Presentation on theme: "REACTION TO TRAUMA: MYTHS AND REALITIES Professor David A Alexander MA(Hons), C.Psychol, PhD, FBPS, FRSM, (Hon) FRCPsych Aberdeen Centre for Trauma Research."— Presentation transcript:
REACTION TO TRAUMA: MYTHS AND REALITIES Professor David A Alexander MA(Hons), C.Psychol, PhD, FBPS, FRSM, (Hon) FRCPsych Aberdeen Centre for Trauma Research
“Oh, give me a home, where the buffalo roam...”
“Bummer of a birthmark, Hal."
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Primary features are: experience of an abnormally stressful event persistent re-experiencing of that event persistent avoidance of reminders persistent hyperarousal (hypervigilance) NB:Symptoms must have lasted for 1 month
10% of all deaths in UK leading cause of death in young people for every death two permanently disabled high economic cost ‘The trauma epidemic’
How common are post- traumatic conditions? Best estimates (Alexander, 1997) Burn injuries-45% RTAs-18% Industrial accidents-18% Major disasters-50% Rape -50%
HOW DO PEOPLE REACT AFTER TRAUMA?
Individual reactions Emotional Cognitive Social Physical
Individual reactions Emotional Numbness Fear Depression Guilt Anger Helpless
Individual reactions Cognitive False beliefs Loss of faith Memory/ concentration Flashbacks
Individual reactions Social Avoidance Irritability Withdrawal
At risk factors include... Trauma sudden, unexpected man made (perceived) threat to life extended exposure multiple deaths/mutilations Survivor previous trauma psychiatric history severity (meaning) of injury lack of support other stresses
Phases of Response to Major Trauma Warning Impact “Honeymoon” Level of Adjustment TimeWeeksMonths Previous Level of Adjustment (Raphael  “When disaster strikes”) Disillusionmen t Enhanced Community and Individual Adjustment “Second Disaster”