Monday, June 23, 2003

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - Jewish Survivors of Sex Crimes

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Jewish Survivors of Sex Crimes

Every time I close the door on reality it comes in through the windows
–– Jennifer Unlimited


Developing PTSD is directly related to the amount of trauma that you experience as was shown in the National Vietnam Veterans Readjustment Study. PTSD is also affected by the meaning (or meaninglessness) of the events to the traumatized person. PTSD is worse when betrayal is involved. Human cruelty and neglect also increase its severity. Most people with PTSD do not know they have it, so they may use compulsive behavior to help them stay numb, everything from alcoholism to workaholism.

PTSD symptoms can occur for the first time, or reoccur, when you are triggered or re-triggered by personal stress, another trauma, or by events that remind you of the trauma. (Why the Gulf War was so hard on so many veterans.) If you thought you were over your PTSD, this doesn't mean your previous therapy didn't work, but that what worked then will work again. Traumatic events can't be erased, so, in that sense, PTSD can't be cured, but it can be helped. People with PTSD can live sane and happy lives. If they get re-triggered, they can find more help.

The symptoms of PTSD make sense as survivor skills in the context of trauma: get numb and you'll survive. Become extremely alert and you'll survive. Such survivor skills can, with the passage of time, become your biggest problems, but it is hard to let go of them because they kept you alive, not because you are weak or wicked or dumb.  

–– Patience Mason, Editor; The Post-Traumatic Gazette Newsletter


Disclaimer: Inclusion in this website does not constitute a recommendation or endorsement. Individuals must decide for themselves if the resources meet their own personal needs.

  1. Jewish Resources
    • Hebrew E-group for survivors of childhood Trauma A new e-discussion group was started this August in Israel (in Hebrew) for survivors of childhood trauma.  Prof. Eli Somer of the University of Haifa School of Social Work, along with those in Maytal, the Israel Institute for Treatment & Study of Stress, are involved with the list.
    • Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma The psychologists of the Israel Center for the Treatment of Psychotrauma utilize innovative methods of therapy. The first goal is to get the traumatized person back in control of his body, his reaction and his mind. The techniques emphasize the close relation between body and mind, and teach the patient to calm himself. Once the patient is in control, the therapist brings him back to the traumatic event, in order to process and come to terms with what happened.
    • Jewish Bereavment Project  Judaism embraces all of life and accepts death as a part of life. At the same time, Jewish tradition understands that we are never prepared to lose someone we love."* The Jewish Bereavement Project has been designed to provide information to help you, or someone you care for, find a way through the journey of mourning.
    • Holocaust Survivors
  2. Secular Resources
    1. Trauma & Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
    2. David Baldwin's Trauma Information Pages  These Trauma Pages focus primarily on emotional trauma and traumatic stress, including PTSD (Post-traumatic Stress Disorder), whether following individual traumatic experience(s) or a large-scale disaster. The purpose of this award winning site is to provide information for clinicians and researchers in the traumatic-stress field. Specifically, my interests here include both clinical and research aspects of trauma responses and their resolution.
    3. Gift From Within  A private, non-profit organization dedicated to those who suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), those at risk for PTSD, and those who care for traumatized individuals.
    4. National Center for Victims of Crime  Clearinghouse of infomation on Victimization.
    5. National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse  Welcome to the National Mental Health Consumers' Self-Help Clearinghouse, a consumer-run national technical assistance center serving the mental health consumer movement. We help connect individuals to self-help and advocacy resources, and we offer expertise to self-help groups and other peer-run services for mental health consumers.
    6. National Center for PTSD The National Center for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was created within the Department of Veterans Affairs in 1989, in response to a Congressional mandate to address the needs of veterans with military-related PTSD. Its mission was, and remains: To advance the clinical care and social welfare of America's veterans through research, education, and training in the science, diagnosis, and treatment of PTSD and stress-related disorders. This website is provided as an educational resource concerning PTSD and other enduring consequences of traumatic stress.
    7. Post Traumatic Gazette Trauma and PTSD Page  Mission is to ensure that other people never have to be alone with the pain of PTSD, struggling to heal without help or support.


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