It’s distressing to watch news reports claiming this or that “new treatment for PTSD” can help Veterans. There’s nothing new about our human response to trauma: we are properly hardwired to react strongly to disturbing experiences and images. If there is any kind of disorder associated with post-traumatic stress, it is the disorder of attempting to suppress a normal human response to violence, trauma or mental/emotional abuse. Progressive health care professionals are quite right to refer to “post traumatic stress injury,” which is a more accurate and ethical term.
Instead of attempting to “treat” post-traumatic stress, wouldn’t a better approach be more holistic? Would it not be healthier for our human systems to work to integrate a traumatic experience into our human fabric in a healthful way – to allow the horror to become a part of our psyche in a healthful and useful way rather than burying the trauma as some unacceptable event? This stuff actually happened to us – it’s not some imaginary thing that can be blocked out mentally or emotionally! Shouldn’t that fact change how we deal with trauma?
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