- Paperback: 250 pages
- Publisher: The Haworth Medical Press; 1 edition (April 15, 2001)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0789012464
- ISBN-13: 978-0789012463
- Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.8 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 39 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #658,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease 1st Edition
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REMARKABLE . . . provides clinically relevant descriptions of the mind/body dysfunctions of both the central and autonomic nervous systems of traumatized patients. Even more than a comprehensive overview, the author presents an integrated neuropsychobiological model of the underlying mechanisms of trauma pathology, which he demonstrates in numerous case histories and applies to various trauma therapies. A CREATIVE, CUTTING-EDGE WORK -- Allan N. Schore, PhD, Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of California at Los Angeles School of Medicine --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Robert C. Scaer, MD, received his BA in Psychology, and his MD degree at the University of Rochester. He is Board Certified in Neurology, and has been in practice for 36 years, twenty of those as Medical Director of Rehabilitation Services at the Mapleton Center in Boulder, CO. His primary areas of interest and expertise have been in the fields of traumatic brain injury and chronic pain, and more recently in the study of traumatic stress and its role in physical and emotional symptoms, and in diseases. He has lectured extensively on these topics, and has published several articles on posttraumatic stress disorder, the whiplash syndrome, and other somatic syndromes of traumatic stress. His books include The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease, which presented a new theory of dissociation and its role in many diseases, and The Trauma Spectrum: Hidden Wounds and Human Resiliency, which addressed the broad and relatively unappreciated spectrum of cultural and societal trauma that shapes every aspect of our lives. He is currently retired from clinical medical practice, and continues to pursue a career in writing and lecturing in the field of traumatology. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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EDIT October 2012: I have just read the authors other book The Trauma Spectrum: Hidden Wounds and Human Resiliency and I saw that he does there get into the 'little traumas' of parenting and social interaction. Because the second edition of this book bears a later copyright than Trauma Spectrum I had assumed there would be nothing in Spectrum that was not here also. I was wrong, read both books.
Dr. Scaer is a physician but not a psychiatrist, which gives him the distinct advantage of being able to review the relevant mental health literature from the standpoint of another specialty. A neurologist with an obvious command of neuroanatomy and physiology and all of the abnormalities that developmental and accidental trauma produce, he can write compellingly to make the case, which I believe most physicians do not appreciate, that trauma is not universally perceived. The response to trauma depends upon its meaning to the victim and his or her sense of helplessness in a perceived life-threatening situation. It's like the lion chasing the antelope--the same physiological reactions are occurring--the pupils are dilated, the muscles are pumping, the adrenaline and cortisol are high--but the meaning to the lion is lunch and to the antelope it is survival.
Dr. Scaer has drawn the same link to whiplash and other disease of traumatic stress, and leads the reader through the relevant physiology, trauma and attunement theory, and the way traumatic reactions manifest themselves in a variety of common diseases. As a hand surgeon for many years, I saw the effects of trauma--dissociation, re-experiencing, and avoidance--displayed in many injured, depressed, and angry patients suffering from what is now called "complex regional pain syndrome" and struggled to treat it. All hand surgeons knew that these patients were "difficult", but even now more of them should read Dr. Scaer's work. "Tormented" would be a more accurate term.
The third edition is significantly improved and elaborated over the second, which itself was exceptional. I have read every word of both. There are new chapters on bonding and attunement. The whole text is more "dense", literature references updated and exhaustive. Yet somehow it is still smooth reading for a relative novice to the field. That is the author's skill.
Dr. Scaer seems aware that not all allopathic physicians will subscribe to his ideas, but in my opinion they should. These patients have lifelong afflictions that they did not cause, and until some compassionate physician recognizes it, too many will be discounted as "crazy." They deserve better, and it is pioneers like Dr. Scaer who will educate all of us.
I started reading this book after my Mother died. I wanted to understand why this extraordinary woman stayed with a man who was so emotionally neglectful and abusive. She died a shadow of who she was - why, what happened? Understanding how long term stress affects the physiology of the brain has been huge for me in reconnecting with her, forgiving her, and appreciating who she was, her strengths. I am deeply grateful for this book.
It also helps me understand the men and women I meet who seem to be giving away their power. I find I am more compassionate. I am curious, too, what these insights may mean for the neurologically oversensitive (Asperger's, autism, etc.).