Analysis Of The Chapter 'Terror' By Judith Herman

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Katie Wang 13 February 2023 Paper #1: Judith Herman Paper Question #1: In Judith Herman’s chapter entitled “Terror”, the three main categories of symptoms that are identified as making up post traumatic stress disorder are “hyperarousal”, “intrusion”, and “constriction”. Hyperarousal describes a state of heightened alertness and self-preservation. The traumatized person might have extreme responses to startling stimuli, difficulty sleeping, irritability, agressive behavior, and an “elevated baseline of arousal”(26). Intrusion involved the re-living of traumatic experiences in the form of intrusive thoughts, memories, nightmares, flashbacks, and reenactments. Lastly, constriction describes an alteration of consciousness where the person may …show more content…

While complex trauma impact adults by wearing on their already built-up personality, it completely shapes and deforms a child’s sense of self. Since children who experience trauma haven’t yet had enough life experiences to properly inform their psychosocial, mental, and emotional development, they “must find a way to preserve a sense of trust in people who are untrustworthy, safety in a situation that is unsafe, control in a situation that is terrifyingly unpredictable, power in a situation of helplessness”(70), all with a partially-built psychological defense …show more content…

This form of self-blaming allows the child to gain a sense of self control, realigning their axis in order to place their parents as “good” and themselves as “bad”. If the child can see themselves as the root of the problem, they’ve found a reason for the abuse, and therefore a solution—they simply must become “good”. Good enough to please their parents, and good enough to stop the abuse. To the child, this gives them a sense of control, predicated on trying to rid themselves of their innate “badness”. Mrs. P demonstrates doublethink when she consistently sacrifices her wellbeing for others, even when she also knows that they treat her poorly. In addition, her feelings of intense guilt about being a bad mother despite being consistently nurturing towards her children align with double

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