Psychological Trauma And Child Trauma

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What is psychological trauma? Trauma is a term used in every day language to define a stressful event. Comprehending traumatic events, however, is concerned with the stress that overwhelms an individuals capability to cope with a particular event. As a result, a traumatic situation leads to psychological trauma in which the individual may feel physically, emotionally, and cognitively overwhelmed. As Blaum suggests, “Catastrophes such as the Holocaust and the World Wars involve shock, strain, and screen trauma, with cumulative individual and group traumatization” (Blum, 67). Proceeding the events, denial and shock are common responses from survivors. The term trauma has been explained as “an experience of hypnotic imitation and identification …show more content…
First, due to the fact that child survivors of the Holocaust learned from a young age that their future was shaped by external forces that they did not have control over, they have a “victim” mindset and a sense of helplessness in which they feel at the mercy of other individuals. The lack of trust and safety combined with powerlessness and fear “becomes a permanent learning experience that continues to limit their sense of independence and autonomy” (Kellerman 208). Second, child survivors struggled with the feeling of loneliness or abandonment that causes child survivors to feel as though they constantly need to try to prove their worth. Although an extensive period of time has passed, they feel that they must remain in hiding and are isolated from themselves or others. Their feeling of guilt for having to separate from their siblings and parents are combined with anger for not being protected properly. Third, many child survivors are still haunted by the early loss of their family and parents. Children were separated from their families by being handed over to convents or foster families. Others were sent away to distant countries, or separated from their parents and placed in concentration camps. Fourth, child survivors struggle with identity problems as they were forced to taken on a false identity in order to survive. Child survivors were exposed to “different socialization experience, which created at least identity confusion and at most a total repression of their earlier sense of self” (208). Fifth, the loss of childhood memories leads child survivors to search for something outside of themselves or within that can bring memories of the past as well as their parents. Child survivors “may look for preverbal signs, such as a familiar smell, a sound, or an image that can evoke some fragment of their mothers and fathers and original homes, to

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