Search This Blog

Saturday, January 02, 2016

Trauma Dreams

I wrote some nonsense or other during that interlude of 2015 when Brian Williams was being disciplined for his memories of being in helicopters in a war zone and William O'Reilly was also excoriated for slips of memory while in a riot in Argentina.

And PTSD, post-traumatic stress syndrome.

I know that if I were in a helicopter and another helicopter 3 miles away from me were shot down, I would be traumatized; I would be traumatized being up in a helicopter itself, having a fear of heights and a vast dislike of flying.
Ditto if I were in the middle of an urban riot anywhere.
My memories would be like hash.... something-something on a shingle, as the expression goes.

So the point is that we live in the 21st century...

The Traumatic Era

... real and imagined horrors.

The 20th century was merely real horrors. Now we add imaginaries and action figures of our nightmares.

Back before 9/11, President George W. Bush was pushing for gun controls in his program for Safe Neighborhoods. After 9/11 that all disappeared and the sale of guns began to rise, the Gun Bubble started, and we prepared the Patriot Act entry into the Weaponized Society...

... a society in which all were weaponized against those who were different and dangerous,
... and libertarians were weaponized against the infringements of weaponized governments who were out to get those who were different and dangerous,
... and pretty much everyone's hands are raised against each other.

The Gun Bubble started before President Obama. It started right at the beginning of the century: 2001.

It would be best to begin to understand the role of Trauma and Stress and PTSD in our lives.

New Scientist
The lifelong cost of burying our traumatic experiences

Past trauma can mean not feeling fully alive in the present

The trauma caused by childhood neglect, sexual or domestic abuse and war wreaks havoc in our bodies, says Bessel van der Kolk in The Body Keeps the Score
WHAT has killed more Americans since 2001 than the Afghanistan and Iraq wars? And which serious health issue is twice as likely to affect US women as breast cancer?

The answer, claims psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk, lies in what we now understand about trauma and its effects. In his disturbing book, The Body Keeps the Score, he explains how trauma and its resulting stress harms us through physiological changes to body and brain, and that those harms can persist throughout life. Excess stress can predispose us to everything from diabetes to heart disease, maybe even cancer.

Take his two examples. The number of Americans killed by family members exceeds the number that country lost in both wars. But it doesn’t stop there. Imagine the fallout for all who witnessed the murder or likely violence in the years preceding it. And women have double the risk of domestic violence – with the health consequences that brings – as they do of breast cancer.

Van der Kolk draws on 30 years of experience to argue powerfully that trauma is one of the West’s most urgent public health issues. The list of its effects is long: on mental and physical health, employment, education, crime, relationships, domestic or family abuse, alcoholism, drug addiction. “We all want to live in a world that is safe, manageable… predictable, and victims remind us that this is not always the case,” says van der Kolk. When no one wants to hear about a person’s trauma, it finds a way to manifest in their body...

I believe it.


No comments: