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This article made me think of the adversity I’ve dealt with because of VHL. How about you?

In recent years, the phrase adverse life experience has entered the discussions [and research] about both trauma and stress. It's a term that helps us to distinguish between the ordinary stressors of daily life; from the stressors that can become traumatic for some people…

… Some common examples of these adverse life experiences (‘small-t traumas’) include racial or ethnic discrimination, verbal abuse, cyberbullying, surviving divorce, experiencing a medical crisis, spiritual abuse, emotional blackmail, or losing a pet. If left unhealed or unaddressed, a person may develop symptoms that are similar to PTSD. ‘Large-T traumas’ are those we commonly associated with PTSD such as rape, witnessing a murder, natural disasters, and war-time atrocities…

… traumas that are consistent with a PTSD diagnosis… are analogous to a single, large, deep knife wound. Adverse life experiences (‘small-t traumas’) are analogous to 15 shallow skin lacerations from a knife. You can bleed to death from both…

There will always be the critics who say these adverse life experiences are just that- a part of life; and therefore, should not be regarded as traumatic. Sure, many people can muster their own healing resources and support networks to heal these life wounds without professional care. However, many others cannot. The traumas themselves are usually not the problem. It's when the traumas go unresolved and unhealed that problems develop. People whose lives are affected by unhealed adverse life experiences have every right to access treatment. Just as beauty is in the eyes of the beholder, we might say that trauma is in the eyes of the beholder as well.
Quoted and adapted from full article: What are Adverse Life Experiences? (PTSD, Trauma, Abuse and Other Stress-Related Disorders: Hope for Healing and Recovery. Various articles. Gracepoint -behavioral health solutions, 2020)


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VHL Canada · 2938 Dundas Street West, PO Box 70510 · Toronto, On M6P 4E7 · Canada

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