The Mood, The Atmosphere Of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven
The case study The Raven is one of many case studies in the book The Boy Who was Raised as a Dog, that features a seventeen-year-old girl named Amber who had been sexually abused for years by her mother’s boyfriend at the time. The study goes on to tell how the abuse has impacted her significantly and no one knows about until one day she is found unconscious in the bathroom at school. The doctors in the ER ran many tests on her and found nothing wrong. She was simply unarousable, they state that her heart even stopped. Toxicology reports came back negative, meaning that Amber didn’t try to overdose like they had originally thought. Doctors asked Dr. Perry to step in, he began to ask Amber’s mom Jill many questions and this is when he found out that Amber was sexually and mentally abused by Jill’s then boyfriend Duane, he raped Amber from the ages of seven to nine. Dr. Perry also found out that Duane had called the night before. Dr. Perry also saw that Amber had been cutting herself and figured that she had entered a dissociative state and was essentially overdosing on her own opiates and the results were similar to a heroin overdose and asked the doctors to give her Naloxone. Naloxone is a drug that reverses an overdose to Opioids, such as Heroin and within minutes Amber was awake. As soon as she woke up Dr. Perry began treatment and therapy on her.
Amber had lingering memories and faced her dark past on a day to day basis. She went through the motions of life feeling empty, and she became her own biggest threat. Amber developed a coping mechanism during the early stages of her abuse, where she drifted to her own safe world in her mind. Amber said that she had been able to find a safe place in her head where she wouldn’t feel the pain anymore. Amber described being a raven, even though she wanted to be a more majestic bird. She described herself as the “Black Death.” Disassociation had protected her, allowing her 7-year-old self to escape from the abuse of her mother’s boyfriend, even while it was happening. The dissociative state that Amber experienced is another possible response to trauma, dissociation is common response to survivors of sexual abuse. Dr. Perry taught Amber self-hypnotic skills that would help her not to cut herself, he also taught her social and coping skills to allow her to have better relationships with people. Amber later moved with her mom to Austin because of a job and no longer saw Dr. Perry. She later emailed Dr. Perry to tell him about her new tattoo that had no black in it. She also began to see herself as a blue raven instead of a black one. Slowly but surely Amber was able to work on her stress management and became a “healthy, productive young woman,” she went to college and graduated in four years.
I think one key concept that I’ve gotten from class and applied it to this case study was childhood trauma and how it can impact a person their whole entire life, especially if someone doesn’t seek help for the traumatic experience. Most childhood trauma impacts a person in a negative way and alters their life. Experiencing trauma as a child can lead to a host of emotional and psychological issues that may not emerge until later in life. According to Center for Child Trauma Assessment Service and Interventions “Child trauma refers to a scary, dangerous, violent, or life-threatening event that happens to a child (0-18 years of age).” In The Raven Amber experiences, a common early childhood trauma which is sexually and mental abuse. There are other things that can cause a child to have trauma like; bullying, disasters, physical abuse, and traumatic grief. We learned in class the lasting effects that traumatic experiences can have on very young children and how it alters their brain and developmental stages. We also learned that everyone is not the same as well as their experience with trauma. Everyone’s outcome from trauma is not the same, one person can end up healthy and well-adjusted while another person is severely damaged.
This case study impacted me on some points on the same level personally and professionally. I didn’t like how they mother didn’t realize how her boyfriend at the time was sexually abusing her daughter because most time mothers can sense when something is wrong with their daughter or they start acting a totally different way. She should have not let them drop the charges on Duane just because she didn’t want to be bothered with it. If I found out something like that happened I would not brush it off because it seems like the person effected is not acting like anything happened, they need to be checked physically and mentally. Also, personally you shouldn’t have your children around just anybody especially if they are a heavy drinker. Professionally it reminds me to use ACEs also known as Adverse Childhood Experiences, ACEs study is an ongoing research study that explores the relationship between childhood trauma experience and long-term medical health and social consequences. Using this can help you better understand your client their history with anything that might have happened traumatic. This will help you provide the proper resources your client needs the most to help them progress positively
According to Good Therapy, “traumatic memory ‘triggers’ are psychology stimulus such as a smell, sound, or sight that triggers feelings of trauma. A trigger is a reminder of a past trauma. This reminder can cause a person to feel overwhelming sadness, anxiety, or panic. It may also cause someone to have flashbacks.” Triggers effect survivors by reminding them of the traumatic experience that has previously taken place and has made a significant impact of their life. In the case study Amber suffered its effects when she was exposed to cues that reminded her of what had gone on, such as Duane’s scent or the smell of certain drinks that he favored. Triggers should not be avoided because that doesn’t help with the underlying problem that is causing them. People that experience traumatic events or triggers should seek help because they are not good for their mental health. In the case study Dr.Perry saw that Amber had resulted in self-mutilation/cutting herself. It is said that people have be impacted by traumatic experience turn to self-harming because this is their way of coping with it. Sexual abuse is the most common trigger. According to Verywellmind, “One study, for example, found that more than 90 percent of people who self-harm on a regular basis had experienced sexual abuse.” Self-harming is deliberate it how survivors express and manage negative emotions, or provide a temporary escape from the emotional pain. The article also states that deliberate self-harm as a way of ‘coming to’—getting back in touch with the present moment. In this form of self-mutilation, when people dissociation or have flashbacks, they may do self-harm, such as cutting or burning, to ‘shock’ their bodies back into the present moment and end the dissociation or flashbacks. According to the National Center for PTSD at the Department of Veterans Affairs, self-harm is unusual but not extremely so: It is estimated that in the general public, 2% to 6% engage in self-harm at some point in their lives. Among students, the rates are higher, ranging from 13% to 35%. Rates of self-harm are also higher among those in treatment for mental health problems. Those in treatment who have a diagnosis of PTSD are more likely to engage in self-harm than those without PTSD.
The abuse became so bad and frequent the Amber would start giving him drinks so she could get it over with and not have the fear of not knowing when he would come in. Amber wanted to coped with the abuse by taking control over when it would happen by giving him drinks. Before she didn’t know when he would come in and abuse her since he only came in when he was drunk. Amber figured that she can anticipate by giving him drinks and egging him on to do it so it would happen and she could get it over with.
After examining Amber’s case and detail the signs of a dissociative threat response they very much visible. If no one else could recognize what she was going through it should have been her mother. Jill should have noticed the chances in her, what she would wear the dark clothing and long sleeves, and even the tattoos that she got. Some signs that may be noticeable in other children are mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, etc. Problems with handling intense emotions, feeling compelled to behave in a certain way, Identity confusion – for example, behaving in a way that the person would normally find offensive or abhorrent, and self-harm. Sometimes in children you can tell when they resistant to certain people, it is always important to pay attention and observe them closely or ask their parents have they notice anything different because they could be visibly showing response threats.
In conclusion, I think case study shows the proper steps should always be taken for a person that has experience some kind of abuse.
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