Thursday, October 10, 2019

Trauma affects the entire person


This is not an easy subject for the layperson to tackle. However, Bessel van der Kolk helps us understand the actual truth of trauma and how to deal with it in The Body Keeps the Score.

Quite frankly, as I write this, I realize. I need a break!

When recommending 100 nonfiction books, I am announcing a one-week break from the project with this my 69th book. I think the problem is that in this "grab bag" category, we had some seriously heavy books. Lost Connections focuses on depression. The Rules Do Not Apply is emotionally taxing, and I'm only a human. We're taking a one-week break after this category in a couple days.

So, The Body Keeps the Score: Brain, Mind, and Body in the Healing of Trauma (2014) dispels myths about trauma, and it also offers various actions needed to work through trauma. It is aligned with Lost Connections in the fact that it absolutely does not see pharmaceuticals as the answer. Rather, we need to focus on ways to help our mind and body.

Trauma changes our brains, and through Van der Kolk's life of research and treatment, he has discovered that a full body treatment, such as yoga, role play, mediation and dancing, is crucial for development post-trauma.
I must say that when it comes to war veterans, rape and incest survivors, that my trauma is not as obvious or perhaps as painful. However, I have been through some traumatic events, and I do not wish to diminish them or even get into them.

My concern is that we live in such an escapist culture that we never really develop the skills to deal with potential trauma. Just like the health-care system, we do things retroactively. While I give a major shout-out to The Body Keeps the Score, I am hoping that we develop holistically before a potential trauma occurs. That way, our bodies and lives could recover quicker than if we were not proactive.

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