27 October 2023

The Weight of Trauma in PTSD: Breaking Through the Protective Shell


Imagine a walnut, a seemingly ordinary nut with a tough outer shell and a soft interior. This shell serves as a protective barrier, safeguarding the vulnerable contents within. The shell can endure external pressure and stress, but there's a breaking point. When the pressure becomes too much, the shell cracks, and the delicate nut inside is crushed, spilling out its contents. This analogy often resonates with individuals who suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). They develop a protective shell over the years to shield themselves from the overwhelming hurt and pain accumulated through years of trauma.

In this blog post, we'll delve into the profound concept of the protective shell in PTSD and how the cumulative weight of trauma  eventually lead to a breaking point, where the symptoms and emotions stored within can no longer be contained.


The Protective Shell of Trauma:

PTSD is a complex mental health condition that can result from experiencing or witnessing traumatic events. Over time, many individuals with PTSD develop a protective shell, which acts as a defence mechanism to cope with their emotional pain. This shell serves as a temporary barrier against the overwhelming emotions, allowing them to continue with their lives, seemingly unscathed.

This protective shell can manifest in various ways. Some individuals become emotionally numb, while others may become hypervigilant or detached from reality. This coping mechanism often helps them function in day-to-day life, but it does not truly address the underlying trauma. It's as if they are holding a fragile walnut in their hands, protecting it from external pressures.

The Weight of Trauma:

The pressure of trauma can come from different sources and at different times, much like paving slabs of varying sizes and shapes. It can be a series of small, decorative paving slabs, which slowly add up over time, or it can be a sudden and immense, square paving slab that lands on you all at once. Either way, the weight of trauma is something you must bear.

The Small, Decorative Paving Slabs:

Imagine these as the daily stressors and triggers that chip away at the protective shell. These stressors may include reliving traumatic memories, experiencing flashbacks, or struggling with nightmares. Over time, these small pressures can accumulate, weakening the protective shell and bringing one closer to their breaking point.

The Large, Square Paving Slab:

Now, picture the large, square paving slab as a sudden and overwhelming trauma or trigger. This could be a severe triggering event, a traumatic anniversary, or even the accumulation of smaller stressors that reach a tipping point. When this immense pressure is added to the protective shell, it can become too much to bear, leading to the eventual cracking of the shell.

The Breaking Point:

When the protective shell finally cracks, all the symptoms and emotions that were once contained within will manifest themselves. This can include intense feelings of anxiety, depression, anger, and a resurgence of traumatic memories. It becomes challenging to cope with these overwhelming emotions and symptoms, and individuals with PTSD may feel as if they are spiralling out of control.

Seeking Help and Healing:

Recognizing the weight of trauma and the potential breaking point is crucial for those living with PTSD. It's essential to understand that it's okay to seek help and support. Professional therapists and Hypnotherapists, as well as a supportive network of friends and family, can provide valuable assistance in breaking through the protective shell and beginning the healing process.


The protective shell that individuals with PTSD develop is both a strength and a vulnerability. While it allows them to cope with the emotional pain, it can only withstand so much pressure. Understanding the cumulative weight of trauma and its potential to reach a breaking point is vital in the journey toward healing. With the right support and treatment, individuals with PTSD can break through their protective shells and begin the path towards recovery, ultimately finding relief from the profound burden of their trauma.

You don’t have to live with the burden of trauma anymore. You can get help and recover with hypnotherapy.

Are you feeling the pressure of trauma? Do you know someone who is struggling? They may not have mental health issues, but they may need some help to lighten the load. Contact me today to find out how hypnotherapy can help you or your loved ones heal from trauma.



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