Understanding the Trauma Vortex

Don't Lose Hope

Does the term trauma vortex mean anything to you?

This metaphor describes the swirling whirlpool of emotions, reactions and thoughts that a trauma stirs in us. It’s where sensations, pictures, sounds or painful memories are triggered unexpectedly, and take us back in time[1]. This is summed up well in the following definition:

Trauma is like a magnet or a black hole sucking us in. Memories of trauma are not like normal memories of something that happened in another time and place, but instead we feel like we are currently in that other time and place. When triggered, our feelings are very powerful and pull us further and further into … a trauma vortex (a whirling mass that draws things towards its centre).[2]

And when an individual feels that they’re being sucked into this hole:

  1. They’re subjected to an onslaught of disturbing thoughts and pictures related…

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