What if PTSD is a calling not a disorder?

What if PTSD is a calling not a disorder?

What if PTSD is a calling not a disorder?

According to the NHS “Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events….. and can develop immediately after someone experiences a disturbing event, or it can occur weeks, months or even years later.

“PTSD is estimated to affect about 1 in every 3 people who have a traumatic experience, but it's not clear exactly why some people develop the condition and others do not”.



Viewed 23rd May 2022

I would like to invite you to read that again and I also invite you to read the full article. On the surface this is, by definition, the clinical and medical explanation, then I want to draw your attention to the last sentence …. but it's not clear exactly why some people develop the condition and others do not.

In my book Drowning in Anxiety: From Suicidal to Successful, I document my journey and the labels placed upon me and how, for me and many of my clients, this label was a chain keeping us all from true freedom.

Why is it then that some people develop the symptoms and the label and others don’t?

One or more people can go through the same incident and have different reactions and the reason is that we label the trauma at the point it is realised, not the point the feeling was formed.

You see all experiences have two parts, the event/story/trauma and then the associate feeling.

Your mind is there to keep you alive not happy and it connects to what is familiar. Given that premise alone there is a clue.

As a former police officer and soldier, I have seen my fair share of what humanity is capable of, but when I broke down in 2018, the breakdown wasn’t to do with the assault 2 years prior, because many boxes were ticked, some better than others.

I didn’t have a breakdown, I had a breakthrough, it is only years later and working with hundreds of clients I am trying to educate people on this.

PTSD is in fact our fight, flight, freeze or fawn defence system kicking in and is born not in logic but years of emotional experiences, some subtle some obvious, but the key is the environment.

To quote Brene Brown (American research professor, lecturer and author) who is known in particular for her research on shame, vulnerability, and leadership she says:

"We like to think we are rational beings who occasionally have an emotion and flick it away and carry on being rational”. But rather, she says: "We are emotional, feeling beings, who, on rare occasions, think."

When you are suffering, rationale thought is not your superpower.

Brown is also documented in saying in her book Darling Greatly “vulnerability is uncertainty, risk, and emotional exposure. It's that unstable feeling we get when we step out of our comfort zone or do something that forces us to loosen control”. I think that defines the experience in one quote, PTSD is the ultimate test of vulnerability and courage, not a disorder at all.

PTSD could be the ultimate in emotional exposure and losing control, well it was for me, and if you don’t have an environment that supports you, then little wonder all people can do is cope and manage.

When you package this experience in a box and give it a label, what you produce is a pressure cooker.

It is widely accepted in the medical field and again the NHS supports this, that the treatment for PTSD is talking based therapies such as Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) for example, although recently therapies such as EMDR (EMDR helps the brain reprocess memories of the traumatic event so the negative images, emotions and physical feelings they cause have less impact) have all been clinically proven to help cope and manage, with the aim of changing how you think and act, not how you feel.

This article is not to compare any particular modality, but if you are suffering from anxiety or PTSD, do you want to cope and manage it? Or like me do you want to find the root cause of that feeling and be free?

We are not born with these feelings, they are made over the years and our construct of life is a mixture of experiences and feelings, in which our mind can often filter out key information.

The environment in which this happens is key both in the mind and in our physical reality, this is why it's not clear exactly why some people develop the condition and others do not, because generally we are looking in the wrong place for the answer, and to date, I have not had one client where the root cause was the reason they felt the way they did.

As a result of finding the root cause of the feeling which drives the behaviour, only then can the client quickly and easily gain awareness and take back control.

The answers lie deep in the subconscious and unconscious mind, which cannot be accessed through talking therapies, this is why talking therapies are effective for relief, but my clients wanted to know why they felt the way they did because logically it didn’t make sense.

I have a dream that we can once and for all stop asking people to cope and manage experiences like Anxiety and PTSD and see them for what they are, our mind, body, soul and spirit calling to us to step into the darkness of possibility, not avoid it. I am proud to help my clients find the freedom they deserve so they can get their life back on track, so who do you know who wants to find that freedom?


If you would like to have a conversation with Marcus about how he can help you, you can contact him here via his profile https://centreforintegralhealth.com/about-us/our-practitioners/marcus-matthews/

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About the Centre

The Centre for Integral Health was started in 2013 by director Ben Calder after studying Integral theory since 2011 and over 10 years of professional practice of kinesiology and Bowen fascia Release Technique, coupled with the desire to explore the application of the Integral Model in relation to health.

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