Fear based distraction is way that we can avoid thinking about things we don’t want to think about. Or feeling emotions that we don’t want to feel. This is very common in survivors of untreated trauma. Fear based distraction is a way for survivors of trauma to stay busy so they do not have to be reminded of traumatic memories from the past.
Distraction is a form of avoidance. But avoidance is a funny thing. The more we avoid something, the more we are actually making the anxiety/depression worse. That’s because we are training our brain to believe that what we are avoiding is BAD.
So whenever we’re somehow reminded of what we’re trying to avoid, we get triggered, and wind up feeling even worse.
The following are 5 signs of Fear Based Distraction.
You get Depressed or Anxious whenever you slow down
Your nervous system has learned to stay in motion in a way to avoid distress. So slowing down is a threat to the safety that avoidance provides. So as soon as you slow down, your nervous system no longer feels you are safe, therefore, anxiety and/or depression may set in to either 1) fight/flee the perceive stress or, 2) numb out to not feel the distress.