Introduction to the Overwhelmed Aspect

The Overwhelmed Aspect is another section in our series:  Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis.  One might ask, “What is the overwhelmed aspect?”  When I am discussing the Overwhelmed Aspect with my friends, they know what I am talking about because I have given it the nickname of “The Movie Reel”.  Another one of my friends call the “Overwhelmed” Aspect a Whirlwind.  So, my new combined nickname is the Whirlwind Movie Reel.  It may sound funny, but believe me when I say that it isn’t a laughing matter.

What I have realized after having experienced compounded trauma in such a short period of time, is that the ability to handle stress is significantly lessened.  Not only is your stress fighting abilities lessened, but your brain processing speed is affected as well.  The overwhelmed aspect is a combination of the following:

Four Parts of the Overwhelmed Aspect

  1.  An acute traumatic panic attack.
  2. Replaying the details of the stressful event(s) in your head over and over again.
  3. The feeling as if you are literally in a whirlwind and can’t get out.
  4. Images of the stressful/trauamatic events going around inside of the “whirlwind”, literally like a movie reel of events.
PTSD, trauma, healing, overwhelmed, depression, mental health, emotional health
Photo by Johannes Plenio on

My Experience with the Overwhelmed Aspect

When I first experienced this, it totally knocked me off my feet.  The whirlwind/movie reel effect was slower.  Now, since God has increased my brain processing, the movie reel is faster, which makes me feel even more out of control when it happens.  To be honest, there is no time table on when this will happen.  It isn’t something that can be predicted.  One day, one of my friends posted an article on Facebook.  I decided that it was a good read since I have a teenage daughter.  I clicked on the article to read it, but the article wouldn’t load properly.  After trying for so long, and getting more frustrated by the moment, I figured that I would just read it later.  I was disappointment because the topic seemed really good.

PTSD, trauma, healing, overwhelmed, depression, mental health, emotional health
Photo by Skitterphoto on

With trauma, sometimes one word can send you into a tailspin.  After finally making peace with the fact that I would just read the article later, my brain opened up every traumatic event that I had experienced as a child.  The whirlwind movie reel took over, and it took me a good thirty minutes or so to get out of it.  What I have noticed as of lately if it happens, is that it is best to try to see if I can allow myself to come out of this whirlwind by giving myself permission to feel the pain from some of the events.  I just recently learned that when this happens, this is a coping mechansim/form of dissociation as well.  If we can feel the feelings a little bit at a time, we can more easily come out of it, and sleep better as well.

I hope that this series has been helping those of you who live with and are healing from trauma on a daily basis.

Have a blessed weekend!



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