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Spectrum Performance Solutions Psychological Trauma Through Financial Loss Financial investment is an inviting prospect to many but can be risky. Investors can stand to lose more than just money if things don't go according to expectations. This article looks at the cost to the investor in terms of their mental wellbeing, and the psychological trauma incurred when investment goes wrong.
Reasons why individuals invest:
• the excitement, buzz and adrenaline release
• the competitive element, feeling of achievement, positive high emotions
• the thrill of risk taking or investing large sums of money
• to solve financial problems
• to gain financial prosperity
• potential escape from stress and worry
• to provide for their family
• to increase company profits
Sadly, investors might end up losing a lot of money when they try to invest in stocks or shares of some sorts. There are many reasons for this, but one of those comes from the inability of individual investors to manage risk. 'Risk' and 'reward' are terms often used in financial vernacular, but what do they mean?
Investing your or a company's money in the investment markets carries a high degree of risk. If you're going to take the risk, the amount of money you stand to gain (the reward) needs to be substantial or have some sort of impact. If a friend, colleague, partner or acquaintance asks for a $3,000 loan and offers to pay you $1,500 over a two-week period, it might not be worth the risk. But what if they offered to pay you $4,000? The risk of losing $1,000 for the chance to make $2,000 might be appealing. It's a calculated risk; numbers don't lie. Each investor has their own tolerance for risk, although a little bit of gut feeling finds its way into most investment decisions.
How Psychological Trauma Affects the Brain Psychological trauma impacts the brain area of the amygdala and the hippocampus (involved in memory and memory consolidation). If trauma occurs repeatedly or over a prolonged period or you have a severe traumatic experience, too much cortisol (a hormone released during times of stress) is released, subsequently activating the amygdala and causing even more cortisol (neurotransmitter dopamine) to be released. It is a self-perpetuating cycle which leads to a "fight or flight" response.
Depending on the severity of the trauma, the hippocampus shrinks in volume resulting in post-traumatic stress. The amygdala combines many different sensory inputs-it is the integrative centre for emotions, emotional behaviour and motivation. Like the hippocampus it combines external and internal stimuli. Every sensory modality has input. These are integrated with somatosensory and visceral inputs. This is where you get your "gut reaction"-those subjective feelings we have about what is good or bad. The link between prefrontal cortex, septal area, hypothalamus and amygdala likely gives us our gut feelings. How Psychological Trauma Affects You Though Financial Losses What happens when you lose all the money? The severity of psychological implications depends largely on you as an individual and the person you've invested for. All of the above are going to have an impact of psychological trauma. Investors will hopefully be aware of the possible implications of the risk involved, but some are not prepared to cope with the internal conflict of negative emotions when they lose all they have invested. It can be catastrophic, and you will likely go into the flight or fight response. You could immediately feel emotions of fear, anger and anxiety. If these become established they can lead to a state of depression, which if unresolved will lead to thoughts of helplessness and hopelessness and possible suicidal thoughts. Men in particular have difficulty vocalising these feelings and often suffer in silence. Unresolved negative emotions cause internal conflict. There's no use suppressing them as that will only stimulate the negativity further. When an individual is in this mindset they struggle to be productive, are unable to make positive decisions or find a solution. The Solution to Psychological Trauma Through Financial Loss The best way to help you cope with this type of trauma is to seek help in removing the negative emotions around the trauma. This in turn will give you control over your thoughts and emotions and stimulate you into thinking positively about how to overcome the problem. It is imperative to stop or slow down the flow of the neurotransmitter dopamine from post traumatic stress or the high intensity of emotions such as anger, anxiety or fear. The way to do this is to remove the emotions from the trauma. You can't do this by yourself, you need someone who is qualified and is experienced in working with individuals who have a high intensity of negative emotions. I have been working successfully with clients who have lost everything because of psychological trauma through significant financial loss. Everyone is different but I have had great results using Spectrum Therapy. What is Spectrum Therapy Spectrum coaching is a new intervention devised specifically for men. Unlike other therapies where you have to talk for several hours, Spectrum just gets straight to the root cause and removes the negative emotions. Negative emotions stop you from thinking clearly and interfere with your senses. SEC is not an intrusive therapy, it's a new approach to help clients who are experiencing emotional trauma from financial loss or are suffering from emotional problems such as anxiety or depression, or stress related to trauma. Over a period of sessions, I develop a collaborative, safe and accepting relationship with individuals: we work together to enhance emotionally based coping mechanism by ascertaining their learning influences and making them aware of accepting and understanding their emotional experiences. SEC differs from other recommended intervention models such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Eye Movement Desensitisation Reprocessing(EMDR) (e.g. NICE Post Traumatic Stress Disorder 2005) in that CBT tends to focus on thoughts and behaviours concerning a particular event. After successfully removing negative emotions from a specific event this increases activity in the prefrontal cortex, a sign of greater self-control and freedom.
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