Sunday, March 22, 2009

Trauma and PTSD

Trauma is described as a ‘shock’, or when anxiety has become so extreme it is as if it becomes ‘locked’ in the brain, like a horrifying memory is ‘locked’ in the brain or it has got ‘stuck’ there. People can lose a sense of time, forgetting events and memories before the events and seeing the future clouded by the experience of the past.

for a person to be traumatized,

A person would have “experienced, witnessed, or been confronted with an event or events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of oneself or others. The person’s response would have involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror..”

Various events can traumatize a person. Personal assault, car accidents, natural or man made disasters, rape, abuse, or being a witness to such events.

40-50 % of people recover themselves from traumatic experiences. Others recover from everyday sharing of events with their family and community.

Common symptoms that people experience after a traumatic event are:

  • Involuntary re-experiencing of aspects of the event.
  • Hyper arousal
  • Emotional numbing
  • Avoidance of stimuli.

Trauma becomes a serious problem once it is diagnosed as PTSD. (Post traumatic Stress Disorder). A person is only diagnosed with PTSD if the above symptoms persist after a month.

Anke Ehlers and David Clark has explained that PTSD only persists if there is a sense that there is still a CURRENT THREAT.

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