Essay TRIGGERS

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judithherman

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Essay TRIGGERS
« on: August 30, 2016, 06:37:18 PM »
Hi...I wrote a practice essay for my post grad med entrance exams. it's not very good but I based it on C-PTSD. Thought it might be interesting for someone.

Violence is a disturbing subject and the ordinary response of people is to bury it from their consciousness. Violations of oneself can be too terrible to remember, however, without recovery, its memories can insistently invade our consciousness and daily lives as a symptom: madness. A common way that traumatized people tell their stories is through their symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Although the generational cycle of abuse is a common belief, only a minority continue to carry out their abuser’s destructive purpose with their own hands. In addressing the response to violence, I thought it worthwhile to integrate my experiences. Traumatic experiences lead me to a syndrome of psychological trauma, leaving me vulnerable and open to further violate myself enabling my abuser to continue to harm me.
“Why am I bleeding?” my mother said. “That’s what happens when you lose your virginity.” I reflect on my mother being raped at the age of 12 and how it may have affected the way she treated me. Contrary to a popular idea that there is a “generational cycle of abuse”, evidence suggests there is not in fact a cycle of abuse. In fact, while suicide and self-mutilation are correlated with childhood abuse, the link between childhood abuse and adult antisocial behaviour is weak. Survivors of child abuse are fearful that their own children with suffer a fate similar to their own.  While there is a minority that do take out their aggression on others, it tends to be a fulfilment of gender stereotypes, men with histories of childhood abuse as opposed to women. Perhaps it is when survivors must deal with the tasks of adult life, the legacy of childhood trauma becomes increasingly burdensome. The façade can no longer hold and the underlying fragmentation, the symptom of their stories manifests (Judith Herman, 1997).
Whilst repeated trauma in adult life erodes an already formed personality, repeated trauma in childhood deforms the personality. A formidable task is presented to a child to adapt to an abusive environment (Judith Herman, 1997).  The most challenging aspect is that everyday life is terrifyingly unpredictable. Children in abusive environments develop extraordinary ability to scan for warning signs of attack. I am minutely attuned to my mother’s facial expressions, voice and body language as signals of anger, intoxication and dissociation. Eventually children learn to respond to these signals without even knowing. As an adult my emotional states are a baselines of unease, intermediate states of anxiety and dysphoria to extreme panic, anger and despair. In adulthood dissociative defences, instead of producing a feeling of protective detachment, lead to complete sense of disconnection and disintegration of the self (Judith Herman, 1997). The only way to terminate the emotional response is by shocking the body. Self-injury, self-induced vomiting, compulsive sexual behaviour, compulsive risk taking, exposure to danger and psychoactive drugs are used to regulate the internal emotional states (Judith Herman, 1997). I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and the subtype complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD). My “deformed personality” is characterised mainly by alterations in affect regulation, consciousness and self-perception. Subjection to coercive control etches a psychological scar (Judith Herman, 1997).
It is inevitable that survivors of child abuse have trouble protecting themselves in intimate relationships. Symptomatic of C-PTSD is a longing for nurture, meaning that there is a tendency to idealize those one becomes attached to. An unconscious habit of obedience leaves one vulnerable to those in position of power. A lack of self-protection means it is hard to accurately assess danger due to the dissociative defensive style. Furthermore, when emotional responses can be subdued by risk taking behaviour one may want to relive the dangerous situations of the past (Judith Herman, 1997). I repetitively forgave a partner that caused me harm. I expected violence and started to equate violence with love from an early stage. In environments of chronic child abuse, the inner sense of independence is never formed, any sense of it is repeatedly and violently shattered by traumatic experiences. Adult survivors become dependent on external sources of comfort and solace and continue to seek someone to depend upon. It then becomes paradoxical that survivors become quickly attached to strangers (Judith Herman, 1997). As a result, adult survivors are at great risk of repeated victimization in adult life.
Survivors of violent atrocities continue to suffer from their abusers. The result for most is contaminated identity. When a rugby player receives a blow to the head the effects are transient, yet repetitive blows to a young person’s mind incurs long-term outcomes. It should not surprise that the aftermath of violence follows a frighteningly predictable path of psychological harm.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 10:21:05 PM by Three Roses »

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Three Roses

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Re: Essay STRONG WARNING/TRIGGERS
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2016, 10:33:08 PM »
Hello and welcome. Do you identify with having CPTSD? It's not clear from this post. Complex ptsd is different than ptsd.

Please make sure you take a look at our Guidelines for future posts. This should have had a trigger warning so I've added one.

Here is a link to our Guidelines for All Members and Guests, which are here to keep this a safe environment for you and all other members. http://outofthefog.net/C-PTSD/forum/index.php?topic=1616.msg10035#msg10035

« Last Edit: August 30, 2016, 10:40:57 PM by Three Roses »

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judithherman

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Re: Essay TRIGGERS
« Reply #2 on: August 31, 2016, 12:09:15 PM »
Hey there,
I have not been diagnosed but a psychologist suggested to me that I have PTSD in a letter to another doctor that I read. As you know C-PTSD is a form of PTSD. Most psychologist and psychiatrists in my country are resistant to tell their patients of a diagnosis unless obliged for the patients well being. I am self diagnosing myself with C-PTSD. It is also acknowledged by my eating disorder psychologist that she thinks I have C-PTSD from chronic child abuse but she does not definitively say so. She regards my eating disorder behaviour as dissociations.
Thanks for the info, I'll check it out later.
Regards,
JudithHerman