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Traumatization and Trauma-Reactivation in the Elderly

Volume 1, 2004, Nr. 3

Gereon Heuft:

Traumatization and Trauma-Reactivation in the Elderly (Abstract)

Psychic symptoms by psychic traumas are fundamentally different from those caused by psychodynamic conflicts or cognitive behavioral conceptualizations. For the purposes of a disrciminating psychotraumatology there is the need to differ traumas by their aetiology. Adults suffering not immediately after a specific trauma from a posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can develop a trauma-reactivation 30 or more years after the trauma by demands of the somatic process of aging. It is discussed that the possibility of being helpless in the face of the somatic aging process could reactivate the traumatic dynamic. Need is stressed to differ trauma-reactivation from retraumatization. Psychotherapeutic possiblilities of trauma-reactivation in old age are discussed.