Access denied: that is trauma (Part 1)

Access denied: that is trauma (Part 1)

"Access denied" translated to English means "access denied."

This phrase can often be seen on computer screens in thrillers and detective stories. And this wording better reflects the essence of psychological trauma.

The Greek word "trauma" means "wound".

Bodily injury violates the integrity of the organism.

Mental trauma destroys the integrity of the psyche.

Not to destroy the psyche isolates the traumatic experience. As it is isolated, it can not be experienced, "digested" so it changes the operation of the whole of the human psyche. Therefore man is unable to realize that he had received trauma. What is available to our consciousness, that we can call and remember - or did not have an injury in the true sense of the word, or made available as a result of treatment, care, in the experience.

Trauma - a void, a white spot on the ground memories; It is the word for what can not be represented. Therefore, in everyday language, people often referred to as the injury that it is not. That is, it can be a very difficult experience, painful, large-scale, but if we are able to understand it, to remember, be clear - psyche meaning was not hurt, she worked in a normal mode.

What is trauma? To understand this, we will make two steps:


  1. first look at the device psyche in a simplified form. Understanding how a healthy mind, we will understand how the injured;
  2. Then, armed with this knowledge, we analyze the trauma symptoms.

The main task of the mind is to create a representations, ie, mental models of various phenomena. In so doing, the psyche and shapes our inner world as a map or layout of reality, that is just what we encounter in life. Separate representation linked associative and semantic connections: one thing always reminds us of something else. Name any two arbitrarily distant from each other concepts, and if needed, you will be able to find a connection between them.

One day at a seminar, I asked:

what is common between a cat and a fridge, and some of the students said: "They may be milk!".

This is one example, but you can be sure that any two of our mind will associate the concept, that is its essence.

So, we now know that the mind consists of the elements - ideas, and they are linked. But as a way of presenting? Presentation - a treatment products mental processes of various phenomena.

TKak, for example, the primary plant material undergoes several processing stages - psyche and at different levels of process information.

  1. First, using sensation we obtain information on specific properties of objects.
  2. perception summarizes them, and we have the image of a single subject.
  3. Meeting with the subject and his peers many times, we form representation - so to speak, the general scheme of the subject. The presence of the general scheme allows us to understand the essence of the subject, those of his party, which are important for us.
  4. The representations we hold in memory, and we can refer to them whenever we need it.
  5. Having an idea, we can think, that is to put the image of the subject in the context of the urgent challenges of our time.
  6. And this image is connected (associated) with other images in various ways.


  • First, we meet with something that can feel as "small", "round", "smooth", "dark red", "sour".
  • At the level of perception - an image of berries such as cherries.
  • reviewing, touch, taste cherries, we can its Remember - save representation about it in the memory. Now we can find it in the store, to distinguish from the cherries.
  • And at the level of mind we know how cherries can satisfy your hunger with what products it will taste better if we have an allergy to it, how easy it is to crush it, if it is difficult to wash the juice. That is, we understand all about the cherries, we need, we will no longer be problems with it.
  • And we have association, such as: cherry - Grandma's garden; cherry - cherry; dress cherry, cherry blossoms in the yard.

Now, we present how the psyche.

Go to the notion of psychic trauma.

Acute trauma - an event that disrupts the integrity of the psyche, as superior to its ability to understand this event, to create his model.

There is an expression "to bite off a piece that can not swallow" - with the amendment that we have tried not to bite off a piece of this, just as life turned around. Therefore, what is a trauma for one, will not be for another injury. A striking example - how differently perceived by the same events in childhood and adulthood, when the mind is developed and strengthened.

The essence of a traumatic event that is beyond the scope of our understanding and thus calls into question everything that we still know about the world, counting on this knowledge.

As a result of injury to the basic trust has been lost world; at an unconscious level, the world is now perceived chaotic and deadly.

This is manifested in the symptoms of the experience and behavior of the injured person, which will be discussed below.

Traumatic events - is something that shocks and destroy basis of our confidence in ourselves and in the world, and therefore azrushaet sense of security.

The typical traumatic situations:

  • assault (robbery, assault and battery),
  • fighting,
  • natural disaster,
  • technological disaster (in t. H. Traffic accidents),
  • the hostage-taking,
  • rape,
  • physical injury in an accident.

For a very young child's injury may be a medical procedure as a painful invasion of the body, the meaning of which he does not understand. The thesis NL Vasilyeva described psychotherapeutic treatment of a boy who suffered from asthma psychosomatic origin. Asthma attacks reflect the way he was choking with fear and rage, when, as a year-old baby, was repeatedly subjected to the necessary but very painful massage.

What is important is that the traumatic event is not stored in the memory of man, like other memories. Flashback - product of normal functioning of the psyche, and the injury - it is just what violate its normal operation. If a person can describe in detail what happened that while he was thinking or feeling; If, telling about it, he expresses emotions - crying, sighing, shouting the words, but not said mechanical, passionless and not expresses feelings through the body (eg, choking or struggling in convulsions, It falls into a stupor) - that is, if it keeps the mind of the event and the actual emotional memory - then this experience, for all its tragedy and the scale is not an acute injury is not that damaged psyche.

Of course, there is in addition to an acute injury, such as the concept of chronic micro-traumas, as well as mediated injury, but they shall speak in other articles.

Now we can imagine the logic of psychic trauma, that is, to understand why its characteristic symptoms for her.

symptoms of trauma in the second part of the article.