Feb 22, 2008

Victim Empowerment Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

There is some very helpful information at this site regarding Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, as it affects victims of violent crime. There is a lot of academia to sift through and translate, but it is well worth the effort especially if you, or someone you care, about might be suffering from PTSD.

Take it from me, violent crime and PTSD can have debilitating effects on what is left of a victims life, and The way that it is treated, (or not treated) can have a profound effect on the outcome of that persons well being and restoration. Really important stuff.
I've copied an excerpt below outlining the basic steps that are now known to be essential in the process of recovery from Post trauma caused by a violent and traumatic event- or events, such as repeated assaults that can occur over time, as with partner/'domestic violence.

The steps outlined below are in essence the basic tenets of recovery from post trauma. And I must admit, I wish that someone had made me aware of their existence and guided me through them when I was struggling so in the aftermath of my own experience with violent crime. As it turned out I was one of the fortunate few that managed, in time, to make the transition from victim to survivor, despite a profound lack of viable support from my local judiciary, and the community in general--The latter was largely due to a prevailing ignorance and decided unease among many people in dealing with the sensitive issue of violent crime , and the emotional and spiritual toll that it takes on its victims.
Please bear in mind that victims of PTSD can include close family members and/or friends, that via their connection with the victim, have become privy to details of the crime, and thus the terror and pain experienced. In this, they unwittingly re-live the trauma and can experience not only the psychic pain, but even the symptoms of any injuries accrued within the incident. As such, they are often also in need of treatment and counseling

The truth is that I very nearly did not make it through the gates of hell back to wholeness: PTSD sufferers are terribly vulnerable to alcohol and substance abuse, incapacitatiNG depression,
anxiety conditions and often even suicide. The good news is that these fates needn't be inevitable for victims of violence, yet, as often is the case with any true change, that change needs to begin with awareness; starting with the individual, then the community and eventually, society as a whole.
I believe that we owe it to ourselves and to each other, to become more enlightened beings, that do better than putting our collective heads in the sand when something violent and horrible befalls one of us. "The least of our bretheran..."

I suggest following the link below and bookmarking the site to read in segments as it is next to impossible to digest in just one sitting.

Traumatic syndromes as well as the recovery processes have basic features. The primary stages of recovery are:

establishing safety

reconstructing the trauma story

restoring the connection between survivors and their communities

The challenge is to help survivors reconnect the pieces, rebuild history and make meaning of their current symptoms in the light of prior events.

Victim Empowerment Student Material Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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