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Trauma is Really Strange

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  468 ratings  ·  73 reviews
What is trauma? How does it change the way our brains work? And how can we overcome it?

When something traumatic happens to us, we dissociate and our bodies shut down their normal processes. This unique comic explains the strange nature of trauma and how it confuses the brain and affects the body. With wonderful artwork, cat and mouse metaphors, essential scientific facts,
ebook, 32 pages
Published December 21st 2015 by Singing Dragon
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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Dave Schaafsma
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: gn-psych
Since I happen to have checked out Heroes in Crisis by Tom King about the concept of PTSD in superheroes (! I know, a strange link), I thought I would look for non-fiction comics books on the subject, and found this book illustrated by Sophie Standing, who has done similar books on health. Trauma is Really Strange has an invitingly light and strange title; it's a short, informative lecture on ptsd written by someone who works with this population. As a lecture, as opposed to a comic, it's a lot ...more
I did not think this was very well written. I understand that it's difficult to distill complex information down to a simple comic, but I think it could have been done better, for example by providing clear definitions of terms like "grounding." I think anecdotes from individuals who have dealt with trauma themselves would have worked well.

I'm also very skeptical of some of the claims made. Restless Leg Syndrome is not "shaking" and it's not clearly tied to trauma, as far as I know. I am very s
Wayne McCoy
'Trauma is Really Strange' by Steve Haines, with illustrations by Sophie Standing is the kind of graphic novel, you might overlook, but what is does in it's short 32 pages is pretty amazing.

The book examines what happens to the brain and body when trauma happens. We can go into a disassoiated state where we feel disconnected from our bodies. This happens in PTSD as well as other trauma. Rather than dwell on the causes or the past, the book offers techniques that are used to get patients through
Sep 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: psychology
What doesn't kill you makes you stronger or fucks you up mentally? That is the question!

The book provides a definition for trauma, and how it functions while promising that we can undergo, recover and learn from the experience. Our reflexes to perilous situations imitate a life-death scenario in order to protect us. However, they lead to physical discomfort. The book comes up with the idea of "OMG" to control the situation and calm down, yet I don't find it practical or useful! And I got highly
Jan 20, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really good comic strip style introduction to trauma. It doesn't really cover non-NT people's best recovery methods, which do differ significantly. Also, I felt a little stressed at trauma being defined as 'that which overwhelms' since I am overwhelmed much of the time, and so dissociation is a part of my life and not something I am ever in permanent recovery from. However, it is a very good introduction to what happens in the brain when a person is traumatised, and I liked the pictures. It wo ...more
Dec 08, 2020 rated it did not like it
This short graphic novel explains what trauma is, how it works, and how it can inwardly and outwardly present itself. The book really had me going with how well it simplified what dissociation is and how it works. I’ve never seen dissociation explained so well in such a simplified way. I’m impressed that it was done so well here since this is such a short graphic novel.

Sadly, I was not impressed by the rest of the book. I understand that it’s hard to simplify the different aspects of trauma, esp
M. Jane Colette
Aug 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a BRILLIANT, absolutely brilliant, comprehensible in its entirety explanation of what trauma is--to both those trying to work through it and those trying to understand what it is that happens in the minds-bodies of their loved ones. The author and illustrator work so well together to

a) tell a story that's

b) supported by academic / scientific research

c) but never bogged down it

d) simple to understand but never simplified

I wish I had read this book three, five, ten years ago.

So grateful
Jul 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a great graphic representation of very dense research into how we experience and process trauma. It highlights some of the concepts and inferences of research into this topic from the last two decades and presents the information in an easily digestible format. This is a great way to demystify the insights we have gained from recent scientific research. It is a great addition to my waiting room library.
I need more books/comics/graphic representations like this one!

Taking a "serious" & heavily researched topic and turning it into a charming and colourfully simplified version, not missing on the most significant references in this field of study. I great starting point for those interested to learn more about trauma and how it affects us!
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
Very cool concept. Teaching about trauma through comics in a short, easy book was a wonderful idea. I am already recommending this book to my clients. If you are someone who has experienced trauma or knows someone with trauma, I definitely recommend this in order to learn the basics!
Feb 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Can’t say i got much from this
Jessie Drew
Jul 01, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Informative, intense, well researched and compassionate.
i think i'm a little disapppinted i was disappointed with this book. even knowing it was a slim volume, it was slimmer than i anticipated. the format and layout are nice, the text and illustrations good. it feels and looks nice in the hand. but the content left me desiring more.
it's a really basic introduction to some of the ways trauma impacts the brain and body. it seemed to start well, but didn't feel like it really delivered. i felt that in its attempt to be relatable to as many people as p
Want a primer on trauma? Here it is. Published in 2016, Steve Haines' graphic distillation of what trauma is and how we can mend some of its effects is loaded with wisdom. It's as if Haines was invited into the minds of sages like Peter Levine, Bessel van der Kolk, and Stephen Porges, and drew out the essence of what we need to know.

This little book is a gem and I'd love to see it in the hands of every person on the planet. If you wonder what trauma is, or if you want to help another person und
Dec 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Trauma is Really Strange by Steve Haines is a free NetGalley ebook that I read during an early morning in December. Being as I live with free-floating anxiety nearly everyday, I knew that this book could offer a new perspective (even though the cover looks a little bit like the Handbook for the Recently Deceased from Beetlejuice).

This book is actually a 30-page ecomic/handbook that relates information through traditional comicbook cells (usually progressive horizontal rectangles) with non-tradit
Sean Lambert
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A brilliant synthesis of work by contemporary trauma researchers. And it's a comic book. This is now my first recommendation to anyone interested in theories about what causes trauma, how it manifests, and how it can be resolved. Really amazing work. Also check out Pain is Really Strange. ...more
Clorinspats Clorinspats
Highly recommend for people who need to understand what they are going through. The comic form makes it easier for me to understand information, and I think it really helped me to wrap my head around what trauma is for me.
Maggie Ignasiak
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novels
Would recommend to anyone trying to understand their own trauma or anyone else's experience. It is easy to understand and has great references. This book felt more like a conversation than a lesson. ...more
Sep 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
A lot of potential but it felt like it could have easily been twice the length.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I want to give this to everyone I know. It's an approachable guide to understanding how trauma works and the processes it serves. ...more
May 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really like the use of graphic novel format to provide information about how trauma affects the brain and the ways to work through trauma. It was informative and helpful, a great idea!
Feb 15, 2018 rated it liked it
Really short book, really heavy content. Take as a reference, or in small doses, or with notes for future use so you only have to read it once.

This book echoes a lot of current thought about trauma, as evidenced by TED talks and my therapist and conference presenters who talk about building resilience through grounding activities. This book has lots of citations to back up what they’re saying, and good information on how trauma impacts the body, and how we can build resilience to overcome the b
Aug 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Trauma is really strange indeed, and can be quite complex to understand. I'm recovering from it and have been studying it for quite a few years now, and I've found that educational materials can be rather dull and sometimes inaccessible too, especially for those who are not naturally interested like I am. This educational comic brilliantly fills that gap: it provides a clear framework as well as practical tips.

I would say this comic can be used by a wide range of readers. It's accessible to peop
Chels Patterson
May 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Trauma is really strange by Steve Haines, art by Sophie Standing is enlightening. It puts together the history of trauma understanding, the physiological aspect and the way to heal the reactions of the body.

It has nothing to do with understand or dealing with your trauma, or reliving it. But rather the wiring of the brain and body. What I really enjoyed was the explanation of responses other than just flight or fight.

It’s a must read to understand your bodies reaction to trauma and how other p
Nov 24, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm unsure for now what I think of it? Maybe I'm just tired today but it felt all pretty confusing despite me already knowing most of the stuff explained in it?
Maybe it has to do with the translation, but it often felt off? Like not coecive?

And some of the wording made it feel like they were saying "that's how you should think your trauma in order to be happy and a good person". Like at some point it literally says "people who are happy, healthy and trustworthy do ...." and I was like????

I do
This short book uses a graphic approach to teach the principles of trauma therapy. I personally felt overwhelmed by so many graphics plus the writing but I suspect certain people need the graphics to better understand the written material.

The important thing to me is that the written material is accurate and useful. I suspect that even in this simplistic format the information may still seem too complicated for some people, but I think it's worth a try if you tend to prefer visual plus written
Rachel Banham
Some great bit of information here. However I was disappointed that the only recovery method explored was working with the body. Although important there was no mention of processing the unconscious. I also felt there was an emphasis on resilience and our natural ability to come out of trauma ourselves but the evidence used referred to single incident trauma which the book had already identified as different to developmental trauma. It’s unhelpful to suggest that 9 out of 10 people naturally lea ...more
Ena Šehić
Dec 07, 2020 rated it really liked it
It's honestly a great guide and educational material if you want to understand the topic better. The illustrations are a great follow-up to what is being explained. As someone with PTSD this was even helpful for myself and helped me look at my trauma from a different perspective. The only reason I didn't give it a 5 star review is simply because sometimes the scientific and medical vocabulary gets too complex for me personally, but of course if you're used to it there should be no problem with f ...more
Aug 12, 2019 rated it liked it
This book more or less depicts physical traumas and gives explanations coupled with possible tactics to gradually overcome those. However, by expecting that it would dive more into psychological traumas and how they affect the brain and the successive psychological troubles, this book barely offers anything. It's good to know, but it's just a fraction of the whole picture.

Props for the format and the illustrations making the reading experience almost enjoyable and easy to digest.
Femme Power Comix
Jun 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
While the art is lovely throughout, its the writing in the last seven pages of this comic that I found the most interesting and helpful. The majority of this comic is focused on brain science related to trauma, but it feels like they tried to mush too many concepts in a short comic and it was a bit convoluted and hard to follow. The last few pages offer more practical skills and advice which make it a worthwhile read.
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