“Brain volume, connectivity and neuropsychological performance in mild traumatic brain injury: the impact of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms”

The main purpose of the study is to prove that patients with mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) and post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) perform poorly on learning and executive function tasks. In addition to the appearance of brain volume abnormalities, which affects the long-term memory and attention. The study’s hypothesis has proved accuracy and reliability, supported the proof of another study, suggesting that patients with mTBI/PTSD and PTSD group have more difficulties in attention, memory and executive functioning tasks than patients with mTBI only. In addition to confirming the study’s hypothesis regarding the poor performance of subjects with mTBI/PTSD, such as their deficits in verbal fluency tasks. Eventually, it emphasizes on the use of neuropsychological tests in that help in diagnosing cases with patients with moderate or sever TBI that might be followed by a sustaining PTSD. It helps in assigning a treatment plan in early stage that is more effective as well, when detecting the biomarkers of the disorders, as well as focusing on treating mTBI patients from memory deficits and PTSD patients with attention problems.

The poster displays the hypothesis, study conducted, neuroimaging techniques used, results, discussion and limitation of the article as well.

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Empathy without exceptions

In the beginning of the course, I was worried about what i will learn. I thought the course will be tackling torture issues, as it did, but in a way that focuses on treatment and therapy solely. However, i was glad and enthusiastic when i was presented to know more about the survivors and surprisingly the perpetrator as well. It is not a common attitude that people usually emphasize with the abuser, killer or raper. This course has changed the way I perceive people.

It is not only reflected on the way I emphasize or try to look for the reasons and the circumstances whether psychological, behavioural or environmental thresholds that triggered the perpetrator’s anger. It is not usual that I try to justify others aggressive behaviour when dealing with others or even my parents anger at me sometimes.

empathy_romania.jpgHowever, I found myself during taking that course that I am trying to calm down during an argument with my parents or even friends and thinking of some reasons that might be contributing to their anger. For instance, today is the day when Egypt’s Air plane disappeared with 66 passengers on board. I don’t know any of the passengers on the plane, but i have a huge feeling of sadness, empathy and worry about those people without knowing the reason for my feeling towards them. I believe that before that course, I wouldn’t have felt the same; I will be sad for the people but i would soon forget about it. It might be because i am thinking of their families and their psychological being when they know about the plane. In addition to learning about shared trauma and secondary trauma. I am not on the plane, but my parents are in Paris today are supposed to depart tomorrow from Paris to come to Egypt on Egypt Air airlines. It might be due to the given association that i have thought of because of what i have learned through the course.

Further, the story “Moral Injury” ha altered many of the stereotypical thoughts i have for American soldiers in Iraq. Empahsizing with the soldier who used to take commands to kill children and dogs in the streets would not have been the case, if i didn’t learn about the power of the authority, shrinking moral horizon and fear of being stigmatized out of the group. I learned about different cultures that should be taken into consideration during therapy sessions and that some cultures imply certain traditions on its people that might cause traumas to individuals from different cultures.

Various cultures impose that traumatic experiences are perceived the same way in all cultures and thus definition of trauma differs depending on the culture, socio-economic class and educational background. For instance, some people might consider marrying their daughter at the age of 12 years old to a 40 year-old man, won’t traumatize her, while other cultures, especially Western would definitely consider it illegal, unethical and psychological and physically harmful for the girl. It is the same with cultures that are based on the well-being of the individual and his/her decisions primarily and others prioritizing the group and the family first.

In addition to learning to never take anything for granted, whether it is told to you by a professor, in a research or even if you see it effective; it doesn’t mean it is an effective therapy that can be applied to all cases and in various contexts. We should always suspect any theory or treatment, not fro the sake of falsifying it in a negative way but to prove its validity and its efficiency to use it will other cases. In fact, in the corse, we have studied “Evidenced Based Practices”, supporting that even the supported, evidenced theories by the most famous psychologists and psychiatrists are vulnerable to failure. Moreover, in our critique paper, we are trying to find supportive or opposite researches to the main article each one of us has chosen to ensure the information will be delivering to our peers and professors in the presentations are correct and reliable. Before taking the course, i didn’t use to question any academic research, since its approved by an academic institution that promotes accuracy.

One last thing i want to mention is that at the beginning i did not like the idea of having all those reading for every class and the workload was a lot along with other courses i am taking as a graduating students. By the time, the course was about to end, I realized that i wouldn’t have been encouraged or had the initiative to read all those readings about therapies and trauma in specific, without being pushed or put under the stress of the course, which is a good thing for me. The same goes for the “Self-Care”plan that I am sure i would have never done it if it wasn’t for the purpose of grades but today it is the reason I got back to practicing and eating healthy.

 

 

 

Diversity, Equality and Inclusion

download (2).jpegThe Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Psychology has held a conference on “Students with disabilities”, specifically the inclusion settings of the given students in AUC. Psychology faculty and psychologists from outside the AUC community have participated in the conference to talk about the inclusion settings in Egypt, public schools and in AUC in specific.

A study has been conducted in 2008 to measure whether is a connection between the nature of disability and the support provided and how inclusive it is in AUC. Researchers have used semi -structured interviews with all the key players and an online survey to all faculty in UAC whether full time or part time (126 responded if 784). The study is based on responses of 52 out of 670 of AUC faculty recommending some suggestion to be implemented for better inclusion settings. Some of these are: faculty members need to be made aware of the students’ disabilities before meeting them, using a unified language in reference to persons with disabilities and assessment and support need to be on campus.

Concerning the way AUC admission deal with students with disabilities; the admission procedure for students with disabilities is exactly the same as everyone. There is no differentiation in acceptance requirements for students with disabilities. In addition to that the assessment support is till an issue it was mentioned that it was very expensive and time consuming, as the psychometrician takes more money when he/she is not a member of AUC faculty and it takes more time to send the report on the students with disability.

Besides the university’s efforts to include students with disabilities sin mainstream classes; the latter have some responsibilities to carry on for a successful inclusion. Students are asked to take responsibility of showing professors the letters that bear the accommodations they require, to make students with disabilities feel instrumental in getting their services. They are encouraged to choose any major, regardless of their disability. Unfortunately, some students are turned away from the university if they require services not available e.g. Hearing Impairment. Sometimes students struggle to have their needs met in the major of their choice (engineering student).

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Accordingly, it is important to understand the nature of the disability to be able to provide the necessary utilities and services for those with disabilities. For instance, students with physical disabilities are catered for quite well as all the campus and the student living areas are fully accessible for wheelchairs; in addition to the presence of club cars that can be used for transportation through the campus. Some of the university’s services to ease the life of those with disabilities are:

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  • The special parking places for students with disabilities as mentioned by the Assistant Director of the Students Services office
  • Students with Visual Impairments. The University Academic Computing technologies (UACT) provides assistance in the use of some technologies to enable learning.
  • Students’ assistants or staff volunteers are recruited to help students with visual disabilities throughout the semester in the different academic tasks, including the class note taking, exam transcription, library research and other projects.

The Student mentoring unit and counseling center in UAC are implementing some administrative techniques to ensure the lasting of an inclusion setting, through keep tracking of the students’ educational and psychological state. The university provides English Placement Exams in – house (TOEFL or IELTS). It relieves the students of requesting accommodations, which can take at least 6 months wait time. It also provides the applicants the chance to reapply that is besides, the disability committee in AUC. However, there are problems with the legislation as the Student Disability Office has been told to not call the inclusion in AUC as being complete a sit is not 100% funded; and better to be called “supported”, so that they won’t have to do all the accommodations for students.

The university has responded to some of the recommendation based on the previous research and this year’s as well, in addition to the global instructions for having an inclusion setting. They are attempting to increase the number of staff working in the Mentoring and counseling units and assessment and support need to be on campus, despite the shortage of staff on campus and very expensive off campus.

On a national perspective, the National Strategic Plan of Education Reform is to turn special education schools into support centers and resources for inclusive education starting form the year 2014 to the year 2017. Consequently, if the given is implemented; inclusive education in the public schools of all school-age children with disabilities will become the only accepted children model. This would impose certain obstacles on having an inclusion system. The negative attitude of teachers in public schools, in adequate resources and large class sizes in public governmental school that would not enable teachers to focus with all students in the classroom.

Students with disabilities included in mainstream classes, are pulled outside classes and are required to spend more time in the resource room or with their support peers or teacher’s support to catch up with what they are missing form the content.

diversity.jpgThis has its drawbacks on their educational path. The students may miss valuable lessons in the general education class while attending the resource room. Most importantly, they may feel stigmatized for leaving the general education class to receive special help as well as the failure of the resource room and general classroom teachers to coordinate instruction.

It seems that Egypt has a problem in the structuring of the curriculum given to students in general in schools that are supervised by the government. As the curriculum is supposed to represent the society’s values as important for becoming a productive citizen and successful individual. Aiming to accommodate students with disabilities, it is necessary to prioritize the content to ensure that the most important content is mastered. It is important to focus on the way teachers deliver the content of the curriculum in a way that those with disabilities would understand and relate to it through having a meaningful purpose from what they learn.

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Trauma Psychology in Reality

 I want to share my experience about the visit of the Clinical Psychologist, Salwa Bernaba, to our trauma class this week. Honestly, there was not much of new things or terms that I have learned concerning trauma, but I have learned the some coping mechanisms and techniques to use with patients in the working field,

One of the most topics that clicked is the term “Red Flag”. When I heard the term “red flag”, it reminded me with the term “code blue” in “Grey’s Anatomy series”. Maybe, it is not related to the course we are taking, but somehow I was happy to know that I study topics related to medicine and to my obsession with this series. Psychologists usually use the term “Red Flag” when they feel that they are overwhelmed or are unable to notice their patient. At that point, it is better for the psychologist to step back and solve his/her issues and then return to the patient with a clear head in order to function as a psychologist not a human being with personal problems. It was the first time to know about the “red Flag”, and it is interesting to know that there is a concern about the well being of the psychologist and the way a psychologist’s negative affect might affect the treatment process of the patient.

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Further, there are two interesting techniques that I have learnt this week that helps in encouraging the patient to open up and talk about his/her traumatic experiences. The first psychodynamic technique is called “screening”, as Dr. Bernaba mentioned. She used the given technique with a patient who was taken as a hostage for seven years and she needed to make the patient feels that he is in control so he can start talking. The patient had Complex PTSD manifested in symptoms of loss of identity, hope and dissociation sometimes during the therapy, that’s why it is advisable to return the patient’s his identity and hope that he would be better and return to his normal life, not as a refugee. I think this technique would be very helpful with victims of rape or abuse regardless to its kinds.

Another method that the guest has mentioned using it and shared with the whole class asking the patient to write his/her bad event that happened in the past in the middle of a paper and drawing a circle around it and listing “who and what have helped you to overcome the traumatic or bad experience you had”. Then, the patient draws another circle around the first circle and is asked to write their experience from the incident they have passed through and the lessons they learned from it.

 

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Eventually, I think one of the most powerful and beneficial advises I learned this day is the necessity of having some rituals to abide by after finishing work and therapy sessions with the patients. For example, Bernaba said that some psychologists wash their hands or take shower as a way of washing away all the traumatic stories they have heard at work all the day and to be able to continue their personal life normally. It is important not to mingle between your personal life and your profession. This will help you, as psychologist to take a break from the traumatic stories you hear the whole day and will help you to be “fresh” for the following day to listen to new stories of the patients and be able to emphasize with them.

Psychologists need to empty their tank before refilling it with new stories and emphasize with patients without being secondary traumatized as possible as they could. It is worth mentioning that psychologists should take into consideration, the cultural differences and the restrictions it implies on psychologists when dealing with patients from different cultural and educational background. For instance, a patient who doesn’t talk the same language as the therapist (without the availability of the interpreter) and who can’t read or write, won’t be able to perform any of the given techniques that aid the patient to open up about their trauma.

Spotlight: Catholic Church Scandal

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The Boston’s Globe Pulitzer wining investigative piece depicted in the movie Spotlight is considered the threshold that triggered the people to take serious actions against the illegal and unethical acts of some priests in the Catholic Church. The reveal of the hidden truth about children being molested by priests have encouraged and motivated many victims to report their traumatic experience as well. People were hesitated to report at the beginning because it is against the Church, which is usually the master narrative for people, especially in the West.

When the Spotlight team, lead by Sasha and Robbie went to the school president and faculty to investigate about the rumor that the school priests are sexually abusing the children, it is one of the major scenes that portrays master narrative engagement. As reporters were somehow taking the side of the victims, and the school representatives were denying it and trying to protect its faculty. It is considered a master narrative engagement because considering the Church as one side and the journalists’ team as another side, each believes in their point of view and they construct the reality on what they see is right. Thus, the perception of the people on the church as the master narrative that is responsible for revealing the truth is sort of doubted, and an alternative narrative is out into consideration as starting to suspect the Church’s reliability.

According to the four factors that should be questioned in regarding whether the individual trauma, of a child being molested by a priest is affecting the collective group, people starting to doubt the Church status, there are certain questions that need to be put into consideration. Victims of the given incident have experienced trauma in its worst shapes, especially for children who don’t understand what they are going through and have mixed emotions and behaviors that they can’t express. Also, the people surrounding them, their families and relatives mainly are affected by what happened to their children and what might happen to others as well, causing a cultural trauma as some of them became dependent on alcohol to escape the reality that is describing the “Nature of the pain”.

Another element is identifying the “Nature of the victim”: it wasn’t only the group of victims who are affected by the traumatic experience of the abused children. The society as a whole was affected. It is the same case when a therapist get secondary traumatized when he/she hears the story of the client during the therapy. People in the streets as well were traumatized form what they heard about the Church, even if they did not believe it was true. It was still a shock for them to hear something unethical and inhumane about the Church. Consequently, people were able to identify what happened to the children with their own lives; proves the existence of a strong “relation between the victim and the audience” who were being told the story by the Spotlight team. The Spotlight team has accounted the Church primarily in its investigative piece for the illegal behaviors carried on the children. It makes the audience as well believe that the Catholic Church system is to be punished or steps taken against it from what caused the society a trauma that is “ Attribution of responsibility”.

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It seems that the spiral of signification in the movie, is the claim that the Spotlight team made about the Church priests’ sexually abusing the children. The carrier group in this case is the Spotlight investigative team that delivers the truth to the audiences. Indeed, in the movie, there is major speech incoherence that is displayed in the scene in which is master narrative as well. When Joey was storytelling his story to the priest, it is considered a social incoherence then as the priests are considered corrupt as well and doing unreligious behaviors, which is not coherent with the inner speech of the priest as his role to convince people that homosexuality is not loved by God.

Video: Abuse Documentary: The Shame of the Catholic Church/ Retro Report/ The New York Times:

Self- Care Plan Follow Up

According to the first “Self-Care plan” I have decided to follow it for at least three weeks, hoping that it would turn to be my new life style, habit. I have been dictated to the plan for all most all of it, except fro two things: physically and the relationship self-care aspect.

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First, I have failed to take my dog for a walk for almost two weeks due to the limited time I have, because of exams and going to a regular fitness training and eating healthy as I have stated on the initial self-care plan. Second, I did not start readings, journals or attending conferences outside my field of study. That is specifically due to the tight schedule of university. However, I try to substitute this, through watching political TV shows and even documentary movies on various issues. Further, one of my new self-reliving and meditating activities is starting to watch “Grey’ anatomy” series, as I haven’t got the chance to watch it before. Despite being a series, it has grabbed my attention to the fact that I am interested in medicine or biology as well, which might lead to some adaptations in my future self-care plan by trying to study medicine as post – graduate studies, such as psychiatry to fulfill my love to medicine, as another field of study outside of my interest.

One of the flaws in my first “self-care” plan is putting “Yoga” as one of my targets that I want to practice this week. However, I was not able to practice it, along with the fitness group I joined based on my plan. For a better modification in my plan, I will arrange the schedule to have two lessons of fitness and one lesson of yoga each week. As yoga is believed to be a self-meditating therapy that helps in releasing the stress through externalizing your worries and getting rid of your pain as well in the form of physical exercise.

I think it is helpful to create your own self-care plan based on the assessment we did. It shows the weakness in my personality, which helps me focus on working on them. Some of my drawback that I still need to work on is the “Spiritual self-care”. This would be targeted through attending prayer meetings as an initiative that would later encourage me to reading the bible as a daily routine.

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Further, I will need to focus on the “Workplace self-care”, in order to lessen the stressors affecting my personal life. Thus, would be achieved through arranging my work, for instance: assignments, midterms, fitness class, etc. through scheduling my priorities for each week and writing them down in an agenda. I can also print some of major targets and put them on my desk to always remember them.

I would like to question the effect of “Yoga” on the self, regarding its power in meditation through introspecting one’s worries and weak points. How does thinking about your worries help in getting rid of them and not increasing the stress through over thinking about them? As people say, try not to think about your problems to forget the in order to reach a state of “Ataraxia” as believed by philosophers in what is known for “Epicureanism”.

The link provides an introspection way of looking at your strength points that you can work on to accomplish a successful self-care plan:

Invisible Injury

Soldiers enter the military with the intention of serving their country and with the feeling that they are good and would never harm anyone under any circumstances. However, these thought and sense of right and wrong are sometimes altered due to the social influence, power of the situation and stressors that are facing.

The definition of trauma as indicated by John Wilson in “The Traumatizing Unconscious of Traumatization” is the ability of the therapist to differentiate between the usual and unusual and drawing the line between the normal and the abnormal through the individual’s ability to cope with his past, present and future life experiences.

In the comic, “ Invisible Injury”, a traumatized former marine who has been depending on alcohol for many years has attended therapy lately in which he reveals to his Psychiatrist, Jonathan Shay about his traumatic experience in the Vietnam War. Through “Narrative Exposure therapy”, the former marine started by expressing his feeling towards other soldiers and ordering them to kill prisoners, he described it saying, “I carried them into sin”. It describes his feeling of guilty which is one of the symptoms of “Moral Injury”.

Moral injury is the ability of differentiating between the right and wrong in the individual’s attitude and behavior. In response to the marine’s thoughts and feelings about being guilty, Shay has been able to have “Empathy attunement” towards his client’s situation. For example, he mentioned in the comic that Shay said, “My patient took that as an order to kill them”. Having empathy towards the client is due to the traumatized experience he said when the authorized figure gave the marine order to kill the soldiers and consequently had had to transfer the order to soldiers under his supervision.

Further, Shay has emphasized on respecting the client’s sense of still realizing what is right and what is wrong in regards of feeling guilty. Respecting your client will guarantee more elaboration form the client and will encourage him more to open up on other experiences, he is reluctant to say. In this sense, the clients is going through “ Trauma Specific Transference Transmission” (TSTT); he is narrating all the vents that caused him the trauma as it is decoded by the therapist, which has previously been in the state of “Trauma Specific Transference” (TST).

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Based on the transmission of events that happened during the therapy, Shay believes in the role of “Shrinking the moral horizon” concept plays in the sufferer’s life. He described it as a big tent that includes people who you are in contact with at work, family, friends and those who are affected by your behavior directly or indirectly.

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For instance, in the comic, the soldier started to take away people from his tent day after day due to the behaviors he has taken on. Those behaviors include blaming people for responsibility on assisting him in taking certain actions that not only affect his life, but others too. He feels accountable for destroying others’ lives as well, to end up alone and surrounded by war all the time. One of the most powerful stories the client is telling is having to shoot all dogs during his service in Iraq. It is strong in the significance of dogs for the soldiers, in which they make him feel happy. Being given the order of killing dogs is somehow killing his own source of happiness and depriving him from the ultimate creature that he used to live with all his childhood. The soldier betrayed his sense of moral aspect in order to obey the rules of the authority.

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Brett Litz, clinical psychologist was able to divide moral injury as the client is exposed to, into three biggies: Self-harm, self-handicapping and demoralization, in which they affect the traumatized client’s life. Through the given “biggies”, the individual is destroying himself unconsciously and sometimes it can be called consciously in an attempt to forget the harm he caused to himself and others.

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The drawback is that not all symptoms of moral injury are included in the diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM 5). The factor that caused many soldiers in the past to pretend they have some of the symptoms of PTSD, to be diagnosed and treated of PTSD. It is important to mention the empathic capacity of the therapist to be able to emphasize and absorb the client’s thoughts and feelings during the therapy. As Litz mentioned that the core of therapy is to help the client get rid of their “uniquely toxic wounds” and integrate with their sense of self, instead of escaping from the world and living in chaos and in isolation. 

Difference in diagnosis between PTSD and Moral Injury:

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The video shows attempts of coping with Moral Injury, after war:

Link for the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2oJwa87cQ_g

Self- Care Plan

It seems that the results of the self care assessment, really reflects my underestimation for having a plan that keeps my life happy. Unfortunately, I don’t tend to give my body and mind, the needed amount of rest to be fueled with energy in order to accomplish all the tasks I have. On contrast, I am the kind of person who would do anything assigned to her and even things for others, only because of my feeling of commitment towards others and work. Hence, the self-care plan has given me a great opportunity to reorganize my life again in somehow a mandatory way as part of the course “ being committed to the plan”, which will encourage and motivate me to work on myself and hopefully it will start to be a habit after following it for the first month.

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There is a strong link between the results of the self-care assessment and the way I function in different life aspects; workplace, emotionally, relationships, physically and spiritually.

These are my results:

Workplace or professional Self- Care      28/40

Physical Self- Care                                       17/28

Psychological Self- Care                             17/48

Emotional Self-Care                                    25/32

Spiritual Self- Care                                      25/32

Relationship Self-Care                                22/32

Overall Balance                                              7/8

 Starting with my worst results is unfortunately the “Psychological Self- Care”:

I need to indulge more in social and cultural activities that address topics, not related to my field of study or interests. This will indeed widen my horizon, in addition to a stress relieving technique, as I believe it would be able to stop my mind a bit from processing information for an exam to study, for instance or a paper to write. I also want to join a “Yoga” squad in which I can try meditation techniques, as I have never tried them before but have always heard about its great effect on getting rid of all life stressors. Both activities are doable as for attending lectures or talks that are not related to my field, would be accessible through any lectures in university. Also, for the “Yoga” classes, I have started today to join a fitness group and they have a yoga class that I will ask to join starting next Monday.

I also want to focus more on my relationships with my colleagues at work or university, which is related to the “ Workplace or professional self-care”:

 

johnny-carson-comedian-quote-never-continue-in-a-job-you-dont-enjoy.jpgOne of my first priorities that I hope would be able to achieve is having a supervisor or a psychologist that I always go and talk to without even having a huge problem. It is more of a way getting all what stress me out of my way than being in a therapy because of psychological problem or disorder, disturbing me. Honestly, I have thought of taking this step into action many million times before, but what stops me every time is that I am shy of going and talking to someone who might underestimate my problems or what bothers me compared to other clients’ problems. In addition to, not be used to ask help from others. I have always been raised as a strong woman who is sued to accomplish all the tasks on her own, which makes my proud of the way I am brought up, but sometimes I need to feel not that strong so that I can break that wall and go ask for help when I am tired.

 For the “Physical Self- Care”, I have taken this test, few hours before getting back to sports.

The test has actually played a major part in encouraging me to play sports again and be more energetic. Today is my first day as a healthy woman, eating healthy and practicing sports that I aim to be a habit “life style” on the long run. Accordingly, I will start to eat healthy and regular meals starting form tomorrow in order to maintain the body shape I want to reach. I will also consider taking my dog, “Ziza” for a walk as a way of walking or even jogging and for the dog to feel happy, same as I will.

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However, my problem with neglecting my well being for the sake of finishing my tasks and being committed to whether my professors, parents or even friends who need my help, is huge problem that will need a lot of time to work on fixing. I am the type of person who likes to listen to people’s problems and try to help them even though this would have a negative impact on myself, maybe it is out of commitment, being shy to leave them without help or because I love them and do not want to see them sad, while am idle, doing nothing to help them with because at that moment I will feel so guilty that I didn’t offer them help when I could. Indeed, I will never try to change this side in my personality; however, I will plan to arrange some” quality time” for myself to sit and relax without answering phones or looking at mails. Despite this, I am sure I will tell those who I care for, beforehand that I will not answer any phones from 7 pm -8pm, for instance they can call me anytime. 😀

Concerning the “Spiritual and Emotional; Self-Care”, I believe they are somehow related to each other.

Being spiritually good will reflect on having empathy towards people, wanting to help people and make the happy. I think on the spiritual aspect, I am like the “yoyo” game. It depends on my psychological status and problems. If I am sad and have many problems I would more likely pray or read the Bible. However, I always remind myself of thanking God on even arriving university safe with all the accidents we see on our way, but I usually do not do so, and only ask for God’s intervention when I am in trouble. Recently I have started to practice praying in the car in the morning while going to university, as a way of making it a regular habit to pray every morning. I have came up with this idea because I see my mother praying every morning before going to work, which returns to my thought about the bond between emotional self care and spiritual self care. I regard my mother as my role model because I love her that I would like to imitate as if I am a child imitating her mother’s behaviors. For my family I have a strong emotional bond that does not need much work to be done on improving, thanks God: D

However, sometimes I have problems in communicating with my brother who is almost two years younger than me. We used to be closer when were younger but due to many recent problems there is a gap that we tend to ignore or pretend that we don’t see in order not to face the reality and talk about the factors that have led us to this point. In other words we are avoiding the stressors that might cause disturbance. I will try to go out with my brother more and be closer to him. I want our old bond when we were young to return.

Lastly the “Relationship Self- Care”, this has caused many problems as I used to take my partner for granted as he understands my problems and stressors I ma passing through, and work on other things.

Recently, when I grew older, I learnt that nothing is taken for granted and that if you do not work hard for what you want, you won’t be able to reach it. That is what I am currently working on for almost one year. I am working on dividing time for people in my life. Time for my close friends, school friends, friends from university, family and my “significant other”. For instance, I can go to the cinema or have coffee with my partner even if I have many work to do, this would make him feel how important he is to me. The same case is for my family, today I went with mother to many places because he want my help, even though this had me late on many things that I need to accomplish for university and my personal life. This has took me years and many difficult times that I have passed through in order to understand the importance of prioritising my relationships and giving each person in my life the “quality time” I will enjoy myself and he/she will enjoy as well without annoying others for prioritising work over family, for instance.

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Jean-Martin Charcot neurologist and psychologist

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Pitching into the concept of trauma requires the focus on one of the greatest pioneers among trauma psychologists. Jean-Martin Charcot was born in the ninetieth century, in Paris, for a carriage builder father. When he turned 19, it was the time he graduated form secondary school, to later achieve his goal and enter the medical school of the University of Paris.

That was the school he accomplished his internship in which he surprisingly worked as a professor in. Along with teaching students, Charcot was a famous neurologist and the director of the Salpêtrière Hospital. He was married to Madame Durvis, in 1862 and had two children, Jeanne and Jean-Baptiste.

Charcot had three main contributions to modern neurology and psychiatry. He first diagnosed the hysterical disorders (psychoneuroses), and presented a study of its etiology and that proved by the time that hysteria was caused to female patients mainly on the form of physiological disturbances, such as anesthesias and paralysis. He was also able to determine the relationship between behavioral symptoms and the physiological disturbances of the nervous system; thus detecting the roots of the abnormal behavior symptoms. In order to learn more about hysteria, Charcot finally invested more time in studying the “hypnosis” (mesmerism) technique that he believed was a great way in diagnosing hysteria in therapy.

Through the patient being hypnotized, they fall asleep, in order to be able to recall and integrate with their traumatic incidents that they were escaping in their walking state, through narrative psychology (to link their past with their present). In integrating past traumatic incidents with PTSD patient’s new life, Charcot believed that once the “forgotten” traumatic event is integrated under hypnosis; it would be easier for patients to integrate all dissociative memories in their walking state later.

Charcot was not interested in the history of the trauma or how the patients formed it; he was more interested in the physical appearance of it in the form of hysteria on the patients. He was more inclined to use the biopsychological approach than the biopsychosociological one, that emphasized more on emphasizing wit patients and genealogy in trauma psychology, linking all threads of their traumatic incident together as trying to fix the damaged branches of a family tree.

It is impressive to note that Charcot had taught many of our leading psychologists, such as Sigmund Freud, Pierre Janet and Alfred Binet. However, the teacher’s students came into disagreement with their tutor, as they believed that hysteria was the result of a psychological, not neurological dysfunction. In addition to that Freud thought hysteria was related to a repressed sexual interest that is one of the symptomology of showing it is hysteria on females.

However, he came to agreement that patients had suffered form hysteria as a form of emotional consequence to the traumatic incident they experience, whether it is a fall from a scaffold or a railway crash. The main cause from being traumatized is due to the way they had shaped the incident in their minds, not the physical consequences of the event on them. Charoct contributed to modern neurology in diagnosing what is known today with the “Charcot Foot”. It is mainly caused to diabetic patients who have weakening in the bones that is due to damage in the foot nerves.

Charcot died in Morvan, France in the year 1892 at the age of 65 years.

Interesting Facts about Charcot:

  • A song “Let Yourself Go” from The Alan Parsons Project’s Freudiana is dedicated to Doctor Charcot.
  • A 2012 French historical drama film, Augustine, is about a love affair between Charcot and a patient.

Watch this conversation on hysteria causes: Charcot and his student, Freud.

A Discussion between Sigmund Freud and Jean-Martin Charcot on a patient with hysteria