Everyday Victim Blaming

challenging institutional disbelief around domestic & sexual violence and abuse

Trauma theories make oppressed people sick

Most people on this earth are traumatised: being untraumatized is a rare privilege. Most people live in an unsafe world where they struggle to survive. There are 7 billion people in the world, only around 1 billion have day-to-day lives where they are mostly not subjected to violence, war, hunger, state abuses, patriarchal abuses and poverty.

And yet the people who write psychological theories claim that suffering the impact of trauma is an illness. Those who write the theories belong to the mostly-safe 1 billion, and within that 1 billion, they are those who had the additional privilege of tertiary education. They are a population who benefit from the oppression of the 6 billion, from cheap labor, cheap mineral resources, even from war.

Their theories are based on their lives of relative safety, where being vigilant is unnecessary, and certainly may be a sign of illness.

But they are imposing an ideology on the majority, the 6 billion, who mostly live in poor countries but also those abused in families and institutions in their own country.

It's an ideology that claims that the majority of the world are sick, and the privileged minority are well. It claims that ongoing fear is unreasonable, because the danger has passed- when for the majority of people the danger has not and will never pass: our lives are not lived in safe places.

What this 1 billion minority call post-traumatic illness is in fact the normal state of most humans. They have pathologized the norm. In the theorists own countries this allows them to deny continued violence against the oppressed and tell the individual that they are ill for being vigilant, rather than being normal, and being the same as the 6 billion majority of the earth.

It means that I have been told by a western psychologist that I am ill for being afraid, when I am attacked most weeks walking home. I am hyper-vigilant for avoiding known rape spots. I have 'poor affect regulation' for crying when another friend is bashed and the police do nothing because she is indigenous and black.

Trauma is the normal human condition. Yes I have nightmares, yes I feel terror even when there is no danger. So do 6 million of us. It is normal, not exceptional. It is how most people are- but not how most people who write trauma theories are.


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2 thoughts on “Trauma theories make oppressed people sick

  • lynda says:

    Thanks for sharing i agree with you often women who ve been abused as a child and then abused as an adult are given a label borderline personality disorder saying that women are to emotional. When we have experienced any trauma our body reacts to an abnormal situation the fight flight freeze or flock concept. This is a normal reaction to abnormal thing. O

  • lynda says:

    (sorry carry on) our body reacts to the trauma splitting our mind emotions (feelings) and our body if we are not allowed to process the trauma first.Its not a sickness its normal reaction to how are bodies mind and emotions to cope with rape. If we cannot process it straight away and talk about the trauma then its locked away in one part of our mind. The memories then come out in flashbacks anxiety attacks because its to painful to face but eventually our body and minds are ready to face and process our trauma. Its sad when we are labelled as sick when its a normal reaction to what we have experienced. Their needs to be more education in how trauma affects the body and mind its ok to have feelings and cry a normal thing to do. it is also ok not to be ok at times. If we have had a experience of trauma over a long period then its going to be a long time to recover and heal a friend Matt quoted “that we can never fully heal but to except our trauma and healing will take us the rest of our life time” Their will always be memories that come and go and will take the wind out of us but accepting that is part of the healing process that we can then move forward and heal. Thanks for sharing take care kind regards Lynda