Trauma Is Considered as 'Mental Agony' Distress Term Paper

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Trauma is considered as 'Mental Agony', distress due to problems internal or personal to the patient's/victim's, undergone by a person during a given period. Even physical or mental distress undergone can also be considered as Trauma.. Trauma means 'injury' and derives from the Greek word meaning 'wound'. Trauma is any physical or mental shock or injury, specifically a serious wound or injury caused by some physical action, as an automobile accident, violent assault and so on. It is also psychological damage or an experience that inflicts such damage. Trauma is physical, or psychological or both. It may refer to the injury done, or to the condition which results. Profound emotional shock, Physical injury, Physical shock syndrome is also defined as Trauma.

Traumatic experiences shake the foundation of our beliefs about safety and shatter our assumptions of trust. These events and experiences provoke reactions that are strange and crazy. These reactions are unusual and disturbing, but they are typical and expectable from such patient's i.e., these are normal responses to abnormal events. Trauma involves exposure to a life threatening experience and has a significant effect cognitively and affectively and is discussed in the following pages. A mental health problem is considered a disorder only if the problem is a clinically significant behavioral or psychological syndrome or pattern that is associated with a painful symptom (distress) or impairment in one or more areas of functioning. Trauma may be caused due to ill health, continued suffering due to ill health, family problems, employment related stress etc. Trauma may be due to terminal diseases, sexual harassment, unemployment, poverty, accidents, disaster, even exam failure and social stigma.

The focus of this paper is to delve in to several facets of Trauma and the behavioral changes the Trauma causes in different individuals with different backgrounds. The paper argues deals with that Trauma have strong effect on human behavior cognitively and affectively. The paper also deals with the person's physiological response and the degree of social support provided. A psychic Trauma is one that leaves some more or less lasting effect upon the individual and his adjustment. Emotional and psycho logic Trauma can follow many diverse kinds of physically and psychically injurious events. The response to any given Trauma can have wide individual variation. This is due to the inherent personality make-up and to unconscious factors and significances that are individual specific. We can recognize that Traumatic events can play a most important role in an individual's life for months, years or a lifetime. From the broadest viewpoint all emotional symptoms and illness can be regarded as ultimately stemming from Trauma, whether the Trauma is physical, psychological or both.

Certain types of neuroses and neurotic reactions can follow. Traumatic events, in which they may be regarded as being caused by or as being precipitated by them. Finally, the prior existence of favorable psychological soil has a considerable bearing upon the relative emotional impact of a given Traumatic event. Trauma is a common and potent cause of shock. The shock associated with physical wounds is a combination of oligemic and neurogenic shock. Trauma may give rise to shock in a variety of ways. Neurogenic alarm is caused by strong emotional stimuli, pain, fear, and bodily injury and by deep general anaesthesia or spinal aneasthesia; either of the last two may have been necessary for operation after sustaining an injury. Trauma, in a sense, is a psychological condition that leads to a disturbance of intellect, consciousness or mental functioning.

The effects of the acute conditions include persistent confusion, disorientation, constant restlessness, hallucinations and delusions. The chronic conditions also lead to progressive, steady decline in memory, intellect and behavior. During recent years, increased knowledge has increased the awareness concerning the relationship between Trauma and Psychological Disorders. Disabilities following Trauma are sometimes observed to be disproportionate to the accompanying physical injury. Such disproportion proves presumptive evidence of emotional factors. Emotional problems not infrequently result in more pain, suffering and disability than do physical (organic) ones. (Laughlin, 1963)

Anxiety, hypochondriacal and conversion reactions are the most frequently encountered specific emotional patterns of reaction to Trauma in human life. The Trauma can be physical, psychic or a combination, it may be major or minor, and its role can vary widely in the initiation of symptoms. It can initiate, precipitate, contribute to or aggravate a neurosis. The onset of symptoms can follow the Trauma immediately or can be delayed for a considerable period. The effect of a given Trauma will vary widely from person to person and is unpredictable. When the Trauma is physical the resulting disability is some times seen to be disproportionate to the physical injury. The acuity or repletion, or both, of the Trauma are also factors that have to be considered. Psychological Trauma in early childhood can often lay the foundation for later emotional illnesses and can contribute to the vulnerability of the individual to physical or psychological Traumatic events; though alternatively they may lead to the development of more effective defenses. Occasionally emotional manifestations may undergo remission after Trauma.

The neuroses following Trauma may find expression in a wide variety of symptoms that can be disabling increase the susceptibility of the patient to Trauma and interfere with or prevent work. It has been long and widely recognized, of course, that both physical and psychological Trauma can and do have for reaching effects upon the human kind. A smaller group perhaps has also recognized that the disability that often follows Traumatic events is frequently observed to extend far and away beyond any demonstrable physical impairment. This however, makes them no less real. Handicaps and disabilities that are emotionally based are at least as real and as troubling to the hard-pressed and unwitting victim as are physical ones. In some ways they are far more so, since one has less control or understanding; one is thus more helpless and less able to cope with them effectively. Because of this, they are likely to be even more troubling, sometimes far more so. (Cattell, 1963)

When one begins to study the field of emotional problems, he/she is likely to learn rather quickly that emotional problems are apt to be more painful, to be more troubling, and to be more disturbing than physical ones. For example, physicians can report instances in which a patient will try - sometimes with great effort and seemingly endlessly - to discover physical bases for symptoms which are essentially emotional in origin. The uncovering of such more tangible bases and less disturbing ones would represent a great gain. The patient - victim would be less helpless in having something done, in seeking relief. Emotional problems are likely to be far more complex in so far as affecting their resolution, than are physical ones.

It is indeed rare, on the other hand, to have a patient with physical symptoms seeking to assign to them an emotional or psychological origin. Knowledge about the neuroses and about Traumatic factors on their onset is currently becoming more and more widespread.

Therefore, the important issue seems to be: who is receiving what injury and in what setting does he experience the injury? One factor in determining the reaction to injury is its relative reversibility. The setting in which an injury occurs and the motivation to return to full and free function as soon as possible have a striking influence on the person's reaction to the injury. A college football player, for example, may sustain a fracture of a collarbone or shoulder blade during a game and not be aware of it until after the game is over. Individuals who sustain injuries while under the influence of alcohol, whether in bar-room accidents or fights are also less likely to develop a post-traumatic emotional reaction than those who are injured in industrial accident. The former group would prefer to overlook the situation in which the accident occurred and to minimize the effect of the injury. (Shulzinger, 1956)

Trauma can precipitate disabilities that are essentially emotional and psychological. These are often far beyond the amount of strictly physical handicap, which does not have to be present at all. Actually, the severity of these kinds of disabilities is not in direct proportion to the amount of physical impact or injury. The intensity of the emotional reaction and the associated disability can vary from mild to severe. In the latter case, the person may be completely incapacitated for some period of time. The duration of the reaction may be very brief or may last for decades. The initial episode of an emotional illness that may follow a Trauma or there may be a recurrence of an illness that had been present in the past with subsequent remission. It is important to note that the sequence of trauma and then emotional illness or personality and behavioral change is not necessarily a meaningful sequence.

The Neuroses constitute one of the two major categories of Trauma, the other being the Psychoses. A Neurosis is an emotional illness in which there is a…[continue]

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