Psychological Self-Help

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forgetting is now called dissociation (Freud called it repression). In
addition, memories very often become distorted over time; a house we
remember as big seems small to us as adults; bad memories may
become more pleasant; and good or normal events can be "awfulized."
Intensely unpleasant repressed emotions or memories, called
"flashbacks," sometimes keep erupting uncontrollably, set off by
Nightmares often occur after a trauma; pessimism may develop;
victims may expect the trauma or some other disaster to happen
again, including their own death. Of course, most children will avoid
any reminders of the trauma. Many times the child appears
emotionally numb, as though he/she has no feelings. Sometimes,
though, children have a need to re-enact the trauma situation over
and over in play. They may try to get the story to end differently. 
The self seems, on rare occasions, to try to reduce the internal
stress and/or shame arising from certain trauma by doing some self-
destructive things, such as self-blaming, even self-injuring, feeling
helpless or depressed, using alcohol or drugs, etc. Finally, the effects
of trauma can have huge, sometimes strange, impact on our
interpersonal relationships, including unconsciously repeating an
aspect of the trauma over and over in other relationships (e.g. being
abandoned), bonding with an abuser, or becoming over-dependent,
withdrawn, distrustful, vulnerable, controlling, or hostile. Allen (1995)
provides a good insight-oriented summary of these possible
consequences of trauma. 
The two most common diagnoses associated with serious traumas
are Post-traumatic Stress Disorders (PTSD) and Dissociative Identity
Disorders (DID). PTSD has serious impact on your life, usually in three
major symptom areas: hyperexcitability (anxiety and over-responding
to stimuli), reexperiencing (flashbacks and nightmares), and social
withdrawal or emotional remoteness (numbing). Thus, it has
similarities with the "shell shock" of W.W.I and the "combat fatigue" of
W.W.II. About 30% of Vietnam veterans have suffered PTSD at some
time after the war. About 45% of rape victims still have PTSD
symptoms after three months and are in danger of the symptoms
becoming chronic. PTSD often combines with other psychiatric
disorders that frequently follow overwhelming trauma, such as anxiety
and panic, depression, addictions, psychosomatic and personality or
adjustment problems (Allen, 1995). It is important to note, however,
that PTSD, DID, and other lasting emotional reactions are not
inevitable following horrendous trauma. Some very strong, healthy,
resilient people were terribly abused as children. We know very little,
thus far, about why some survive, even thrive, and why some continue
to suffer. 
The DID reaction is characterized by detaching (forgetting) a part
of one's experience, usually a very stressful series of events, from the
center of one's awareness. Often the traumatic childhood experience
involves sadistic, bizarre or sexual mistreatment by a parent or
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