Injustice & hair trigger anger.

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I was always on guard and I was always prepared for people to be upset with me. I had lived feeling uneasy and tense for so long.”

Brenda Perlin

1️⃣ The anger of Injustice.

It is pretty normal to have strong reactions to what anything you think is an injustice. Any behaviour that does not align with the social norms and how healthcare workers should behave, triggers an emotional response at the injustice. 

You believe this is not the society expects healthcare professionals to act. things are supposed to be. At the moment of anger, what we experience as unjust is experienced as real threat. As threats and stress time travel between the guilty past and back to the future.

2️⃣ Hair Trigger Anger

In hair trigger anger, your brain releases a flood of stress hormones when something makes you think about your unhealed emotional wounds or trauma. Its bizarre but you my not even be in danger but your body acts as if it. 

When you are on guard for hidden dangers 24/7, previously innocent:

▶️ places

▶️ people

▶️ colours,

▶️ words,

▶️ music

▶️ smells

You think you are in danger, which results in more Trauma. Until it gets to the point that even the teensiest little thing that reminds you of the ground zero event causes you to feel distress of:

▶️ increased levels of alertness and anxiety
▶️ elevated heart rate and respiration.

1️⃣.1️⃣ Hyperarousal Info-graphic

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Click to enlarge image.

2️⃣ Hyperarousal creates feelings of:

▶️ fear,
▶️ helplessness,
▶️ horror 

3️⃣ What are the symptoms of hyperarousal?

▶️ sleeping problems
▶️ difficulties concentrating
▶️ irritability
▶️ anger and angry outbursts
▶️ panic
▶️ constant anxiety
▶️ easily scared or startled
▶️ self-destructive behavior (such as fast driving or drinking too much)
▶️ a heavy sense of guilt or shame.

Even though the threat may no longer be present, your body will respond to things that remind you of the event eg.

hyperarousal funny red flag behaviour change from the pen of

▶️ sights,

▶️ sounds,

▶️ smells,

▶️movements, ▶️ words or music

4️⃣ The hyperarousal stress response doesn’t understand past, present, future time.

And thinks you are under threat right now.

The pressure generated from always being a split second away from another ‘catastrophic yet imaginary’ threat. Causes your stress response switch to be stuck in the ‘on’ position. Which causes you to be jittery.

And in any healthcare situation, you respond to threatening situations in a:

▶️ startled,

▶️ irritable or

▶️ angry way.

This leads to another communication breakdown. Invariably, you are discharged or are to scared to return to the unit. So treatment is withheld. Cue another complaint. Cue more stress.

You may start to:

▶️ shut yourself in to avoid an “attack,”
▶️ sit near an exit so that you can escape quickly,
▶️ sit with your back to the wall so that no one can sneak up on you.
▶️ avoid public places where “escape” might be difficult.

It’s a survival mechanism as it is the body’s way of protecting you from threatening situations.
But living in survival mode is exhausting and undermines your day to day life and your relationships with others.

➡️noise,

➡️movement

➡️ unexpected event

stress hormone physiological symptoms:

➡️ dilated pupils,

➡️ an increased heart rate,

➡️ Dry mouth

➡️ and higher blood pressure.

➡️ sweating and/or trembling

This is oftern refered to as fight-or-flight.

Normally, your response is to avoid the threatening place or person.

But as healthcare treatment is essential to survival or the quality of life. Removing or avoidance of this situation, is not practical. Then hypervilgillance becomes problematic as the traumaticsed person has to willingly enter a psychological ‘war zone’.

until it spirals out of control and you begin the obsessive avoidance of perceived threats, such as avoiding everyday situations where dangers may lurk, including:

▶️ public gatherings and

▶️ public spaces

▶️ Being in a new or uncomfortable environment might increase your feelings of being in danger and lead to an increase of hyperarousal behaviours.

5️⃣ Hypervigillance

6️⃣ How to deal with hypoarousal?