Feelings of guilt exist when survivor is witness to others hurt or killed (vets, trauma—natural or man-made). Survivor guilt.
Survivor experiences feelings of shame & inferiority.
Above fosters withdrawal from close relationships—survivor may go between isolation & clinging to others.
Direct relationship between severity of trauma and its psychological impact.
Resilience matters: stress resistant individuals have high sociability (perhaps not in instances involving rape), thoughtful/active coping style, & strong perception of ability to control their destiny (internal locus of control).
Highly resilient people able to make use of opportunity for purposeful action w/others vs. being more easily paralyzed/isolated by terror.
Support essential, beginning w/building of trust (preserve attachment, assurance of safety & protection essential).
Survivors need support to mourn losses.
Social attitudes towards victims & vets impact recovery.
Repeated trauma occurs when victim is a prisoner, unable to flee, & under the control of the perpetrator (e.g., prisons, concentration camps, slave labor camps, religious cults, brothels, & families).
Political captivity recognized, while domestic captivity is frequently unseen.
Two steps in creating captive situations: 1) psychological domination, & 2) total surrender.
Systematic, repetitive infliction of psychological trauma.
Instill terror & fear, & destroy the victim's sense of self in relation to others.
Generally unnecessary to use violence—threat of death or serious harm sufficient, & threats against others as effective as threats against victim.
Destroy victim's sense of autonomy (create dependency financially and emotionally).
Isolate victim from information, material aid, or emotional support. Destruction of attachment with others and internal images of connection to others.
Occurs when victim forced to violate her own moral principles and to betray her basic human attachments (victim is truly broken).
Victim is forced to witness or participate in violence toward others, perhaps particularly someone close to them.
Two stages of brokenness: 1) victim relinquishes inner autonomy, world view, moral principles, or connection w/others for sake of survival (reversible), & 2) victim loses the will to live (irreversible).
Chronic Trauma Syndrome
Individuals subjected to prolonged, repeated trauma experience a form of PTSD that erodes the personality (Complex Trauma).
Continually hypervigilant, anxious, & agitated.
Intrusive symptoms may persist for years.
Constriction in relationships, activities, thoughts, memories, emotions, & sensations (adaptive in captivity, needs to be unlearned).
Complain of insomnia, agitation, & numerous somatic symptoms.
Alter consciousness through dissociation, suppression, minimization, & denial.
Perpetrator may be seen as savior or source of life.
New identity includes memory of trauma.
Preoccupation w/shame, self loathing and sense of failure.
PTSD and depression frequently co-exist.
Rage can become internalized with increase risk of self harm and suicidality, or external in form of abuse or homicide.