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Kelly Vasquez

Mrs. Thomas

UWRT 1104

19 March 2020

Synthesis

In my inquiry process on the effects of not seeking help after a traumatic event, the

sources included discuss the effects of trauma, ways to cope, the tolls that it takes on the people

around them and differences between reactions to trauma. The first source that I decided to use

was “Exposure to Trauma Can Affect Brain Function in Healthy People Several Years after

Event.” written by the American Psychological Association. The American Psychological

Association is one of the largest scientific and professional organizations of psychologists in the

United States, including scientists, educators, clinicians, consultants, and students allowing for

information to be peer reviewed. The point of the article is to state that even though people may

have gone through a traumatic event it takes years for symptoms of distress to appear. According

to the American Psychological Association, “Exposure to trauma may create enough changes in

the brain to sensitize people to overreact to an innocuous facial gesture years later, even in

people who don't have a stress-related disorder”. Another article that agreed with the statements

made by the American Psychological Association was chapter 3 “Understanding the Impact of

Trauma.” written by the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.

“Understanding the Impact of Trauma.” was published by the National Center of

Biotechnical Information. This source is part of the United States National Library of Medicine

(NLM), which is a branch of the NIH, National Institution of Health, a government accredited

institution. This source included a lot of information, referring to many different aspects of
trauma. Like the article “Exposure to Trauma Can Affect Brain Function in Healthy People

Several Years after Event.”, this article also stated that not everyone who has gone through a

traumatic event develops a clinical disorder rather some decide to take an extra initiative to

reflect on their lives. Such activities include having close relationships with family, increased

sense of purpose and the want to give out to the community.

Signe Hjelen Stige and her colleagues made a study regarding the amount of people who

self-initiate help seeking compared to those people who received help due to other people

initiating the help seeking process for them. In the “The Process Leading to Help Seeking

Following Childhood Trauma.”. They found a whole model that demonstrates the process of

how someone self initiated the want to look for help.It all starts with the trauma, which then

leads to the person who suffered from the trauma to seek help in their own way. Such ways

including, keeping trauma history and symptoms at a tolerable distance, hiding trauma history

from others and contributing and helping others. If the manners that they found did not help them

with their trauma it would lead to them encountering situational demands that exceed their

available resources, leading them to lose control of their lives leading them to “the end of the

rope” finally allowing themselves to go out of their way towards seeking help. This article

explained the process of what goes inside some peoples head as they start realizing that on their

own they are not able to handle all the stress that they are feeling.

The Center for Disease and Control Prevention, is the leading national public health

institute of the United States that works to help protect the public health, and prevent any disease

that may affect the population. They published the article “Helping Patients Cope With A

Traumatic Event.”, which touches on way’s the people around a person that has suffered a

traumatic event can help that person find ways to cope through their stress without being alone.
Like my other sources, this source also explains that some people may suffer from shock, or a

rollercoaster of emotions after a traumatic event and others are prone to developing sustained and

long-term reactions to a traumatic event including depression or anxiety. However other people

can help by providing emotional support and listening to the affected person. They must be able

to validate the person's emotions, be able to communicate to them, tell the affected person that

what they are feeling is completely normal and that they need to continue with their life as

normal as they can.

Compared to my other sources, there was one source that did not agree with the ways to

help someone who has gone through a traumatic event. Adena B Lees, a licensed clinical social

worker, an internationally certified alcohol and drug abuse Counselor, a board certified expert in

traumatic stress, and a certified psychodrama practitioner, that has provided more than 1,000

workshops for professionals and has more than 25 years of experience. She states that talking

about one's traumatic event isn’t always helpful and it doesn’t always work for everyone.

According to her, Psychodrama is the best choice in treating trauma, in such a way that it targets

the specific area in the brain that is affected while the trauma is taking place. The article states

that during a traumatic event the part of the brain that is being affected is the limbic system, it is

where the trauma is processed and stored. Lee includes that psychodrama is a type of therapy

that is action-based, held in group settings and helps people feel less isolated, it helps provide a

safe and supportive environment.

Although my sources have some differences they also have a lot of similarities within

each other. They also have different varieties of information that will help a lot with finding

different ways to write my paper. I feel that they are all going to work well with each other to

provide a strong and supported paper.