When a person suffers a tragedy such as the death of a loved one under strange circumstances, a rape, a terrorist attack or a war, it is understood that a episode of such magnitude can have devastating consequences for their mental health in the form of trauma. , a wound that can emotionally destroy those who suffer from it. However, it is not necessary to always experience an extreme situation to release damage to our brain similar to that caused by a high voltage situation as we have just discussed.
“When we talk about traumatic events we usually refer to natural disasters, attacks, abuse, wars… because this is the simplest way to imagine and understand a trauma in street level. However, now we know that apparently small events repeated over time can be equally damaging to the emotional well-being of some people,” explained psychiatrist Rosa Molina in her book ‘Los microtraumas. How to identify your emotional wounds so that your past does not condition your future’ (Ed. Planeta).
The expert refers to everyday situations such as a breakup or even receiving criticism at work. “These types of events are considered stressful for any individual, but they are usually harmful for a limited time. However, they can be a traumatic event for other people, who need help or psychological treatment to overcome it. This reaction may be due to a previous state of vulnerability on the part of the subject, but also to the cumulative effect of different similar events and their tendency to repeat themselves over time , “said the psychiatrist at the Hospital Universitario Clínico San Carlos (Madrid) .. In other words, our brain can do everything, but not all at once.
Mental health specialists have long distinguished between traumas, which appear as a result of an event with the greatest intensity (you turn on a water tap and the glass overflows), and microtraumas, “caused by an accumulation of less severe situations. , but which have a negative effect on the individual” (a hundred teaspoons of water can also overflow the glass).
“These small traumas, which can be experienced in childhood and in adulthood, are made by microscopic, subtle and often repeated emotional damage. The problem is that they are often difficult to recognize and can be invisible: they are often combined improving our functioning that we don’t even consider it dysfunctional,” explained Dr. Molina. And he gives an example. “It’s not uncommon to hear someone say things like ‘well, when I was little, my parents always threatened to send me to boarding school and I turned out great.’ And then find out that the same person creates bad bonds of trust with their partners. The truth is that we do not know how some events from the past, how they affect our behavior or how we somatize it.
So, why, if the intensity of microtrauma is small, is it harmful? “The accumulation and repetition of bad situations can cause a constant stress response in the body and nervous system. The effect also depends on individual sensitivity, lack of support and resources and, of course, the context. For example, a negative comment in a moment of intimacy is more damaging in youth because we are not mature enough to process certain situations,” said Molina.
The humor changes Common: irritability and tendency to be easily overwhelmed.
Problems with concentration and inability to focus on daily tasks.
Problems with DREAM.
Hyperalert: Constant tension, as if you are waiting for the next problem or danger.
tendency to apart: avoiding certain social situations.
Stages of depersonalization o derealization: feeling observed from outside or not knowing where you are.
physical pain unexplained symptoms, such as gastric discomfort or headache with no apparent medical cause.
Difficulty with relationships: excessive mistrust, constant fear of being hurt, need to please, trusting relationships or the opposite, excessive independence.