• Karen Law

Attention seekers and time wasters?

A young woman has been jailed for being suicidal. Her desperation led her to self medicating with alcohol and repeatedly going to a bridge she thought she could jump off to end the pain of living. Reading the news article I see that she has experienced trauma during her childhood years and understand why she cannot seem to find any peace. She is living with unresolved trauma. All the judge could see was the inconvenience this caused to others. He said her behaviour was "attention seeking of its worst kind" and put all the blame on to her, punishing her for her body’s responses to very traumatic experiences.

This makes me so very angry. She’s barely an adult. So what has she experienced to date? We are told she had a difficult upbringing. Yet she is pathologised and blamed for what has happened to her and her inability to function now as a result.

Read on if you wish to understand why I’m angry.

pic of a square shaped device. break rh glass in the centre to set an alarm off to warn of fire
fire alarm - break glass!

Have you ever been in a building when the alarm was ringing and couldn’t be switched off? I could not think straight when it happened to me last year. The stress, the noise, the pressure to do something was more than I could stand.

Our Autonomic Nervous System is part of the subconscious mind which regulates all the functions we don’t need to actively focus on, such as digestion, blood pressure, heart rate, urination and defecation, breathing, body temperature, and... the Fight/Flight response.

In normal circumstances part of the brain called the amygdala sounds the alarm when it senses a threat to life. It tells you to do something now! It releases adrenaline which will enable you to fight or run from the threat depending on which is most appropriate. If neither is you might go into freeze in the hope that the predator will lose interest and give you a chance to escape. And for some of you the only option might be to do whatever might keep an attacker from getting angry so you do what they say to prevent greater harm. This is what is known as the ‘fawn’ response. None of this is a conscious decision.