So why don’t we try to cut it down to size for easier consideration?
As stated elsewhere in the blog once upon a time one of the best parts of my profession is that I get to read a lot of books. And then I sift through those books and recommend to you all: clients, readers, the curious, the best of the best. To make the pursuit of positive mental health a little less daunting. And a little bit more effective. More bang for your buck. That is a dandy endeavor indeed.
This post is inspired by a book that I am still reading, but I have known about the book for a while. For any of you who experience symptoms related to trauma, or for those of you who know someone who experienced trauma, this is a must read.
The book is called The Body Keeps Score and it is written by Bessel Van Der Kolk, MD.
This is the best book about trauma that I have ever come across. He and it are sort of a big deal right now. And he deserves the reputation and accolades.
If you have PTSD, if you ever wonder if you have PTSD, if you know someone with PTSD, or just want to know how the brain responds to trauma (as of all our scientific inquiry up to the year 2015) then you should read this book.
As concise, as brilliant, and as illuminating as this book is, the issue for many is just what we bring to the word trauma.
For some, it may be too easy to disengage and distance ourselves from the word. Trauma, thanks to films media and the internet, means soldiers and warzones, refugees and the homeless, rape victims, children of drug addicts or maniacs, but not normal people. Not anyone you might know. Or be.
So, I encourage you to consider the less severe experiences that can fall under the umbrella of trauma, and traumatic symptoms and experiences.
Intense emotional and physical pain
Isolation or estrangement
Death and loss
That list is a little more accessible, isn’t it? All of you reading have experienced one or more of those experiences, right? That’s right.
And just as happiness or sadness can be considered on a spectrum ranging from full on Walt Whitman style positivity to melancholy to abject depression, what if we consider trauma, and the brain’s evolutionary function to trauma and pain, on such a continuum?
I think understanding trauma better will help us understand our own experience to emotional pain, and, just as importantly, emotional pain management.
Because if you don’t what your mind is doing, then how can you change what your experience is?
Sound good? Enjoy. It has been fantastic so far.