The depth of trauma is something that permeates the core of those that have been impacted by its damage.
Trying to explain the depth of the impact of trauma is difficult to do. Severe trauma or PTSD can literally have such a strong interpersonal effect that it feels like the damage is irrecoverable. It can literally feel like your soul has been robbed of its power. Particularly in some of our veterans it often feels like they have lost themselves at their core.
I was sent this article in the New York Times by Columnist David Brooks that attempts to describe trauma as a spiritual void that deeply wounds an individual. This moral injury is life permeating. He quotes therapist Edward Tick in saying, “PTSD is best understood as a “soul wound, affecting the personality at the deepest levels.” The complexity of PTSD is deep and wide.
This article is worth reading and particularly insightful about this moral injury.
Whether it is childhood trauma or military trauma we must take seriously its implications and provide therapeutic interventions that are patient, process oriented and honors the complexity of this type of wounding. Some approaches are simply band aids to a serious wound and often there is little healing or hope for those who have had this depth of pain and angst. Still many of our military have few outlets for treatment at all and are attempting to live life in spite of all that has happened to them.
I appreciate the emphasis in this article. As we continue to develop interventions and therapy for these severely impacted individuals I hope we can bring some rest and peace to their antagonized souls.