- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: Basic Books (May 30, 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0465087302
- ISBN-13: 978-0465087303
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.2 x 8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (320 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Trauma and Recovery: The Aftermath of Violence--from Domestic Abuse to Political Terror
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From Publishers Weekly
Herman links the public traumas of society to those of domestic life in this provocative work of psychiatric theory.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"Herman links the public traumas of society to those of domestic life in this provocative work of psychiatric theory." ---Publishers Weekly --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Judith Herman writes this book with such love, and nurturing and caring. I read it very slowly, with a highlighter. I could only read it a bit at a time, to give myself time to process. The book helped me understand things that had been mysteries to me my entire life! I hadn't made the PTSD connection before. Life has a way of illuminating things. At first, I wanted to track Dr. Herman down and see her for a few sessions. Too bad I don't have that kind of money :-) I found a PTSD group via MeetUps, and started working with the therapist who runs it and offers a sliding scale. I'm an integrated and joyful person these days.
There is some political slant, but it is not the focus of the book. If you are serious about understanding trauma and people, this is an incredible book. I'm amazed how thorough it is. I'm amazed this much information can be in one book that is only 276 pages long and not a text book. It's well-written. There is some sophisticated vocabulary in it...Several times I had to look up words in my online dictionary to fully understand what the author is communicating. She is wonderfully gifted in her approach to this subject.
She starts with history, goes into trauma and various treatments. She delineates differences of acute trauma of a single event vs chronic traumas. She delineates further on how even just one good support can help someone with trauma, vs the results of someone experiencing trauma yet having no validating support. One of her key points is Chaper 6..."A New Diagnosis"... discussing that complaints of chronically traumatized people are not well-understood. For example:... "Survivors of child abuse who become patients appear with a bewildering array of symptoms....They may collect a virtual pharmacopeia of remedies: one for headaches, another for insomnia, another for anxiety, another for depression. None of these tends to work very well, since the underlying issues of trauma are not addressed".
She talks about getting the correct diagnosis. Investigating under the symptoms, thoroughly knowing the history. After that, the treatments are not just medication or psychotherapy. It's often both, but in a certain way... Safety first, then trauma work, then reconnection. It even goes into the strengths & support the therapist needs to treat people who have experienced trauma as well as details of individual vs group therapies. This book also discusses medications, but doesn't have a multitude of pages devoted to medications.
Please understand my description here is just a slight outline. Trauma and Recovery is an incredibly thorough and well-written work. It also includes many pages of its referenced sources.
The epilogue discusses many things including recent studies, advances and programs since the book was written 2 decades ago.
I highly recommend this book.
Based on my past experience with being let down, I had little faith this book would be able to explain what I have been going through for several years now, ESPECIALLY because it focuses on trauma related to rape, war, kidnapping. "Trauma and Recovery," however, explains trauma in a way that relates to EVERYONE and explains it in GREAT DETAIL. The detail and depth was beyond any hope I had or anything I could have imagined. It brought up points that I did not even consider, and thoughts that made me learn a great deal about my affliction. In fact, this book brought to light answers and closure for issues that I had tried to address with my $300/hr psychiatrist for the past 3 years. I thought to myself, "wtf?! what took my doctor so long and why has he been torturing me about this???!" Yes - this book WILL drum up emotions, and it did cost me plenty of tears and opening of wounds that were supposedly healed over, however, I definitely needed to understand the answers to these questions in order to move on.
This is an ideal book to have your family, spouse, significant other, or other supportive individual read. A great struggle for me, and one that has brought me much pain, is feeling as though I constantly have to explain myself and my actions/affliction to my family. They are actually the most supportive people anyone could ever hope for, yet they STILL can't understand what it is that I am going through or why I do the things I do. It is an awful feeling. I begged them to read this book, they didn't unfortunately, but I truly believe that if you love someone who is going through PTSD, depression/trauma/grief, you would show amazing support in reading this to help them.
In terms of what I have, and how this helped me.... I have experienced ups/downs, cycles of feeling great, then feeling terrible, not being able to get out of bed or my home for days even weeks, withdrawing socially, unable to work for several years, feeling unbelievably overwhelmed by the littlest of things, losing track of time, barely able to keep up with anything, uninterested in anything, no form of romantic relationships whatsoever, flashbacks to the event(s), extreme fatigue, uncontrollable sobbing, anxiety, hopelessness, chest pain, accelerated aging, feeling like something in me has permanently changed and I'm not "me", indifference, guilt. This is the foremost work in bringing to light the underlying cause(s) for these symptoms and why/how trauma affects us differently that just plain depression.
If you need this book, I send you my prayers and wish you the best in your or your loved one's recovery.