The Outline

The first section unpacks the idea of how and why trauma based decisions might be driving us on cultural and even world wide levels. It does this by examining how much trauma we’ve endured as a species.

The second, third, and fourth sections talk about common effects of trauma on individuals and how very similar effects are clearly present in many of our cultural assumptions, social problems and issues.

The last sections make suggestions for what to do, what first steps we might take to deal effectively with our culturally rooted, trauma based decision making.

1) Human history abounds with trauma

As a result, important aspects of our cultural environments are in large part formed by collective responses to theses traumas.

2) The extent and impact of our historical cultural trauma is not currently recognized

3) Our current cultures have all been incredibly violent in order to gain and maintain dominance.

This serves to further reinforce our blindness to the effects of violence and trauma on our cultural values.

4) We have, at the cultural level, formed assumptions, beliefs and attitudes that very closely resemble common maladaptive responses that individuals have to trauma.

In short, we have something that could be called Cultural PTSD-and for the most part, it is completely unrecognized as such.

4a) PTSD by definition can and does seriously impair people’s abilities to reason, function and cooperate with others at productive levels.

5) PTSD of any sort is treatable.

It can be difficult to treat, but it’s treatable. Cultural PTSD is a variation on the general theme of PTSD. Some tools to help us are already available.

6) We need to treat ourselves for this Cultural PTSD quickly.

The first step is recognition of this Cultural PTSD, and its role in shaping our cultural contexts as we know them.

7) To successfully address our problems at the policy level, we need to start thinking about how trauma based responses may be currently embedded in the problems.

We need to think in terms of trauma informed care in all affected spheres. We need create policies that are not based in unconscious trauma based responses.