Posttraumatic Stress Disorder: Malady Or Myth?

Front Cover
Yale University Press, 2007 - Psychology - 271 pages

As more individuals bear witness to terrorist attacks, school shootings, or assaults, there has been an increase in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a diagnosis that has generated controversy since its genesis during the Vietnam War. Is PTSD real or is it a modern myth? Is the counseling of its victims valuable or possibly harmful? Are the memories of childhood trauma uncovered by many people valid or are they unwitting fabrications?
In this groundbreaking book, Chris Brewin, an internationally recognized expert on trauma, presents recent research on PTSD, memory, and neuroscience and offers a powerful new theory to explain conflicting findings about the nature and treatment of traumatic stress.
At the core of the book is an analysis of how the impact of trauma affects memory and identity. Overwhelming stress can lead to a condition in which survivors are lost for words to describe what has happened to them but still experience vivid and inescapable images. Trauma also has the ability to bring about profound changes in identity and block normal mechanisms for correcting abnormal memory. Building on this analysis, Brewin explains why some interventions work and others are ineffective, and what could and should be done to help survivors.

 

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Contents

Saviors and Skeptics
1
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Discovery or Invention?
23
Is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Caused by Trauma?
44
A Crisis of Identity
63
The Puzzle of Emotional Memory
88
Trauma Memory and the Brain
104
Myths Memory Wars and Witchhunts
128
The Return of Repression?
152
More Battlegrounds Preventing and Treating PTSD
180
Ancient Malady or Modern Myth?
208
Notes
225
References
237
Index
263
Copyright

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About the author (2007)

Chris R. Brewin is professor of clinical psychology, University College London. He also participates in the clinical service provided by the Traumatic Stress Clinic, where he specializes in the treatment of PTSD.

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