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Too Scared To Cry: Psychic Trauma In Childhood Paperback – June 24, 1992
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When children witness or experience sudden, shocking events, how do they assimilate the horror? Terr found they don't simply forget and grow up unscathed. Evidence proves the trauma is recorded and repeatedly replayed by the mind. That these recurring images manifest themselves in different guises is especially intriguing in light of her speculation about repressed trauma in the work of Hitchcock, Stephen King and others. The stories here will break your heart, but Terr's advice for aiding traumatized children can help counter the blows of a violent world.
From Publishers Weekly
Terr, child psychiatrist at the University of California School of Medicine in San Francisco, explores the dire effects of childhood trauma, defined here as "a single overwhelming experience or a series of overwhelming ordeals." She focuses on the 1976 abduction of a group of children in Chowchilla, a California farm town, who were seized from a bus as they were returning from day camp. The author, who interviewed the victims soon after their release from the abandoned rock quarry where they were buried, and who continues to make periodic assessments of the children, analyzes their attendant losses in cognitive and emotive function. Expanding on her Chowchilla research, Terr discusses post-traumatic behavior patterns she discerns in the works of writers such as Poe, Hawthorne and Stephen King, and in the films of Ingmar Bergman. Written in an anecdotal format, the book is penetrating and illuminating.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Peter A. Levine Ph.D.-Author of Waking the Tiger, Healing Trauma."
Here are a few of the things I learned from reading:
Traumatic memories aren't well formed if they occurred before 28 months old. The kids still remember the trauma, and they are still troubled by it, but the memories are very vague. - p. 181
Memories are not as vivid if it was a repeated trauma. One time events stick in the mind more than repeated traumas. Details get confused and forgotten if it was repeated over and over again- p. 183
A sense of a limited future is a good indicator of childhood psychic trauma. The victims either don’t expect to live, expect to live alone, or they make mental plans without any physical action to make them happen. - p. 165
A useful trauma question: "What's the worst, the scariest thing that's ever happened to you?" - p. 180
There are four key repetitions that occur in childhood psychic trauma:
Dreams, Play, Reenactment, and Visualization - p. 279
After childhood trauma – usually grades do not go down. They hold steady where they were before the trauma. Good grades don’t mean that the victim is “fine”– p. 293
She presents her findings in such a way that it is enjoyable to read, while at the same time it is very disturbing that these atrocious acts occur in any society, much less in our own neighborhoods.
The section of the book that I remember most vividly is how behaviour is changed after the traumatic event. She gives many insights as to how to recognize these behaviours in both children and adults. Because she uses many celebreties (authors, film makers, etc.), the behaviours that she is describing are that much easier to comprehend.
I think that raising the awareness of people that deal with children on a daily basis is a very important cause, that should be much higher on our priority lists than it is.