Trauma and PTSD Symptoms: Does Spiritual Struggle Mediate the Link? PMC

Physical threats come in the forms of things like infections – prions, viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and mycelia, or things like toxins—pollutants, pesticides, radiation, medications, and substances of addiction. Also, threats come from physical traumas—attacks, assaults, accidents, or abuse—lions, tigers, bears, oh my! Also, tornados, hurricanes, droughts, fires, global warming, and war threaten us physically. Lack of clean soil, water, air, and lack of nutritious food are a threat to us. There are a lot of physical threats that can flip our physiology into a defense state.

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Narcissism: The Malady Is No Myth.

Posted: Wed, 14 Sep 2016 07:00:00 GMT [source]

Participants and Procedures

Many people are initially turned off to the idea of the program because they believe it preaches religion and God, and many addicts and alcoholics have no desire to pursue a religious answer. But the beauty of the 12-steps is that they are spiritually based as opposed to religious. What that means is that all that is required is the belief in a power greater than yourself. There is no church you must attend or strict practices you must adhere to in organized worship of said higher power, it is a completely individual and personal experience. The present findings suggest that trauma exposure results in PTSD symptoms in part through the negative cognitions of spiritual struggle.

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  • We also house traumatic memories in the threat centers of our brains that are slightly different than predictive codes as they may bubble up to awareness or into nightmarish dreams.
  • Also, they cannot fathom how other people manage to deal with crises in life – even when they have it worse.
  • Foundational to this practice is the understanding of threat and defensive physiology versus safety and restorative physiology.
  • The malevolent worldview and disrupted relationship with God characteristic of spiritual struggle may lead to the perceptions of threat or loss that cause and maintain PTSD symptoms (Ehlers & Clark, 2000).
  • Spirituality in addiction recovery involves exploring and reconnecting with one’s sense of self, purpose, and connection to something greater than oneself.

They can also be as “ordinary” (though there’s really nothing ordinary about it) as consciously tuning in to the chirping of birds or noticing with greater present-centered clarity the magnificence of a sunset or how wonderful and fresh the desert smells after a rainstorm. For example, one can engage in psychotherapies like cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and dialectical behavior therapy (DBT). These therapies can get to the underlying emotional issues that often lead to that first drink or drug.

  • What is important though is that we strive to be a little better every single day and never give up on our spiritual journey in recovery.
  • The alcoholic who evolves spiritually  receives inner wisdom –  an intuition and understanding – a noetic mindset that goes beyond the traditional five senses.
  • Participants were categorized into trauma and non-trauma groups based on interim trauma exposure.
  • It is important that when we embark upon this quest to alleviate our spiritual malady that we are not too harsh on ourselves.
  • Old timers and recovering people with more experience can explain in layman’s terms just what the author Bill W.

Learn What Spiritual Malady Is And The Role It Plays In Your Recovery

Participants were categorized into trauma and non-trauma groups based on interim trauma exposure. If a participant endorsed on the TLEQ at Time 2 having experienced an event at least one time and endorsed the follow-up question indicating fear, helplessness, or horror in response to the event, he or she was considered to have experienced trauma. If at Time 2 a participant endorsed only an event on the CSLES, or endorsed an event on the TLEQ but reported no fear, helplessness, or horror in response, he or she was categorized into the non-trauma group. Many theories of PTSD share the premise that PTSD symptoms are caused and maintained by a person’s cognitive efforts to cope with the traumatic event (Keane, Fisher, Krinsley, & Niles, 1994). For example, information processing theories implicate faulty processing of and cognitions about the trauma memory in the development and maintenance of PTSD (Foa & Kozak, 1986; Resick & Calhoun, 2001).

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spiritual malady

However, this does not mean, necessarily, they’ve abandoned their faith. Spiritual awakenings don’t necessarily happen the way we might expect, along a timeline we prefer, or in a form obvious to us. Spiritual awakenings often evolve so gradually that they are almost imperceptible. And only when our eyes, ears, mind, and heart are fully open, are we positioned to discern, receive, and appreciate them.

spiritual malady

spiritual malady

For example, a concept in 12-Step recovery is that spirituality can be faith in anything that is not oneself. That is why they say “Higher Power of your understanding” rather than God. Now, the mental obsession is how our minds have been conditioned to crave alcohol and preferred illicit substances. It is also the reason why many of us relapse because we cannot stop “obsessing” about drinking and/or using.

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If a strong recovery is not in place, then this mental obsession will lead to that drink or a drug, and the physical allergy then kicks in. 2Three participants did not report the number of months since the most stressful or distressing event occurred. Although participants were invited to complete Time 2 in April, they were permitted to return responses in spiritual malady May; therefore, an option to indicate that the stressful event occurred nine months prior was available, and twenty students indicated that nine months had passed since their most stressful or distressing event. Finally, participants indicated which event, whether from the CSLES or the TLEQ, was the most stressful or distressing since coming to college.

Having compassion for ourselves means that we honor our humanness with self-acceptance when we bump up against our limitations and fall short of our ideals. In addition to individual differences in manifestations of spiritual struggle, cultural differences may exist in how struggle is expressed (e.g., Pargament, 1983; Rubin & Yasien-Esmael, 2004). Although this sample fairly closely mirrored the university’s incoming undergraduate class, the majority of participants were White, non-Hispanic students. The lack of diverse ethnic and racial representation suggests a need for increased attention to recruitment of people of color in psychological research (see Castellanos & Gloria, 2007; Hall & Allard, 2009).


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