A British university professor of psychology tells Salon that the definition of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) is too broad. Stephen Joseph disagrees with lumping more common human experiences like car crashes with experiences like “Vietnam or the Holocaust.”
In his new book, “What Doesn’t Kill Us,” the professor of psychology, health and social care at the University of Nottingham (in the U.K.) warns that our culture’s acceptance of PTSD has become excessive and has led to an over-medicalization of experiences that should be considered part of ordinary, normal, human experience. This has kept us from proactively working through our grief and anxiety: We’ve become too quick to go to the shrink expecting him to fix us, rather than allowing ourselves the opportunity to grow and find new meaning in our lives as a result of painful, but common, events.
Joseph acknowledged that that people can experience emotional pain because of a traumatic event and then go through “periods of avoidance and intrusion,” but he said that’s natural.
PTSD is when those experiences become so overwhelming that the person can’t function anymore –
Joseph advocates that people use their experiences of more common traumatic events as an opportunity to grow and prioritize their lives. You can read the full Salon interview with Joseph HERE.
Filed under: Health - Physical and Mental, PTSD | Tagged: Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, postaday2011, Posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD, Salon, Stephen Joseph, University of Nottingham |