Trauma comes back as a reaction, not a memory.

—Bessel van der Kolk

PTSD

How harmful is childhood trauma? Very. You cannot bury PTSD; ignore PTSD; pray away PTSD. It is real. The trauma caused by childhood neglect, sexual or domestic abuse and war wreaks havoc in our bodies, says Bessel van der Kolk.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event.

It is natural to feel afraid during and after a traumatic situation. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience a range of reactions after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened, even when they are not in danger.

—National Institute of Mental Health
  • Dealing with PTSD
    When you shut down emotion, you’re also affecting your nervous system. So the repression of emotion, which is the survival strategy, then becomes a source […]
  • Don’t Minimize Your Abuse
    Standing there was my brother with one of my mother’s cooking pots sitting on our picnic table. It was full of water. My brother was […]
  • How Childhood Trauma Can Make You Sick
    If you don’t know how to say no, your body will say it for you through physical illnesses. —Dr Gabor Maté The long-term effects of […]
  • Sibling Bullying
    She wrote me that she felt terrorized. She travelled in the car – her bully was there. She ate at the kitchen table – her […]
  • The Silent Treatment is Cruel
    I tried to explain how hurt I was. Just like when we were kids, I was trying to get my mother to hear me. She […]
  • Tickle Torture
    “TICKLE TORTURE!” my brother screamed. He held me down. I struggled to get away. “Stop!” “Tickle torture,” he laughed. He held down both my arms […]
  • What is Complex PTSD?
    “Often with PTSD there is the traumatic event; perhaps someone was in the war or had a car accident,” she explained. “With Complex PTSD, it’s […]