Judith Herman's Complex Trauma Disorder

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Jazz(Jasmine Reed) Adam Brown: When Nightmare Is real Due: Monday October 5th, 2015, 9:30am Judith Herman’s Complex Trauma Disorder Post traumatic stress disorder and complex post traumatic stress disorder: two diseases, separated by minor factors in human experience. It is easier to think of complex post traumatic stress disorder as a subset of post traumatic stress disorder. The main difference is the re-occurrence of traumatic events that usually take place when a person is held captive; captivity on a wide scale ranging from prisons to abusive homes. Based on the history of the psychoanalytical study and the previous chapters in the book, “Trauma and Recovery” by Judith Herman, the term PTSD was developed using research and experience…show more content…
Herman writes, “In situations of captivity, the perpetrator becomes the most powerful person in the life of the victim, and the psychology of the victim is shaped by the actions and belief of the perpetrator”(75). The victim loses their sense of self and copes with it in various ways including, separating realities(double thinking) and complete physical and mental submission to the perpetrator. The lost of self can lead to additional symptoms caused by repetitive trauma such as selfharm, loss of sustaining faith, isolation, distrust, and emotional regulation. The victim then develops personality disorders that disables them to function in society. These disorders often get misdiagnosed as the patient having “weak will” and the victim often gets blamed for causing their own mental problems. The treatment received when misdiagnosed, often fails to help the patient because it ignores the underlying…show more content…
I am on board with the development of an additional diagnosis for two reasons. The first being that the study of mental illness is fairly new and the process it has had just to be validated as an illness proves that there is so much more to learn. The validation of Hysteria not only shed light to many women but opened eyes to the abusive lives of women and children; something so crude that seemed “abnormal” actually happening constantly, changed the way we treated and saw each other and contributed to the movement of women’s rights. The same concept that happened with Hysteria can be seen with new mental disorders today. Herman states towards the beginning of her book, “Remembering and telling the truth about terrible events are prerequisite both for the restoration of the social order and for the healing of individual victims”(1). Just how Freud refused to continue his work on hysteria because of his governmental influence and personal beliefs, today, many people with mental disorders are caught in the system and the judgement of society. Mental disorders that aren’t common, like agoraphobia, sometimes gets brushed under the rug and misinterpreted as weak will; and like Freud, they don’t get talked about. I’ve seen first hand with mother, who suffers from agoraphobia and PTSD, how people mistreat her and dismiss her illness because it’s not common. When she enters the hospital(she also has high

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