PTSD: Trauma, Meaning and Malevolence

Dr. Nick Grey

Nick Grey (@nickdgrey) is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist, and Clinical Research and Training Fellow at Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and the University of Sussex.

His research interests are in the development and dissemination of cognitive-behavioural treatments for anxiety disorders and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). He is also a member of the Wellcome Trust Anxiety Disorders Group led by David Clark and Anke Ehlers.

He is the editor of “A Casebook of Cognitive Therapy for Traumatic Stress Reactions“, co-editor of “How to be a More Effective CBT Therapist“, and co-author of the forthcoming 3rd edition of the psychological self-help classic, “Manage Your Mind”.

In today’s episode we explore the definitions and subjective nature of “trauma”, why women are twice as likely to suffer with PTSD than men, the difference between a normal and disordered trauma response, what differentiates PTSD from other anxiety disorders, we discuss the nature of malevolence and why acts of evil are more likely to result in trauma than accidents and natural disasters, why narrative and meaning plays such an important role in a person’s recovery.

 

Related Links

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) – NHS Choices Summary

International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies – The largest professional organisation focused on traumatic stress

UK Psychological Trauma Society – UK version of ISTSS, includes listings of specialist UK trauma services

National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) – The NICE guidelines for PTSD provide a summary of PTSD assessment and treatment

National Center for PTSD – Program of the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs which maintains the free access Published International Literature on Traumatic Stress (PILOTS) database

PTSD Coach App – The PTSD Coach app can help you learn about and manage symptoms that often occur after trauma (iOS), (Android)

Book Recommendations

                                   

 

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Image courtesy: RANT 73

5 replies
  1. Susana
    Susana says:

    Hi Danny, excellent podcast. I was diagnosed with PTSD due to domestic violence we (my then kids and I) suffered. Unfortunately the diagnose was given 13 years late and provided just on paper with no explanation, indications or help. I agree with Dr. Grey’s statement about the importance of knowing what to expect. Recognising the effects when they may occur, opens doors to correcting and overcoming them. I also agree that reiteration and malevolence are key to PTSD. We separated after the physical violence but it was the years of violence implemented through continuous harassment (psychological) though divorced alteady, and economic and judicial violence, that caused the worst effects ie the malevolence deployed over 12 years. I recognize all the symptoms described by Dr. Grey, reliving inevitably triggers either when I hear about the topic of DV, photographs of those years, music we listened to, activities we had, places we went, etc all that relates to that long period makes me emotionally relive an evidently traumatic success of events. Once recognised I block it but the anguish was already triggered. The anguish with tears is inevitable and unfortunately all the indicated drugs cause me adverse effects. Therefore, I had to develop mechanisms of thought to overcome the effects. I had panic attacks that when the doctor called them by the name, ie when somebody helped me recognise them by their name (like Jesus to the demons) I was able to overcome them. Then I started suffering agorafobia, that as a symptom I recognised it by myself observation, and after recognising it and intimately understanding the reason why I am able to manage it. Thank you and Dr. Grey for bringing up this topic not many people understand. Susana (from Uruguay, South America)

    Reply
    • Danny Whittaker
      Danny Whittaker says:

      Hi Susana,

      Thank you for commenting. All the way from Uruguay as well, that’s amazing!

      Thank you for sharing your experience. I hear quite often that PTSD is diagnosed late in many people. I’m hoping that episodes like this might help people who may be suffering with PTSD without even knowing it to recognise their symptoms and realise that they don’t have to just live with it, and that there is help available.

      I do intend to do an episode on domestic violence at some point as well, so keep listening.

      Thanks again ~ Danny

      Reply
      • Anon
        Anon says:

        There is a writer called Lundy Bancroft, he is renowned by some to be the world’s leading expert on why people, particularly men, carry out domestic abuse. He has a book ‘Inside the Mind of Angry and Controlling Men’. He has studied the behaviour of thousands of men over many years in this respect. There are some examples of his work, lectures on YouTube too.

        Reply

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