Ptsd Book Report

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This paper examines the diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder as demonstrated by David Pelzer in his autobiographies A Child Called It and The Lost Boy, with a focus on the latter book. Dave is the son of alcoholic parents whose mother severely abused him while his father turned the other cheek. Dave has been subjected to torturous mind games, starvation, and physical abuse so horrendous that he is left scarred, bruised, and nearly dead. The staff at his elementary school eventually takes action and David is removed from his parents’ custody. From there, he spends his teenage years in various foster homes while he struggles with the emotional scars left by the trauma he endured. His search for answers to why he was treated this way and effort to understand the frightening nightmares and emotions he experiences becomes a long journey toward self-love and forgiveness. David meets the criteria for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder firstly because he has been exposed to a traumatic event in which he both experienced events that involved actual or threatened death or serious injury, or a threat to the physical integrity of himself and his response involved intense fear, helplessness, or horror. After being caught by his mother begging for food on the way to school because she was starving him, David’s mother decides to punish him by forcing him to swallow a spoonful of ammonia. David says that, “I could feel the force of my pounding fists weaken...The colors seemed to run together. I began to feel myself drift away. I knew I was going to die” (Pelzer, A 75). In addition to beating David on a regular basis and “accidentally” stabbing him, his mother would order him to clean the bathroom with a mixture of Clorox and ammonia, after which he says he “coughed up blood for over an hour” (Pelzer, A 109). David has illustrated a markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities at school, including difficulty concentrating, by the time he is removed...
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