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Investigating Post Traumatic  Stress Disorder (PTSD) Triggered  by the Experience of Dyslexia in  Mainstream School Education?

Journal of Psychology & Psychotherapy

J Psychol Psychother 2015, 5:6



Purpose: This paper details a study of adult dyslexics, investigating their childhoods and whether emotional trauma took place, and if this resulted in post-traumatic stress manifestations.

Methods: This paper reports on a reflective qualitative/quantitative adult developmental dyslexia study of N=22 who presently or have in the past suffered from depressive disorders, and N=7 control dyslexic adults. All who replied to the recruitment adverts with a valid diagnosis were interviewed. The study compared depressive to non-depressive dyslexics, with gender and academic success variables. Interpretive Phenomenology Analysis was used to investigate dyslexia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from a qualitative perspective.

Results: The study found support for previous empirical studies noting childhood trauma amongst this population, however this study went one stage further an investigated PTSD as a main topic (manifested as adults and parents). Anger and resentment towards their childhood teacher still registered as adults, along with memories of injustice at the hands of childhood educationalists. Much of this anger was at their lack of diagnosis which meant they suffered for many years as having an undiagnosed learning difficulty. Interestingly the triggers that affected them at present were smell (school cleaning materials), small pictures and small chairs; these produced high levels of anxiety, inferiority and flash-backs which made visiting school for their own children problematic, with some avoiding such situations.

Conclusion: This study identified that emotional trauma took place in all participants, and this resulted in many having post-traumatic stress disorder manifestations as a result of returning to school for their own children. Participants still noted anger and resentment as adults towards their childhood teachers.