Monday, April 25, 2016

Death of the soul!

“Silence=Death” was the slogan used by early campaigners for AIDS awareness. Silence about trauma also leads to death-the death of the soul” (Bessel Van Der Kolk).

I tried to visualise these powerful words and the images that appeared to me were of bodies contorted with pain, soul less eyes hankering for answers, minds twisted and fearful, sealed lips longing to give voice to the anguish that knows no boundaries between time, space and matter.

These images are personifications of ‘trauma’ that is neglected, untreated and unresolved… in short swept under the rug! I have written briefly about the etiology of trauma in one of my earlier blogs (What is trauma and what arttherapy can do for you), however I was once again reminded of the criticality of giving voice to the often suppressed severe mental or physical pain that may be caused by an event, whether done to you or done by you that would qualify as 'trauma' 

 What reminded me of the importance of communicating and validating ones emotions through external expression, be it words,  imagery or other creative means of communication, was my friends post on Facebook where she shared her 16 year old daughter Zoya's blog. In her blog Zoya writes openly about her debilitating illness, called Complex Regional Pain Syndrome or CRPS, from she has been suffering for the past three years. The brave teenager has done what many of us may never be able to do i.e. to talk unabashedly and honestly about her pain and suffering not only to help herself but also to help others in similar situations. I do not know how Zoya reached this amazing level of maturity and insight, what her process of dealing with her illness has been like, but what I do know is that at such a young age she has learnt the wisdom that evades many of us for our entire life span.  To read Zoya's blog go to:

Reasons for trauma can vary from something as common as bullying and neglect to abuse and rape, war, accident, disease, death and so on.  Life is full of traumas and everyday events that may be physically or mentally painful do not require specialist treatment. Resilient individuals can even cope with bigger traumas with the support of family and friends. However, when a trauma results in symptoms such as flashbacks, dissociation, numbing, relational difficulties and so on, then intervention is necessary. Last but not least, successful recovery from any kind of trauma is highly dependent upon support from relationships within family and/or friends.

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