A Psychiatrist’s View of Trauma
Q1: What is this article about and why do you think he wants us to read it? This article is about an 88 years old woman, who lost her second husband after four and half years. She must also heal from the traumatic memory of her first husband’s death, 60 years before, which was surfacing again in the context of Dr. Epstein’s father’s death.
This is a great article about feeling the loss of a loved one and trying to get over it. Dr. Epstein wants to put a perspective on how we need to face trauma correctly.
Q2: What is Dr. Epstein’s view of trauma?
From the dictionary, there are three parts of definition for the trauma; the first is a serious injury or shock to the body, as from violence or an accident. The second is an emotional wound or shock that creates substantial, lasting damage to the psychological development of a person, often leading to neurosis. The third is an event or situation that causes great distress and disruption. In “The Trauma of Being Alive”, Dr. Epstein’s view of trauma is the second and third parts of definition. In this article, Dr. Epstein’s mother has experienced two of traumatic losses, one was when she was mid-20s, when she lost her first husband; the other was when she lost her second husband 60 later. When Dr. Epstein wrote this article, it had been four and a half years after his father died, but his mother was still keep in a deep torment from the experience of loss.
Q3: Dr. Epstein describes a perception of “normal”. What is he referring to and how does this relate to grief? I think the perception of “normal” has two meanings. The first is that every one experiences loss. “Our world is unstable and unpredictable, and operates, to a great degree and despite incredible scientific advancement, outside our ability to control it” (Epstein, 2013). Trauma happens every day and no one can escape from trauma. This is first meaning of normal. The second is that everyone feels sadness...
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