Trauma

What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… a Flashback

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychological terms. This week’s term is flashbacks. Flashbacks involve the intense, vivid re-experiencing of memories as though they’re occurring in the present tense. This most often happens with trauma-related memories. The flashbacks are usually involuntary and intrusive, and they don’t result from a …

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Mental Health @ Home book review: Shattered by the Darkness

Book Review: Shattered by the Darkness

Shattered by the Darkness by Gregory Williams is a heart-wrenching account of childhood sexual abuse perpetrated by the author’s father over many years. The book contains detailed descriptions of sexual abuse, sometimes with multiple abusers. There’s nothing gratuitously graphic in the descriptions; still, readers who’ve had similar abuse experiences should carefully consider whether they’re at …

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Mental Health @ Home book review: Ghosts Within

Book Review: Ghosts Within: Journeying Through PTSD

Ghosts Within: Journeying Through PTSD is written by former war zone journalist Garry Leech. It covers his journey with post-traumatic stress disorder in response to the horrors his work exposed him to. The book describes some of the traumatic events the author experienced. This took a few forms: as descriptions of flashbacks, as part of …

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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… Stockholm syndrome

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychological terms. This week’s term is Stockholm syndrome. Stockholm syndrome is a type of psychological bond that forms between a captor and a hostage. The hostage develops positive feelings toward the captor and their cause, and negative feelings toward law enforcement. While it …

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What Is... Series (Insights into Psychology)

What Is… Trauma vs. PTSD

In this series, I dig a little deeper into the meaning of psychological terms. This week’s terms are trauma vs. PTSD. I wanted to take a look at the difference between experiencing trauma and having PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). Personally, I believe that I have experienced trauma, but I don’t meet the criteria for PTSD. So is …

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MH@H book review: Living with Vaginismus by Victoria Johnston

Book Review: Living With Vaginismus

In Living with Vaginismus: Dealing with the World’s Most Painful Pleasure, Victoria Johnston provides a comprehensive overview of this pelvic pain condition. She opens up about her own personal experience to raise awareness about an issue that most people either don’t know about and/or aren’t comfortable talking about. Vaginismus involves the involuntary contraction of pelvic …

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How Trauma-Informed Practice can Improve Mental Health Care

So, what is it to be trauma-informed? Trauma-informed practice recognizes the intersectionality of trauma, mental health, and substance abuse, with an awareness that anyone may have experienced trauma, whether they’ve disclosed it or not. Trauma-informed practice aims to create environments that prevent re-traumatization and promote a sense of safety. The individual client’s safety, choice, and …

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Why isn't complex PTSD in the DSM-5?

Why Isn’t Complex PTSD in the DSM–5?

While some sources of trauma are time-limited, others occur repeatedly over prolonged periods of time. The term complex PTSD is used to capture the profound psychological harm these people exposed to the latter have experienced, including changes in self-concept, problems with emotional regulation, distorted perceptions of the perpetrator, and impaired relationships with others. Diagnostic systems …

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The Lasting Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences

The Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) study was a landmark research trial conducted by Kaiser Permanente and the U.S. Center for Disease Control. The study examined the correlation between adverse experiences in childhood and health outcomes in adulthood, and it clearly showed just how profound that connection is. What are adverse childhood experiences? Adverse childhood experiences …

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Book Review: Untangled

In Untangled: A Story of Resilience, Courage, and Triumph, Alexis Rose offers raw, forthright descriptions of the repeated abuse she experienced in childhood and into adulthood. I would caution anyone who has experienced abuse themselves to carefully evaluate whether they are far enough along in their own healing to feel safe while reading this kind …

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