Psychobiology and trauma

The main feature of the posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a strong memory for the survived events that were traumatic. During brain formation, there are some genetic factors involved and these have been found to influence PTSD development to trauma exposure. Studies show that KIBRA, which is a protein responsible for gene encoding in the brain, is involved in memory performance that is long term and thus influencing the susceptibility of life time PTSD development. The posttraumatic stress disorder is characterized by specific symptoms that individuals develop after exposure to traumatic events and respond with so much fear with feelings of helplessness.

The central part of trauma is an experience that is outside the range of normal human experiences.
Traumatization invalidates the assumptions that exist of oneself and the world in general. Differences in basic assumptions can be linked with cultural background, context of the trauma and even forced migration. For example, war victims have a high level of the world and low levels of assumptions concerning justice, while children of parents who have been traumatized by war reported lower levels of world assumptions.

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The aim of this study is to gain access in the different assumptions that traumatized people have about themselves and the world and their possible implications for intervention purposes. The onset of a growing traumatic event is a big change in ones life and it destroys the normal way in which a person views the world including the power to predict. Moreover, it distorts ones beliefs and during this situation, there is no meaning for existence.

Torture is a sequence of bad events that are traumatic and these events breaks down the spirit of a person with so much cruelty in a deliberate and systematic manner. They destroy one’s personality through violence that destroys the body and the soul. Lifelong trauma is a common feature for people who have survived torture.
Unemployment, lack of proper housing, a legal framework that is disorganized not forgetting unrecognized status are some of the additional stressors to traumatized people. A complete and inclusive rehabilitation plan is needed for such people. People who are homosexual, bisexual or transgender are vulnerable to experiences of depression and even suicide. This is because in most cases, they find themselves being rejected in the society and this leads to trauma. There exists a serious need for competent providers in this culture to provide intervention measures for such kind of people.

Trauma has negative effects on families and children. Children who are frequently abused have increased anxiety. Limited parental involvement may make parents to be unaware of the traumatic stress symptoms in their children. Torture and maltreatment not only destroys an individual personally but also psychologically. A brief child organization has embarked to looking for children who are at the risk of suffering PTSD and align them to the appropriate intervention, measures. When children are abused constantly and neglected, this builds both physical and mental problems up to a later period in life. Traumatic events not only affect people at individual and family levels but also the community as a whole.

Traumatic stress reactions are linked with insecurity due to feelings of constant threat and uncertainty. Feelings of hopelessness and the insecurity that there is nobody you can trust in the community and that you can be betrayed any time. Many people are suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder due to its negative impacts. However, evidence indicates that early intervention measures undertaken for the people suffering from traumatic stress can be of help.


  • Wilker S, Kolassa S, Vogler C, Lingenfelder B, Elbert Papassotiropoulos A, De Quervain D, and I. Kolassa, Clinical & Biological Psychology, Institute for Psychology& Education, University of Ulm, Ulm, Germany;
  • SAP Switzerland AG, Ta¨gerwilen, Switzerland; Division of Molecular Neuroscience, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland;
  • Department of Psychology, University of Konstanz, Konstanz, Germany;