Trauma and abuse are different for each person; trauma and abuse are perceptional. Two people experiencing the same event may not perceive it to be traumatic. Peter A. Levine in “Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes”, reminds us that trauma is in the nervous system – not the event! “Trauma happens when any experience stuns us like a bolt out of the blue; it overwhelms us, leaving us altered and disconnected from our bodies. Any coping mechanisms we may have had are undermined, and we fell utterly helpless and hopeless. It is as if our legs are knocked out from under us.”
“Trauma refers to events that could not be assimilated. If the traumatic event could not be taken in, it cannot be linked with other experience, and there is now a structural dissociation of experience (Van der Hart et al., 2004) The result of trauma is dissociation, however, dissociation does not necessarily require trauma. (Howell, Elizabeth F. The Dissociative Mind)
Personality development affected by early trauma. Associated possible Symptoms include: anxiety, depression, eating disorders, and substance abuse. Per Elizabeth Howell, “DID is simply an extreme version of the dissociative structure of the psyche”. “Dissociation, in a general sense, refers to a rigid separation of parts of experience, including somatic experience, consciousness, affects, perception, identity, and memory. When there is a structural dissociation, each of the dissociated self-states has a least a rudimentary sense of I?.
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