Has the word trauma been overused?



Trauma is real, and can result in real disorders, though its meaning is ever-evolving. The DSM-5, the standard in American psychiatric diagnosis, currently defines it as “actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence,” either as a victim or a witness. Growing attention to the term has pushed forth a larger acknowledgment of the indirect and long-lasting consequences of violence, certainly overdue in American culture.

Some who study trauma, however, say current cultural references to the word have become a mess of tongue-in-cheek and casual mentions, mixed with serious confessions and interrogations of the past — of definitional misunderstandings and the absurd and the trivial and the profound

I welcome comments and criticism

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