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Rosnick, P. (2013). Mental Pain and Social Trauma. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 94(6):1200-1202.
(2013). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 94(6):1200-1202
Mental Pain and Social Trauma
“Society is only partially civilized,” Tomas Plaenkers stated to open this panel's exploration of trauma in all its shapes and shades: from exogenous to endogenous, from the horrific to the subtle, from cataclysmic to the quotidian. The speakers explored the sequelae that war, immigration, torture and other atrocities visit on the psyches of individuals, their families, and their offspring, often for generations, as well as the everyday trauma of living in the present.
With the use of brief and poignant clinical vignettes, Sverre Varvin portrayed the long-term impact that horrific social events can cause, well after the traumatic event, and often to the offspring of the traumatized individual; events such as deaths through genocide, war, civil war, state organized persecution; mass relocations either through internal displacement or forced evacuations to other countries; organized rape of women and men, torture, trafficking, economic warfare, hardship and deprivation.
Traumatic experiences interrupt the individual's capacity to contain into a meaningful narrative what happened, and thus “live in the psyche as dissociated states outside time, never experienced in an emotional meaningful way but lived as an ever present presence or a dreaded future”. Anticipating Akhtar's paper on immigrants, Varvin reported that persistent attacks against one's religious or ethnic or racial identity can disrupt the traumatized individual's capacity to restore intrapsychic cohesion through membership in their group.
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