Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Family Estrangement PTSD Syndrome

Image stolen [from here]

The definition of PTSD is at bottom of post. A child, teenager, and/or adult estranged from family, having strained relations with a family member or members, or the odd man, or woman, out, can have their daily routines, self-worth, work ethic, goals, ability to be intimate with a significant other, and pursuit of happiness all thrown off kilter with strained family relations or in having the lack thereof. So, many have undiagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to family estrangement and/or having strained family relations.

[click here] for:

The Spurned Child Syndrome

"Having no desire to seek the parent's approval, goes the longest way to healing. Tune out, the endless tape of abuse of parent statements, remembering physical and emotional trauma, and do what you can not to suffer PTSD symptoms. Figure it is the parent's mental health problem, and condition, not yours."

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The below [found here]

Edgar Allan Poe:

The Man in the Crowd

Drug addict, alcoholic, suicidal, and insane; none of these are the words that come to mind when you think of great minds of our time. However, one poet fits all of these categories. The author of hailed literary works such as "The Raven," and the short story, "The Fall of the House of Usher," Edgar Allan Poe had many mental and personal problems throughout his life. His poems reflect his emotions toward the events of his life. For example, his feelings of isolation from family and peers appear in the poem "Alone," and many of his poems, such as "To Helen," and "Annabel Lee," are about the women he loved. One poem stands out, as a tribute to the melancholy that accompanied him throughout his days; the poem "A Dream" speaks of lost love, forgotten happiness, hope, and a cruel awakening to the real world. Poe’s writing exemplifies his brilliant imagination through metaphors that describe his life.

Poe’s early life had much influence on his writing and adult character. His parents died when he was three and the Allan family raised him; he took Allan as his middle name as a demonstration of gratitude. At first regarded as their adopted son and heir, Poe’s life with the Allans was a pleasant one. He attended Manor School at Stoke, Newington, and later the University of Virginia. Mrs. Allan felt affection for her adopted son, but he was never legally accepted into the family. In this happy home, however, there were drawbacks. John Allan, his substitute father, did not approve of Poe’s fondness for writing. Ignored by Allan during his time at the University of Virginia, Poe began to drink and gamble heavily. This had a disastrous effect on his previously brilliant academics and reputation. Upon discovering Poe’s inadequacies, Allan refused to allow him to return to school. Their relationship ended over an argument when Allan attempted to force Poe to study law rather than poetry, and the optimistic young man headed north to further his literary career, with secret financial help from Mrs. Allan. Forced now to live off his own skills, Poe worked for Boston newspapers, and various magazines. Over the next few years, Poe did clerical work in the army and partially amended his relationship with his "foster-father." In these years, Mrs. Allan died and despite urgent requests to Mr. Allan, the brokenhearted Poe was not allowed to visit until after she was buried. Formally disowned by his surrogate father a few years later, Poe went to New York to advance his writing career.

His first notable success was winning a newspaper contest with a prize of $50 for the best short story in October 1833. With great financial assistance from John P. Kennedy, Poe became internationally famous for his poems and short stories. He married his 13-year-old cousin, Virginia Clemms in 1835 or 1836. To Poe’s despair, his bride died at 24 from a burst blood vessel. His poem, "Annabel Lee" portrays his grief. Virginia’s death increased the problems Poe had had since his teenage years: alcoholism, drug addiction, and depression. Poe’s life began to go downhill. He continued to battle suicidal melancholy, attempting to kill himself in 1849. The brilliant, if eccentric poet’s discontented life ended from "acute congestion of the brain;" Poe was found in a delirious condition in a gutter on the streets of Baltimore. Four days later, the desolate man had gone to his grave.

Edgar Allan Poe made many contributions to the world of literature and poetry. The academy of American poets says, "Poe's work as an editor, a poet, and a critic had a profound impact on American and international literature" ( He was the first true writer of thriller and horror stories, with tales such as "The Cask of Amontillado." His clever mind dramatically altered detective stories, he took the writing of short stories from a mere profession to an art, and he was a brilliant poet. His fame was known through America, England, and France, with renowned works such as "The Raven," "The Bells," "The Purloined Letter," and countless others. Though a troubled individual, Poe’s effect on literature and poetry was mind-blowing. It is impossible to read a poem or story written by Edgar Allan Poe without being terrified, feeling great remorse for the characters, and noticing the breathtaking power with which Poe wields his words.

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The below from [found here]

Definition of Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder: A common anxiety disorder that develops after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Family members of victims also can develop the disorder. PTSD can occur in people of any age, including children and adolescents. More than twice as many women as men experience PTSD following exposure to trauma. Depression, alcohol or other substance abuse, or other anxiety disorders frequently co-occur with PTSD.

The diagnosis of PTSD requires that one or more symptoms from each of the following categories be present for at least a month and that symptom or symptoms must seriously interfere with leading a normal life:

  • Reliving the event through upsetting thoughts, nightmares or flashbacks, or having very strong mental and physical reactions if something reminds the person of the event.
  • Avoiding activities, thoughts, feelings or conversations that remind the person of the event; feeling numb to one's surroundings; or being unable to remember details of the event.
  • Having a loss of interest in important activities, feeling all alone, being unable to have normal emotions or feeling that there is nothing to look forward to in the future may also be experienced.
  • Feeling that one can never relax and must be on guard all the time to protect oneself, trouble sleeping, feeling irritable, overreacting when startled, angry outbursts or trouble concentrating.

Traumatic events that may trigger post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat. Among those who may experience PTSD are troops who served in the Vietnam and Gulf Wars; rescue workers involved in the aftermath of disasters like the terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, D.C.; survivors of the Oklahoma City bombing; survivors of accidents, rape, physical and sexual abuse, and other crimes; immigrants fleeing violence in their countries; survivors of the 1994 California earthquake, the 1997 North and South Dakota floods, and hurricanes Hugo and Andrew; and people who witness traumatic events.

Many people with PTSD repeatedly re-experience the ordeal in the form of flashback episodes, memories, nightmares, or frightening thoughts, especially when they are exposed to events or objects reminiscent of the trauma. Anniversaries of the event can also trigger symptoms. People with PTSD also experience emotional numbness and sleep disturbances, depression, anxiety, and irritability or outbursts of anger. Feelings of intense guilt are also common. Most people with PTSD try to avoid any reminders or thoughts of the ordeal. PTSD is diagnosed when symptoms last more than 1 month.

Physical symptoms such as headaches, gastrointestinal distress, immune system problems, dizziness, chest pain, or discomfort in other parts of the body are common in people with PTSD. Often, these symptoms may be treated without the recognition that they stem from an anxiety disorder.

Treatment may be through cognitive-behavioral therapy, group therapy, and/or exposure therapy, in which the person gradually and repeatedly re-lives the frightening experience under controlled conditions to help him or her work through the trauma. Several types of medication, particularly the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and other antidepressants, can also help relieve the symptoms of PTSD.

Giving people an opportunity to talk about their experiences very soon after a catastrophic event may reduce some of the symptoms of PTSD. A study of 12,000 school children who lived through a hurricane in Hawaii found that those who got counseling early on were doing much better 2 years later than those who did not.

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This blog was posted by Steven G. Erickson
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