In the first chapter, Bessel explores how, “horrific experiences cause people to become hopelessly stuck in the past?” How do people What happens in people’s minds and brains that keeps them frozen, trapped in a place they desperately wish to escape? ( Bessel, p. 10)
Bessel talks about Tom’s case who was a war veteran and was having trouble in sleeping and other PTSD symptoms. When Bessel asked him to take medications and he didn’t take it, and Bessel asked him the reason for it, his reply was, “ I realized that if I take the pills and the nightmares go away… I will have abandoned my friends, and their deaths will have been in vain. I need to be a living memorial to my friends who died in Vietnam.” (p. 10)
Abram Kardiner spoke about the WW1 veterans experiences in his work, The traumatic neuroses of war (1941). He spoke about the same things Bessel was observing. PTSD “isn’t all in the head” it definitely has a physiological basis. (p. 11)
This book is a gold mine of information.
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Reference: van der Kolk, B. A. (2014). The body keeps the score: Brain, mind, and body in the healing of trauma. Viking.