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Keywords:

  • post-traumatic stress disorder;
  • PTSD;
  • culture;
  • impediments;
  • psychic numbing;
  • alienation;
  • isolation;
  • intimacy;
  • identity;
  • transition;
  • transitional effects

Abstract

Culture affects and determines how individual members cope with experiences encountered during the life cycle. Contemporary American culture is currently experiencing a historical transition which affects cultural standards, archetypes, and institutions such as marriage and families. This paper suggests that there is an increase in psychic numbing, alienation, isolation, and difficulties with intimacy for the general population during the present historical moment. For victims of traumatic events this current cultural stress overlaps their post-traumatic experience since many trauma victims also experience these phenomena. Trauma victims are therefore affected by rapid cultural transition through increased vulnerability to developing traumatic stress reactions as well as increased length of the healing process.