When trauma occurs in childhood, that is when the nervous system is going through a phase of rapid development, it always results in a dissociative disorder of some degree. The child must learn to live with the consequences of trauma, to adjust and to survive.
This means, that the traumatizing experiences must be separated from everything else. In spite of this dissociation, the encapsulated trauma keeps on affecting your life, your relationships, and the choices you make, all the time. In other words, the personality is divided. It does not become integrated, like it would in a safe environment, which is sensitive to child´s needs. The effects of emotional damage are very individual and diverse, they can show in very different ways. It can also effect person´s ability to defend one self later on, in life. This can lead to a circle of re-traumatisation.
“From the perspective of structural dissociation and trauma, many psychological problems and disorders, seem more logical and understandable.“
Understanding the theory of structural dissociation, has changed my own life, profoundly. This understanding helps me every day, as traumatized people come to my practice.
The most important insights I have gained, both as a patient, and a doctor, are related to the general principles in recognizing and understanding trauma. There are two of them, and they are structural dissociation and polyvagal theory.
A SHORT FILM ABOUT TRAUMA AND DISSOCIATION
We have produced a short documentary that explains clearly and comprehensively what emotional trauma, structural dissociation and polyvagal theories are and how they effect human life. Psychiatrist Anssi Leikola also explains how understanding these subjects help us in creating sustainable psychiatry also called as trauma informed treatment.
The documentary has six episodes. We recommend to watch them in the order they are released:
Link to the whole documentary:
1. The Sustainable Psychiatry
2. Emotional Trauma
3. Structural Dissociation, part 1 & 2
4. Polyvagal Theory
5. Traumainformed treatment, part 1 & 2
6. Speaking from experience