Sunday, December 2, 2012

When their world falls apart:Adolescents trajectory from PTSD to post-traumatic growth, Athen Psychiatric Conference, Dec. 2, 2012

These are my rough notes from this terrific lecture. The speaker was amazing. The research was a profound work of genius and love. Great presentation. Marvellous learning.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Psychiatric Comorbidity and Complications
The First Interdisciplinary Congress "Psychiatry and Related Sciences" Chairs: I Reznick (Israel) D. Pompadatou (Greece)

 When their world falls apart: Adolescents trajectory from trauma to growth
Danai Papadatou, PHD, Professor of Clinical Psychology, Faculty of Nursing, University of Athens 

Bus was hit by truck in Greece carrying students to event
Merimna - Society for the Care of Children and Familes facing Illness and Death
293 - adolescents assessed for PTSD 29 adolescents involved in the accident and lost their peers These 29 offered to help other adolescents - developed a documentary video
Study in particular - Overall trajectory - until 3 years post accident 5 girls and 3 boys (7 wre in the bus of the accident, 1 did not attend the excursion)
In depth interviews Trajectory trauma to growth
Living in despair in a shattered world - despair of peer loss, despair of meaninglessness- videos of the adolescents - describing endless crying, bad thoughts, confusion, -PTSD symptamatology - hyperalert, afraid to be left alone, times I blamed myself, why did this happen to us, we are always left with a ‘why’
 - Emotional and social withdrawal psychological assessment at 2 months following showed significant ‘infectious’ effect with all the other adolescents in the community showing symptamatology
- Collecting my pieces - shift from social withdrawal to reconnection with others shift from avoidance to elaboration and exposure shift from inactivity to activity
-REmembering and moving on - deceased would not be forgotten

- Processes and resources that helped Supportive relationships - could facilitate process - were less likely to share with parents but more likely to look elsewhere where they would be able to be open (parents were important though)
-Group activities - counselling, peers, - a student described participation allowing her to construct a story and reconstruct it , transcending it, it was a dark story to begin, from ‘difficult days’ to ‘new beginnings’
-making of a DVD ‘in memory’ Protest against RTA - (road traffic accidents) - letters to mayor and minister of education - important to have voice heard 5 day school excursion by bus - exposed them to fears and allowed them to overcome idea that their would be repeat
-Community rituals - Memorial Day, read poems and planted trees in school yards, making of a greek maze of the struggle of life

 Post traumatic growth indicated in video record of the students -I’ve matured -I’ve started to believe in myself -I believe I’ve become a better person, more rational, more concerned about othr -I became more sensitive, i don’t get so easily irritated -i’ve learned not to hide -experience a deep love -life goes on, life is sweet and you must not stop, must go on

 1.Qualitative studies shed light on the experience of trauma and experience of growth
2.PTSD and PTG are best understood in relation to interpersonal and social factors
3.Coping with trauma involves a socialization process -progressive discovery of a personal voice -validation of experience by others -renewed sense of belonging -co construction Community Mental Health and Ecological Model -empowers -educates and sensitizes -co creates interventions

 This was an excellent presentation, engaging, well conceived research, truly incredible work and documentation.

 The whole lecture series on PTSD was profoundly well thought out. DSCN0252 DSCN0262

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