The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease / Edition 2

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The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease, is the update of the classic book that explains the reasons behind some of the most common symptoms and conditions that previously defied a medical explanation. Respected author, Robert C. Scaer, MD, has diligently simplified the complex medical language that was used in the first edition to make it easier for lay readers and patients to understand—all without sacrificing accuracy. This valuable text presents a new theory of the neurophysiology of traumatic stress and dissociation and includes several updated chapters and new concepts that have been developed since the previous edition.

Human response is quite different than other animals’ response to trauma. This response is discussed in detail in The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease, including the fight/flight/freeze cycle and how the human response causes abnormal regulation of many body systems which then may lead to many illnesses or conditions. The emotional and physical experiences of patients with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder and other syndromes such as whiplash are comprehensively examined. Patients and lay readers alike who have been told it is "all in your head" may well feel like this book was specifically written about them and the unexplained complex symptoms they experience.

Topics in The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease, include:

• The role of the fight/flight/freeze response in traumatic stress
• The neurophysiology of traumatic stress and dissociation
• The Whiplash Syndrome as a model for procedural memory in trauma
• Analysis of traumatic repetition
• The theoretical concept of somatic dissociation
• The varied syndromes and medical diseases of trauma and dissociation
• A theoretical analysis or therapy for trauma
• Illustrative case histories of trauma and the body
• And more!

The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease, is valuable information for physicians, psychologists, psychotherapists, social workers, physical, occupational, and speech therapists, nurses, and those lay people looking to better understand the physiologic rationale for a large number of perplexing chronic medical diseases and syndromes.
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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Nicholas Greco IV, MS, BCETS, CATSM (Columbia College of Missouri)
Description: This is one of the more purposeful and thought-provoking books on trauma available. The clinical model of the whiplash syndrome affecting both the body and the mind is explored in detail, and the reader is given a well rounded discussion of this fascinating perspective.
Purpose: The purpose is to give both professional and lay readers a new perspective on the complexities of trauma through the use of case vignettes, strong empirical evidence, and appropriate medical and psychological theory.
Audience: The author smartly revised this second edition to make it more accessible for lay readers. He still maintains the strong empirical foundation professional readers would expect, but he has reduced complexity, redundancy, and unneeded jargon. Professionals in the fields of rehabilitation, psychotherapy, patient care, and general medical practice will find this book of most benefit. The author is a highly skilled neurologist who brings 36 years of experience to this book.
Features: Among the highlights are the case vignettes that begin each chapter and are covered within the chapters as well. These vignettes pull the ideas of the chapter together and make for reading that makes the book difficult to put down. The discussion of the whiplash syndrome is broken down into two chapters, and those doubtful of the whiplash syndrome will be hard pressed not to become believers. Especially useful chapters are those on the diseases of traumatic stress and on the sources of trauma.
Assessment: This is a great addition to the field. Simply put, it is one of the finest books I have read in the area of trauma.

3 Stars from Doody
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780789033352
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 9/28/2007
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 302
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.30 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert C. Scaer, MD, received his BA in Psychology, and his MD degree at the University of Rochester. He is Board Certified in Neurology, and has been in practice for 36 years, twenty of those as Medical Director of Rehabilitation Services at the Mapleton Center in Boulder, CO. His primary areas of interest and expertise have been in the fields of traumatic brain injury and chronic pain, and more recently in the study of traumatic stress and its role in physical and emotional symptoms, and in diseases. He has lectured extensively on these topics, and has published several articles on posttraumatic stress disorder, the whiplash syndrome, and other somatic syndromes of traumatic stress. His books include The Body Bears the Burden: Trauma, Dissociation, and Disease, which presented a new theory of dissociation and its role in many diseases, and The Trauma Spectrum: Hidden Wounds and Human Resiliency, which addressed the broad and relatively unappreciated spectrum of cultural and societal trauma that shapes every aspect of our lives. He is currently retired from clinical medical practice, and continues to pursue a career in writing and lecturing in the field of traumatology.
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Table of Contents


• Foreword
• Preface
• Acknowledgments
• Chapter 1. Concepts of Traumatization: The Role of Boundaries
• The Concept of Boundaries
• The Role of Boundaries in Trauma
• Boundaries and Childhood
• Conclusion
• Chapter 2. Trauma, Instinct, and the Brain: The Fight/Flight/Freeze Response
• Brain Responses to Stress
• Fighting, Fleeing, or Freezing
• Conclusion
• Chapter 3. The Whiplash Syndrome I: Symptoms in Search of a Meaning
• The History of Whiplash
• The Clinical Syndrome
• Physical Forces and Structural Injury
• The Pathophysiology of Whiplash
• Conclusion
• Chapter 4. The Whiplash Syndrome II: A Model for Traumatization
• Memory Mechanisms in Trauma
• Somatic Responses to Stress
• The Meaning of Speed
• The Physiology of Traumatization
• Conclusion
• Chapter 5. Trauma and Brain Plasticity
• The History of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in Psychiatry
• The Developing Brain
• The Development of Character
• Brain Plasticity in Trauma
• Objective Measures of Brain Change in Trauma
• The Permanence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
• Conclusion
• Chapter 6. Diseases of Traumatic Stress
• The Pathophysiology of Stress
• Stress versus Trauma
• The Hypothalamic/Pituitary/Adrenal Axis
• Stress, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Immune Function
• The Diseases of Trauma
• Morbidity and Mortality
• Conclusion
• Chapter 7. Trauma Reenactment
• Introduction
• The Roots of Reenactment
• Clinical Features
• Gender Differences
• The Anniversary Syndrome
• Reenactment Through Risk-Taking
• Conclusion
• Chapter 8. Somatic Dissociation
• Examples of Dissociation
• Memory in Dissociation
• Cognitive and Emotional Features
• Dissociative Physical Symptoms
• Conversion and Dissociation
• The Autonomic Nervous System in Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
• The Concept of Boundaries
• Somatic Dissociation and Disease
• Conclusion
• Chapter 9. Sources of Trauma
• The Definition of Traumatic Stress
• Expose to Combat
• Child Abuse
• Societal Trauma
• Medical Trauma
• The Role of Past Trauma
• Awareness During Anesthesia
• Pediatric Medical Trauma
• Childhood Medical Trauma
• Conclusion
• Chapter 10. Trauma Therapy: Future Directions
• Counseling and Verbal/Cognitive Therapy
• Exposure and Desensitization Techniques
• Somatically Based Therapies
• Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
• Somatic Experiencing
• The “Power Therapies”
• Pharmacotherapy of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
• Conclusion
• Chapter 11. Case Histories: The Somatic Spectrum of Trauma
• A State of Vulnerability
• Somatic Representations of Prior Trauma
• Medical and Forensic Retraumatization
• Multiple Chemical Sensitivities
• The Mysterious Piriformis
• Disorders of Speech in Trauma
• Spasmodic Torticollis: An Aberration of the Orienting Reflex
• Dissociation and Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy
• Comments
• Postscript
• Notes
• Index
• Reference Notes Included

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