To the Editor:
Re “Tales of the Super Survivors” (column, Nov. 24):
I am aghast at the reductionistic simplicity of David Brooks’s column. How callous and incorrect the assumption that healing from trauma is simply a matter of “storytelling.”
Post-traumatic stress disorder is a significant disruption in the neural processing of information, as evidenced in a multitude of scientific studies based on magnetic imaging and other sophisticated brain processing indicators.
How sad for our wounded warriors that their life-altering psychic injuries are reduced to a matter of simply reframing their future. They’re guilt-ridden enough; do we now add the onus of responsibility for their own suffering? How tragic.
The writer is a clinical psychologist.
To the Editor:
Kudos to David Brooks for a sensitive column about the resilience of the majority of people who have been exposed to extreme stress.
I myself am a child survivor of the Holocaust who still has dreams about World War II. But I have managed to lay aside a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder to have a satisfying personal and professional life in spite of it.
Overcoming adversity can lead to growth and fulfillment, and an ability to overcome the many inevitable difficulties we all face.
The writer is a professor of psychiatry at Temple University School of Medicine.
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