How do I describe the effects of extreme psychological trauma on my protagonist?

Asked by: Erica Archer

How do you describe trauma in writing?

Show the characters processing their trauma and trying to resolve their issues. How do their brains connect the moment to reminders of the past? Give your characters a backstory, but don’t let the traumatic event dictate their entire lives. Real people never want to be defined by a single thing that happened.

How does experiencing trauma affect a person’s life?

For some people though, a traumatic event can lead to mental health issues such as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, anxiety, alcohol and drug use, as well as impacting on their relationships with family, friends, and at work.

How does trauma affect behavior?

Delayed responses to trauma can include persistent fatigue, sleep disorders, nightmares, fear of recurrence, anxiety focused on flashbacks, depression, and avoidance of emotions, sensations, or activities that are associated with the trauma, even remotely.

What are symptoms of emotional trauma?

Emotional Trauma Symptoms

Psychological Concerns: Anxiety and panic attacks, fear, anger, irritability, obsessions and compulsions, shock and disbelief, emotional numbing and detachment, depression, shame and guilt (especially if the person dealing with the trauma survived while others didn’t)

How do I tell my trauma story?

The first part of the trauma narrative is telling the facts about the experience. The second part involves re-telling about the trauma and adding thoughts and feelings. The final step is to discuss the worst moments, feelings and coming up with some conclusions.

How do you write a good character with PTSD?

Giving a character a trauma background, having them experience some kind of trauma, or having to live with and manage PTSD is something more and more writers are choosing for their stories.

  1. Know Which Kind of Memories Your Character Is Dealing With. …
  2. Choose Details That Are out of Place. …
  3. Use Flashbacks—Carefully.
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What are the 6 trauma responses?

In the most extreme situations, you might have lapses of memory or “lost time.” Schauer & Elbert (2010) refer to the stages of trauma responses as the 6 “F”s: Freeze, Flight, Fight, Fright, Flag, and Faint.

How does trauma affect a person’s mental health?

Trauma can affect how you feel about yourself and how you relate to others. Women who have gone through abuse or other trauma have a higher risk of developing a mental health condition, such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Trauma and abuse are never your fault.

What are the three stages of trauma?

The 3 Phases of Trauma Recovery

  • Phase 1: Safety and Stability. Your care team will discuss with you what your ongoing needs will look like after you’re discharged. …
  • Phase 2: Remembering and Grieving. …
  • Phase 3: Restoring Relationships.

What is considered psychological trauma?

Psychological, or emotional trauma, is damage or injury to the psyche after living through an extremely frightening or distressing event and may result in challenges in functioning or coping normally after the event.

What are the 5 signs of emotional suffering?

Know the 5 signs of Emotional Suffering

  • Personality change in a way that seems different for that person.
  • Agitation or displaying anger, anxiety or moodiness.
  • Withdrawal or isolation from others.
  • Poor self-care and perhaps engaging in risky behavior.
  • Hopelessness, or feelings of being overwhelmed and worthless.

How does psychological trauma affect the brain?

Living with traumatic stress can change the brain so much that daily life can feel like a challenge. High levels of stress hormones coupled with an overactive amygdala, a shrunken hippocampus, and less active prefrontal cortex can cause: Anxiety. Insomnia.

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Can trauma change your personality?

A person may experience a change in their demeanor after experiencing a traumatic situation or witnesses an unpleasant event. These behavioral changes may be caused by a mental health condition, such as: Anxiety: Anxiety occurs when a person feels nervous or uneasy about a situation.

What is complex trauma?

Complex trauma describes both children’s exposure to multiple traumatic events—often of an invasive, interpersonal nature—and the wide-ranging, long-term effects of this exposure. These events are severe and pervasive, such as abuse or profound neglect.

What effect does trauma have on memory?

Trauma can shutdown episodic memory and fragment the sequence of events. The hippocampus is responsible for creating and recalling episodic memory. Trauma can prevent information (like words, images, sounds, etc.) from differ- ent parts of the brain from combining to make a semantic memory.

What is trauma blocking?

Trauma blocking is an effort to block out and overwhelm residual painful feelings due to trauma. You may ask “What does trauma blocking behavior look like? · Trauma blocking is excessive use of social media and compulsive mindless scrolling.

Can trauma block out memories?

According to McLaughlin, if the brain registers an overwhelming trauma, then it can essentially block that memory in a process called dissociation — or detachment from reality.

Can psychological trauma cause memory loss?

Physical, emotional, and psychological trauma can all play a factor with memory loss. You can experience permanent or temporary memory loss depending on the type of trauma.

What is dissociative memory?

Dissociative amnesia is a condition in which a person cannot remember important information about their life. This forgetting may be limited to certain specific areas (thematic), or may include much of the person’s life history and/or identity (general).

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What is Dissociative fugue?

Dissociative fugue is a symptom where a person with memory loss travels or wanders. That leaves the person in an unfamiliar setting with no memory of how they got there. This symptom usually happens with conditions caused by severe trauma.

What are the symptoms of dissociative fugue?

Symptoms of dissociative fugue might include the following:

  • Sudden and unplanned travel away from home.
  • Inability to recall past events or important information from the person’s life.
  • Confusion or loss of memory about their identity, possibly assuming a new identity to make up for the loss.

What is the difference between dissociation and psychosis?

The features that differentiate psychotic from dissociative voices include the qualities of the voices themselves, as well as other symptoms: for example, compared with dissociative voices, psychotic voices are accompanied by less sociability, more formal thought disorder, more negative symptoms including blunted

How do you describe dissociation?

Dissociation is a disconnection between a person’s thoughts, memories, feelings, actions or sense of who he or she is. This is a normal process that everyone has experienced.

What causes severe dissociation?

The disorders most often form in children subjected to long-term physical, sexual or emotional abuse or, less often, a home environment that’s frightening or highly unpredictable. The stress of war or natural disasters also can bring on dissociative disorders.

Which best describes someone with depersonalization?

Depersonalization can be defined as a feeling of unreality or detachment from oneself. Individuals describe this feeling as an out-of-body experience where you are an observer of your thoughts, feelings, and physical being.

What is PTSD dissociation?

Dissociation-a common feature of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)-involves disruptions in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity, and perception of the self and the environment.