It’s important to make it known that no two people respond to the same traumatic event in identical ways, nor does anyone process trauma in exactly the same way as someone else does. When it comes to working through emotional responses to traumatic events, each person’s healing journey is unique, including the amount of time it takes to heal from a traumatic experience. There are some common signs to help identify an emotional response to trauma, though, including trauma drive. If you find yourself accomplishing your to-do list with a voracity you’ve never had before, then suddenly feeling depleted and your motivation gone, this could be a way of your body trying to signal that you need to heal physically, emotionally, and mentally, per Apartment Therapy. Trauma drive is a way your body and mind can respond to a traumatic situation by busying yourself with focus-driven tasks, chores, and even assignments you’ve been putting off for far too long. By keeping your mind and body focused on other things, your instinctive protective factors have activated to prevent you from thinking about the traumatic event. However, this dynamic can only last for so long. Eventually, when your body is ready to begin healing, you’ll find your energy and motivation zapped.
A 2012 study published in European Journal of Psychotraumatology determined that motivation levels following traumatic events can be both a response to emotional distress and a side effect of it, hence the dynamics of traumatic drive.
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