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complex trauma discussionvoices of traumatology

That is how I would like to call this discussion
And I hope lots of people will take the effort to read it because
then they will understand why I gave it this title.

During a discussions on Google Plus someone who provides trauma-therapy in the US gave me permission to quote his text a public. And I want to do such because this discussion reveals the huge gab of understanding between the victim of Trauma and ‘some’ clinical intellects of Traumatology. It is a discussion which carries a red line to a very common disagreement. A red line which isn’t even rare to the
understanding of ‘suffering a psychologically-Trauma’.

develop your own safety


Note of importance:

I thank Tom C. sincerely for giving me the permission to quote his senses, because it will contribute to create a bridge of understanding between intellectual knowledge and average human experience, suffering and understanding.

Neutral comment Tom C.: Nique
nobody is interested in what you think because you are not a clinician nor researcher and your writings don’t make any sense. ‘Making sense’ is a very particular thing, and it can be fairly easily defined. It has a lot to do with the logic of science.
I am professionally involved with trauma and dissociative disorders, but I have kept my very bit interest in ‘knowing’ and in science. No one will pay attention to you if you don’t follow the ‘rules’, because the rules are what have produced for us the good knowledge we presently have. You can do it some other way, but you will be ignored.
I will ignore you if you don’t make sense. I have to. I don’t have time to talk nonsense.

targetRE by Nique;

Those words are one of the reasons why I’m doing what I am doing.

Sharing knowledge, experience and understanding and make it accessible and understandable for the society in which we live. So I started to respond to his writings quote by quote, and to the quote above I responded:

Maybe those words describe the poison of knowledge
knowledge is: 1 + 1 = 2
But to the formula of ‘why’ you need ‘experience’ and ‘understanding’
There is no two without the  ‘one’
My voice is only one, Sir

I will tell you why and how I received my knowledge … 
I read, I listen, I see, I suffer, I experience, I let myself educate, I discover, I grow, I learn, I survived and I survive, I will beat the beast inside me – and I get psychologically educated by my therapists who help me “to find and walk the path to discovery oneself”: that’s why and how Sir !

And I will and can share my knowledge, experience and understanding with you Sir because I have a voice left to do so.

quote Tom C.: “ 1a.
I think it helps greatly to have a basically correct understanding of psychological trauma AND of the degree to which our mental health system deals well with this problem. Let me address here a few essential points. To keep things as clear as possible, I’m going to number my topics.
1a.It’s critical to understand that a trauma disorder is caused by the memory of a traumatic experience. To repeat: A traumatic experience (TE) is what causes a trauma-related mental illness diagnosis. People focus too much on events. Events don’t cause disorders. Experiences do.
So, anything which causes someone to be overwhelmed with fear (this is the feeling we need to focus on, here) CAN cause a trauma disorder.”

RE by Nique;

I find such an explanation to the understanding and meaning of ‘Trauma’ shocking.
At most the last sentence written by Tom C.

Fear is an emotion (link), a symptom of suffering a Psychologically-Trauma. It’s not the cause of a psychologically-trauma nor the ‘trauma disorder’. To me this explanation, such as given by Tom C.,  is debit to the chaos and misunderstanding to;
what it means to suffer a psychologically-Trauma caused by Trauma. It was also very long debit to classify PTSD as an anxiety disorder and by that lots of people where misdiagnosed. Luckily the DSM-5 corrected this by all the new research outcomes, but we still have a long way to go as we can read during this conversation.

Trauma can be caused by a mechanically and or psychologically ‘injury’
Latterly Trauma means ‘injury’
and Injury causes pain
Pain causes physically and psychologically suffering
Psychologically suffering can cause psychologically-injury
Psychologically-injury can cause pathological emotions and pathological somatic responses

a mental illness – a diagnose
Now we have cause and outcome (A – Z)
a disorder caused by suffering a Trauma.

The part of our personality that suffered the psychologically-injury we call an emotional personality Part – an EP and this EP influences pathologically somatic- and psychological- sensations and behavior to our daily life handling system (the Self- and Ego States, the Apparently Normal Personality)

quote Tom C.: “1b.
But here’s the really tricky part of this:
It is entirely possible to have had a gravely traumatic experience, when you were a young child, and have no recognizable memory of it. By “recognizable” I mean explicit, and recallable. That’s the sort of thing almost everyone thinks of when hearing the word “memory”. But we have a number of different kinds of memory, and a significant amount of it is neither explicit nor recallable – this is implicit memory. A more common (but outmoded) term for this is unconscious, or subconscious, memory.

RE by Nique;

There is no tricky part Sir
It’s simply a fact that it is possible that someone suffered Trauma and has no recognition afterwards to the event that caused the Trauma. This can happen on every age and has no age boundaries. Someone with a PTSD can suffer a Partial or Full dissociation. Which means he or she can’t recall (remember) the full traumatic event or a part of the traumatic event.

quote Tom C.: “1c.
If that sort of memory is the cause of one’s disorder, you’ll never detect it. You’re highly likely simply to think your brain is broken, or that you’re just plain crazy. Neither, however, is at all true, should this be your case.

RE by Nique;

Even though one can suffer a partial or full dissociation (Amnesia), the unconscious mind can respond to the hidden memories (psychologically-Trauma). The mind and body responds to those unconscious states of memories (EPs) and this response can express itself by lots of different emotional and physical sensations and reactions (the daily life handling system, ANP-EP handlingsystem).

quote Tom C.: “1d.
Few therapists even consider implicit memory. Well-informed trauma psychotherapists do,
however, because its role can be hugely significant. They also should be able to detect when implicit memory is the cause of your problem, even if you cannot. This is akin to a physician’s being able to detect that you have an unseen bacteria causing a nasty skin infection. You cannot do this; they can”

RE by Nique;

A good Trauma specialist has a very good understanding of what it means to suffer a ‘psychologically-Trauma’ caused by Trauma (mechanically and or psychologically).

He will start to educate you so you start to understand what it all does to you;  your body, your mind, your emotions and your psychologically wellbeing. If you are able to see and understand your own self, you can start to work your way up to the path of healing, with his/her help and within a therapeutically framework.

Neutral comment Tom C.: “I write with great care, and that takes time. Right now my time is severely limited. I doubt that I’ll fail to return here, though!
I like a good challenge.”

cptsd

RE by Nique;

I’m not challenging you Sir,
because there is nothing to win only to share and to understand.

quote Tom C.: 2a. TE=Traumatic Experience
When learning about someone’s TEs, we need to know two things above all else:
(a) how old were you when it happened, and
(b) how many times did it (or other traumatic experiences) happen?”

RE by Nique;

I have never ever in my life heard nor read such a statement and question pointed out to one who suffers a psychologically-Trauma by someone who is calling himself ‘a specialist and expert’. Again I want to respond to this statement with my own personal opinion, knowledge and experience.

  1. Psychologically-Trauma is not bound to Age !
    You can suffer a Psychologically-Trauma on any Age.
  2. Lots of people even don’t remember exactly what happened to them, though they suffer the same symptoms as someone who experienced a horrible rape at (let’s say) the age of 20 which suffers a ASD or a PTSD by the cause of that horrible event. There are even people who can’t remember the Traumatic event at all by the suffering of a full dissociation.

It’s also not necessary to remember every detail of the Traumatic event nor the exact age when the traumatic event happened – to receive proper Trauma therapy.

During therapy you learn how to recognize the sine’s of your own body and mind where it starts to influence your common sense and responses. You learn how to ground yourself and explore the situation which caused the pathological behavior and or sensations. Sometimes memories start to come spontaneously while doing so and sometimes memories stay in the dark when you learn to get a healthy control over your own emotional- and bodily pathologically behavior and sensations.

So it’s NOT at all necessary to remember the whole, a part or the exact event which caused the psychologically-Trauma. In lots of cases it’s even not recommended to explore the Trauma itself, because it can make things far more worse than they already are and it also can lead to dangerously crisis’s.

Lots of people who suffer a second mental disorder, like a personality disorder (such as a BPD), beside their psychologically-Trauma aren’t mentally and emotionally strong enough to explore the ‘Traumatic events’ with the risks of reliving them. A good Trauma specialist/therapist will give also a good advice why he/she wants you to learn how to ground yourself without going in to Trauma exposure. And a good therapist will not even start with Trauma exposure if he carries the opinion ‘you are not strong enough to do so’

Conclusion:
It’s totally NOT necessary to know the exact details of a Traumatic event or events to start with a good therapy were you can learn how to handle the bodily and emotionally pathologically sensations (trigger moments) caused by the suffering of a psychologically-Trauma.

quote Tom C.: “2b.
The younger you were when it happened, the more vulnerable you were, and so the more likely it is that it caused a problem. And, obviously, the more often it happened the more likely it is that a problem resulted.
 So, if your TE started when you were in, say, your first five years of life (approximately) AND it was chronic, you are at real risk. Such a background has been found to cause borderline personality disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Complex PTSD (Developmental Trauma Disorder), and dissociative identity disorder (DID).”

RE by Nique;

The Most of this part I agree, but I would like to place one more comment to it:
Borderline is a symptom diagnose and can develop itself during all ages of childhood, likewise a structural dissociation of the personality OSDD or PTSD.

DID though is another story:
DID is a system diagnose and Research has shown us that the development of a DID starts during a very early stage of life.gif003

Extra Note:
Hypothetically to the explanation of “why could such a very young child develop more than one ‘handling system’”;

We are all born with biological determinants and four autonomic emotional handling/respond systems (the 4 head emotions). Emotional handling systems which immediately after birth are able to react by instinct or reflex. If a baby feels distress caused by hunger it starts to cry. If you have eye contact with a baby which has already its vision and you slap your hands the baby gets scared (you will see the reflex) caused by the loud noise even though its sees you slapping your hands, etc.. The baby is not yet able to mentalize (recognition) hearing with vision, it’s not yet enough developed to do so. The emotionally systems pleasure/fun and fear are not yet enough integrated to function as proper team players.

If something disrupts repeatedly this natural process by a healthy interaction with environment (like repeating Trauma – see part I pnt 1 understanding trauma) an infant needs to activate by instinct repeatedly over and over a (survival) reflex which causes that the autonomic functioning emotional systems can’t synthesize proper with one and other on a natural given way and which is necessary to learn proper functioning as team players. This can lead to the development of a DID caused by Trauma.

A tertiary structural dissociation of the personality – DID
Friendly Regards,

Nique EU Disja (C)
CE at the Top Referent Trauma Center, Assen-Drenthe, The Netherlands
National research and Mental health care department GGZ

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