In my previous post I had quoted Van der Kolk. But does everyone respond to traumatic events in a similar fashion? The obvious answer is no. And that is the beauty of us Human Beings. Naturally then, one would think of ‘resilience’ factors (what keeps people going without succumbing to trauma), factors related to the intensity & the nature of trauma and equally the duration of the trauma. And since there are always two poles in virtually any concept we may think of in life, there are certain ‘vulnerability’ factors for the nature and degree of response to trauma. From a medico- legal standpoint, our justice system and our society have an equally important role to play in terms of legitimising trauma victims and providing supportive frameworks to deal with clinical and legal issues related to trauma and it’s consequences.

In this little introduction, allow me to restrict myself to a list of Psychiatric sequalae of trauma-

– Initial shock phase
– Delayed shock
– Anger and frustration
– Adaptation reactions- adjustment, reliving the trauma, processing by the brain to establish a meaning of the trauma in our lives to name a few.
– Normality and being back to routine functions
– Psychiatric Syndromes- Adjustment Disorder, Travel Anxieties, Exacerbations of pre- existing conditions, PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder), Substance Misuse (resorting to drug or alcohol misuse or an exacerbation of pre- existing misuse/dependence).

As a Tier 1 Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL Expert) dealing with psychological trauma and its consequences is a regular part of my medico- legal work. I will cover these issues in more detail in subsequent posts.