Why Traumatic Stress is NOT a disorder!

“Drop the ‘D’, because PTSD is not a disorder.” It’s what he learned from van der Kolk, who wrote The Body Keeps the Score. “Bessel says we’ve named this thing wrong. Post-traumatic stress is a brain adaptation. It’s not an imagined fear. If one of your feet was bitten off by a lion, you’re going to be on guard for lions,” explains Sumrok.

“Hypervigilance is not an imagined fear, if you’ve had one foot bitten off by a lion. It’s a real fear, and you’re going to be on the lookout for that lion. I tell my patients that they’ve had real trauma that’s not imagined. They’re not crazy.”

Source  :  https://acestoohigh.com/2017/05/02/addiction-doc-says-stop-chasing-the-drug-focus-on-aces-people-can-recover/

Thank you to Courage Coaching for reblogging the excellent post which the above quote comes from.   Peter Levine also makes a powerful case for how Post Traumatic Stress should never have been labelled a ‘disorder’.  In his book In An Unspoken Voice  Levine argues that the term shell shock was actually a more acute description of what trauma survivors go through and in the later years of the First World War was the term given to soldiers whose nervous systems had been severely discombobulated by the very real trauma of war.   It was following the Vietnam War that the term Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was first used but as Levine points out what trauma survivors are left with after trauma should never be labelled as a disorder when it is a very real body/mind/soul response to pain, abuse, damage, accident and injury.  I cannot find the book to quote exactly what he says but the point he makes is that the way we now label conditions such as this actually allows us to objectify a deeply subjective gut wrenching experience and in so doing separates us from what people who suffer really go and went through.  It cannot be said too much!


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