How Trauma Influences Concentration
Our focus and our ability to concentrate is vulnerable. Developing a laser-sharp focus and a bulletproof ability to concentrate takes time and practice. A difficulty in concentration can be more problematic than having a hard time focusing, like in a school environment. When your ability to concentrate is hampered, you can see the effects:
- Difficulty maintaining focus in a conversation
- Forgetting what people say
- Forgetting important dates, details, appointments
- Forgetting minor dates, details, appointments
- Losing focus on the road, operating machinery, or performing daily functions
- Potentially leaving a stove, oven, or fire on
- Feeling fuzzy, hazy, or in a fog
- Having a pressure in the head which cannot be released in any other way
- Struggling to concentrate but not being able to find focus.
Survivors of trauma often experience a difficulty in concentration. Concentrating is hard to do when the mind and the body are swarming with stimulation, memories, flashbacks, hyperarousal, and more. Trauma feels something like a living daydream in which the past seems to be alive. Survivors of trauma desperately want to heal, but find difficulty in freeing themselves from the burden of their past traumatic experiences. Consumed in mind, body, and spirit, by their trauma, everyday tasks, and functions, like concentrating, are affected.
Imagine living with a mind that is full of the memories of trauma. You haven’t been able to “get over it”, because that isn’t how trauma is resolved, and you haven’t yet “worked through it” in a way which heals the trauma. The trauma is alive in your mind and shaping how you see the world. Looking at a clock is never looking at the time. No matter what you look at, what you pay attention to, how hard you concentrate, it is as if an entirely different world is taking place inside of your mind.
Trauma instigates the “fight or flight” response which connects the brain to the body by way of the nervous system. When the brain experiences a threat, it goes into “fight or flight” mode and triggers the secretion of stress hormones which prime the body and brain to take action for survival. During the course of someone’s day, anything which demands their concentration might fall second to the rush of “fight or flight” hormones, thoughts about trauma, triggers, and responses. Put simply, trauma takes priority in the brain and body’s function, making it difficult to concentrate on anything else.
Trauma is most often the root cause of many emotional, behavioral, and mood disorders. Until you can heal your trauma, you will find great difficulty finding the healing you need to live a life of recovery, health, and wellness. At Khiron House, we provide effective residential treatment and cutting edge therapies which seek to transform mind, body, and spirit from the effects of trauma. Call us today for information. UK: 020 3811 2575 (24 hours) USA: (866) 801 6184 (24 hours).