Saturday, November 04, 2006
This is for anybody and nobody and is my first attempt to publish blogs. The focus will obviously be on issues of mental and emotional health. Yes, I do have an idea of what I am talking about. Much of it will involve the speciality that I work in--psychological trauma, much of which is manifested in posttraumatic stress disorder or like symptoms. As an initial blog I'll explain, to no one, that trauma is any event or situation that someone is a victim or witness of that causes a sense of hopelessness, helplessness, fear, and vulnerability. It can be physical or emotional in nature; and you don't even have to be the actual victim. You can be watching it, such as children witnessing domestic violence. Although I will not go into the full Diagnostic and Statistical Manual definition of PTSD, I will state that it can have long-term emotional, mental, relational, and behavioral effects. It can, at times, appear to be depression, anxiety, sleep, addiction, or behavioral disorders (among a few). If the trauma occurs many times and continues over several years (depending on the age and development of the individual) it can also result in dissociative symptoms; even to the point of dissociative identity disorder (formerly known as multiple personality disorders). Now, trauma-related disorders can be treated and there are many different modalities that are effective and beneficial. Every professional therapist or counselor will have their favorites. The important part is that it be done in a safe environment where the client will not be retraumatized during the treatment. It is possible to be retraumatized by focusing on the frightening images, feelings, or sensations that the person experienced during the actual event(s). Thus, if you know a person who purposely avoids talking about something traumatic, there is a strong reason for it. Safety, therefore, is the first step in the treatment. The second is trauma resolution--in other words, decreasing the emotional upheaval that is associated with the event/incident. Finally, once that is achieved the individual would benefit from reconnection to their family, friends, and society as trauma can result in personal isolation. So as not to continue babbling I will end this introduction now. Further blogs will include my thoughts and other professional's thoughts on therapeutic approaches with trauma as their targeted population--and some.