Thursday, September 29, 2011

Making the Connection Between Trauma and Resulting Eating Disorders

by Dr. Kim Dennis, Medical Director of Timberline Knolls Residential Treatment Center, as published on Health Blog on
September 27, 2011

Trauma and traumatic experiences are nothing new to the human condition. Whether a child is sexually violated early in life, or an adult witnesses a horrific event during combat, such trauma can and often does have profound and long-term consequences.

Types of Trauma

In the behavioral health field, trauma is separated into two categories: big "T" trauma and little "t" trauma. Basically, these categories are predicated on frequency and severity. Big "T" trauma is a highly identifiable and catastrophic event. This includes severe physical abuse, rape, extreme injury, witnessing violence, or an unexpected death of a relative or friend. Vivid and explicit memories usually surround this type of trauma.

Little "t" trauma is less about one identifiable event and more about reoccurring painful situations or experiences. This would include ongoing parental criticism, childhood neglect, being bullied or teased, or experiencing alcoholism in the family. The ongoing nature and the more "acceptable" aspect of this type of trauma make it more difficult to treat...finish reading article

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