Earlier this year I experienced something in my personal life that was very distressing. Since I could not relax enough to fall sleep because I felt personally threatened, it caused ongoing symptoms which included; bouts of intrusive thoughts, upsetting dreams, sleeplessness, a racing heart, digestive issues, feeling distant from people I knew cared, strongly wanting to avoid things or people, disinterest in hobbies, feeling guilty and irritable, trouble concentrating, feeling emotionally numb like the world was unreal and more. This was not at all how I normally feel. 

While traumatic effects can look slightly different for each person, I am human too, which means trauma can affect me as well. Thankfully, as a counsellor, I recognized this was Post Traumatic Stress, but for many people, this is a very confusing and hopeless experience when effective treatment is unknown or inaccessible. 

For the majority of the time traumatic effects resolve naturally after several weeks, however, for some people like me, they can persist past that point and continue on. This is not a result of a character flaw, lack of insight or needing more willpower, but a physiological mechanism or process in the brain that is interrupted and unable to naturally be completed like it usually does. 

Personally, doing EMI was incredible. I experienced firsthand an astonishing, dramatic, permanent change. I can sleep again, eat, and enjoy being with people and doing activities again. Moreover, I feel I have a greater capacity for thankfulness, resilience, taking on challenges and connecting with God and others. I recommend talking with a counsellor about EMI if you are going through something similar.

by Lucienne Sawatzky M.A.