THE NATURE OF TRAUMA
The following excerpt is from the self help
psychology book, Be Your Own Therapist.
But what had happened? Pol's experience directly parallels
those of people in automobile crashes. They often lose memory of
the crash, also memory of events near in time to the traumatic
event. They too will sometimes regain memory when they become
ready to face the feelings that were too painful and abundant at
the time of the crash. This also happens to those who are doing
significant early childhood work in therapy. Their memories of
many early events are regained (or expanded in many details) as
they face the traumas involved.
By definition, emotional trauma is "emotional shock producing a
lasting effect on a person" (Oxford, 1980, s.v. "trauma"). This
implies that whoever is traumatized is and has been stuck in
shock since the traumatic event. No shock = no trauma.
Evidence for this shock is the presence of unexplainable symptoms that often result. Such symptoms include
unexplained rages, fear of abandonment, blaming/ judging of
others, sudden tears, sickness, phobias, anxieties, sexual
dysfunctions, sleep difficulties, bouts of depression, recurrent
negative behavior patterns and loss of memory.
Not-So-Shaggy Dog Story. Let me use Pol, my then 10-month-old
golden retriever, as an example of trauma shock. Pol was a
frolicsome high- energy dog without fears, not even of cars or
big rigs. Despite my efforts, one day he ran from a warehouse
straight into the path of an oncoming station wagon, breaking
his leg. He suffered obvious physical pain from the time of the
accident until about 24 hours after his first surgery. During
that surgery a temporary pin was inserted in his leg. For the
next month after the surgery he was still the same frolicsome
high-spirited dog, and he showed no fear of cars, trucks or
station wagons! Where was his memory? Then he went into surgery
again for removal of the pin, during which sodium pentothal
("truth serum") was used as an anesthetic. Afterwards, as he was
being led down the hall toward me, he was obviously still under
some influence of the anesthesia as he wobbled along drunkenly.
When he saw me, his legs gave way and he collapsed on the floor.
His whole body shook fearfully, strongly and almost violently,
as I stroked him gently. His eyelids fluttered and his eyeballs
moved in the same manner as when he dreamed. After approximately
one minute of this shaking, stroking and eye movements, his fear
and shaking subsided. He opened his eyes and picked himself up
to leave the clinic. Immediately upon opening the outside door,
a truck went by noisily, and he was afraid! Great!
What is locked up in the shock of trauma? Words, emotions,
sensations and thoughts are four important prisoners
incarcerated by partial or complete loss of memory. Freeing
any one of these prisoners will help to heal the trauma. The
concept of a trauma knot may be useful, a knot in which words,
emotions, sensations and thoughts are all intertwining strands
within the knot. Depending upon the size and complexity of the
knot, loosening one or two strands may or may not completely
untie the knot (permanent healing).
|Most psychology is kinda simple; read this chapter to understand worlds about yourself and others.
More Excerpts This Chapter
Psychology K.I.S.S.= KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID (directions from me to me)
THE NATURE OF TRAUMA
YOUR WISH IS MY COMMAND
THE SEARCH FOR APPROVAL
REDUCING/RESOLVING STRESS = THERAPY RESULT
This Chapter's Quiz
Golden Retriever Healing Dogs
Book Table of Contents
Psychology of Sex Education - Psychological Sexual Health Care
THE NATURE OF TRAUMA © 1995-2004