Running head: TRAUMA
Lenore Terr is a well known expert who deals with mental cases that affects children. She made a big progress when she carried out a research on trauma and brought to the light how this unfortunate condition impacts on the children behavior. In her book “Too Scared to Cry”, she widens the topic highlighting clinical examples. This makes it easier for the reader to connect on the exact issue she is addressing although this is not evident in all cases. The book is outlined in four phases based on trauma cases that affect children. The first part deals with emotions, followed by mental work, characteristics and medication (Term 1990). One of the complex areas in the book is how trauma develops and her advice on medication. When one reads the four phases, one enjoys a satisfaction that the doctor is well endowed with the knowledge of clinical maters. The idea behind this article is to come up with a reaction paper on the overall thought of the book focusing on short and long term effects of trauma and potential medication. The article will further review on Dr. Terr’s thoughts on trauma and the history of it within our culture (Terr 1990).
According to Terr, trauma is destruction of the inner morale as a result of a traumatic occurrence. These occurrences can be said to be horrible experiences such as sexual abuse, tragic accident, and victim of an inferno or a disaster like earthquake or floods. As a result, individuals may be seen behaving in an abnormal way. Unless carefully handled, survivors can have a major impact on the family. When this happens, the victim’s ability to counter stress and depression is put at stake (Terr 1990). In the book, Terr observes that effects of trauma both in short term and long term are almost the same. When trauma occurs, survivors in most cases are encompassed with fear. After the tragic incidence, Terr observes that, the previous experience may come back mentally and physically. This is clearly shown in her study when she compares those involved in the study and the control experiment (Terr 1990). Given that this can be painful and not enjoyable, the victims adopt a trend of trying to push the events at the back of their mind. The effects range from thoughts of trauma occurring, the images of the tragic incidence keeps reappearing and feelings of frustrations although the victim has already healed. Terr observes that the survivors, who in most cases perceive they are in danger, feel that they want to flee, and are encompassed with thoughts of wanting to attack other individuals (Terr 1990).
Further, she continues to observe that since the survivors are furious, it become had for them to catch some sleep or even pay attention to anything reasonable. If the survivor happens to get some rest, the effect as observed by Terr is that, they experience horrible dreams or even nightmares (Terr 1990). Another effect common with most survivors is keeping on remembering the incidence as it occurred. The habit increases more fear in the mind of the survivor and can lead to moments of sadness every now and then. Terr advises that, those close to the survivor should avoid reminding them of the incidences because it can result to feeling upset (Terr 1990).
Long term effect as seen by Terr can be a problem of putting emotions under control. She advises that, survivors should be given support in order to help them control their emotions as it can affect the family members so hard. Another long term effect is that the survivor finds it very hard to put his mind on one thing at any given time (Terr 1990). This is in most cases accompanied by unclear thinking and this can take place for quite sometime. The survivors also keep on sweating even when the environment they are in is relatively cool (Terr 1990). Terr deduces that, another long term effect which is very common among survivors is getting so much concerned about residing in a secure environment. She gives an example of an individual residing in a secure environment but still want to employ a security personnel or even installing the place burglary proof doors and locks. This may be accompanied by feelings of quick response incase of something small happening (Terr 1990). She advises that this should be taken as normal. She advises that, given that these effects portray themselves as symptoms and are very confusing, it is the mind in most cases trying to recall the experience as it occurred in order for the survivor to experience full recovery.
Terr offers a number of treatment options to victims of traumatic occurrences. She observes that, whether one is accessing medication in person or as a group, treatment has always been successful and has greatly helped people to get back to their normal lives. The first well known method is therapy on victims of trauma (Terr 1990). The victim is advised to make a date with a therapist or an expert. Basically she advises that, these dates may be two times in a week for one hour and chat about the incidences, reactions on them and how to effect good transition in the victim’s life. Sessions of therapy are not the same in all cases as they depend on the approach (Terr 1990).
Another treatment approach is behavioral therapy. This approach depends greatly on the victim’s thought on the problem and how it impacts on their emotional feelings. This approach integrates a number of methods one of them being focusing on the incidence and training the victim on how to relax so as to change the perception of the occurrence (Terr 1990). This approach assists the victim to deactivate those things that keep on reminding him or her about the incidence. Terr continues to say that, this method has been studied on and has proved to be very successful.
Inertia or commonly known as hypnosis is also a recommended way of administering treatment on traumatic victims. Although it is not a very effective way, it helps the therapists to induce transition in victims (Terr 1990). This approach involves putting a victim in a kind of daydreaming where the individual is in a position to gain entry to psychological system to assist them minimize stress. In most cases, it is applied in order to get the victim to a mindset of deactivating the traumatic incidences. It also aids the victim in understanding the occurrence in a better way without having to remember unfortunate event (Terr 1990).
Therapy in forms of groups has also proved very successful. Terr observes that, this approach gives an individual a sense of security alongside presenting a platform to discuss with group members. This approach helps the survivor to realize that there are many people in a similar state therefore one opens up (Terr 1990).
Terr deduces that, traumatic incidences can have an impact on the body’s neurochemistry and bring so many changes in an individual’s life. Due to this, the body exhibits a lot of hormones making it difficult for the victim to think, rest and in some cases even have impact on blood pressure and other function of the body (Terr 1990). It can even put he body immune mechanism making one is exposed to dangerous epidemics. In order to rectify this situation and get the brain working, Terr recommends that one should seek medication. Some of the recommended methods involve taking some tablets that minimizes symptoms of trauma. It is advised that one should not forego treatment unless with an advice of an expert (Terr 1990)t.
However, Terr advises that survivors of trauma who have experienced the condition for a long period must ensure the habitat in which they are residing is safe. She also advises that one must understand and accept the situation (Terr 1990). If his is to be done, it must be procedural as it does not just happen. She continues to warn that prolonged periods of mourning over what happened cannot help much in the recovery duration. Healing of trauma becomes real when the victim realizes that the occurrence indeed took place and made an impact in his life (Terr 1990).
On the history of culture in regard to trauma, Terr observes that many communities hold different beliefs when referring to trauma. Instead of them being helpful n helping the survivor to recover fully, most of them contribute to the condition getting worse. She observes that, in some communities, trauma is seen as a curse and some survivors have even been excommunicated from the community worsening the situation. She calls for people to understand and to take care of these people (Terr 1990).
To conclude, trauma is a situation where a feeling is sparked in the survivors mind that the environment in which he is living is not safe. As a result, experts advise that it is good to first of all ensure the environment is secure so as to create that sense that there is safety. When all that is done, it creates a good avenue to help the victim.
Lennore Terr. (1990) Too Sacred to Cry: Psychic Trauma in Childhood.
New York: Harper and Row