From ‘Selma’ To ‘American Sniper’: Trauma Writes The Story
At first glance, they couldn’t appear more different. Martin Luther King Jr., an African-American Civil Rights titan, using non-violence and media exposure to advance policy for improving the plight of Blacks in America. Chris Kyle, a Caucasian-American Navy SEAL sniper, working in secret to violently disassemble terrorists networks a world away. Despite these differences, they shared a common history and sadly a common end—violence being the thread to bind their stories.
Their lives, lessons in different forms of patriotism, shed just as much light on trauma’s impact on people repeatedly exposed to violence. Trauma has become something of a buzz word in the world of healthcare and sometimes leaves the public minimizing the day to day impact it has on the details of a person’s life.
Trauma is any experience that makes a person feel his life or the life of someone he loves is in serious danger. When a person is “traumatized” it reflects both the actual experience and a person’s perception of it.
Reactions to trauma are generally best captured by the diagnosis Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder—a set of symptoms that leaves a person frequently reliving their trauma and constantly looking for threat in an attempt to avoid further danger.