On this last day of 2010 I am reflecting on the past year at Treating Trauma. It was my first full year of blogging (having started in March of 2009) and it has been incredibly enriching. I have valued and learned from your comments and conversations. I appreciated the opportunity to think and write in-depth about a few topics, learning to love yourself after trauma for one.
Everyone seems to do end of the year lists around this time. I think it gives an interesting perspective on which topics resonate with the largest number of readers. (Some of the top posts were actually written in 2009, but for the purposes of this year-end review I am including only posts I wrote this year. I am glad that some topics remain relevant.) That and I just plain like the year-end list tradition.
So here comes my list: Treating Trauma’s top 10 most read posts of 2010.
1. Depersonalization Disorder. In this most read post of 2010 I defined depersonalization, as a normative experience, a symptom of other diagnoses or a type of dissociative disorder. I also shared research that explored the role of childhood interpersonal trauma in depersonalization disorder.
2. Depression Checklist shares a resource from my website that helps you identify symptoms of depression. People apparently love a checklist, as this is consistently one of the top search terms that lead folks to my blog.
3. Complex PTSD describes a variant of PTSD that applies to those who have experienced prolonged, repeated abuse from an early age. This was one of my favorite posts of the year as it is at the heart of much of my practice. It was also inspired by a fantastic training I attended in 2010: Contextual Therapy:Treating Survivors of Complex Trauma.
4. Shame and Self-Blame After Trauma, from way back last January, was part of my self-love series and apparently struck a chord with many readers! Here I discussed how “Abuse begets shame, the felt sense that one is innately bad. It can take the form of believing that you are defective, broken, unlovable, unworthy, stupid, ugly, worthless. In the case of trauma survivors it can also be expressed as blaming yourself for the abuse. In reality it is exactly the reverse! Abuse creates this sense of being bad.”
5. Kicked Out: Homelessness and LGBTQ Youth. I was happy to write this post to spread the word about the anthology by this name. LGBTQ youth from around the world who were forced to leave home as minors as a result of their sexuality and/or gender identity share their stories. That these are stories of survival in the face of trauma felt especially important this year, to counterbalance the epidemic of stories about LGBTQ youth suicides.
6. Overcoming Negative Self-Talk– another post related to self-love and a follow up to post #4 above. Really fantastic conversation via the comments section here!
7. Verbal Abuse: Words Can Hurt. I am so glad this topic got a lot of attention, given how little we understand the impact of verbal abuse. Here I shared research that indicates that parental verbal abuse alone can impact the child’s brain development in ways that lead to language processing issues and symptoms common to complex PTSD.
8. Understanding Dissociation was another favorite post of mine. Dissociation and trauma often go hand in hand, and yet it is not well understood even by trauma therapists! One take away idea: while dissociation helps you survive childhood trauma, it may be maladaptive later in life.
9. National Statistics about Sexual Violence on College Campuses was a post I wrote as part of a series for Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 20 to 25 percent of college women in the United States experience attempted or completed rape during while in college. So it is not a surprise that this post is in the top ten. Saddening, but not surprising.
10. Does Self-Care Mean Others Don’t? is the most recent post in my top ten and part of a bigger conversation about self-care. The comments in response to both these posts are well worth reading and my favorite part of this entry. Your feedback and responses make me think and grow. That is what I love about blogging and what keeps me committed to it as we get ready for 2011.
Thank you to all who have participated at Treating Trauma in the past year, by reading, commenting or passing my words on. I look forward to what we will share with each other next year!