takes to put my ‘normal’ mask on and hide who I really am. If I still lived in the UK I’d be on your doorstep.

  24. Comment by Elenita on

    Very very interesting. Can these symptoms be mistaken for Asperger’s?

    1. Reply by Benjamin Fry on

      @ Elenita. Hi. I think that is entirely possible although a specialist assessment would be required for a specific answer. It can be complex.

Leave a comment