Some Lessons from Sinan Soc's life.

In this section, I will be adding lessons that I think one can reasonably draw from Sinan's life about preserving health physical, social and psychological. I welcome your comments and suggestions. Later the lessons can be prioritized. Walter Teague -


Trauma: - The definition I am using here is any set of conditions that overwhelm the healthy functioning of an individual sufficiently to produce severe and lasting damage. The trauma may be physical, psychological or emotional - in both cause or effect.

Further I am distinguishing between the special nature of trauma experienced in a young child developmentally under 6 or 7 years old, versus a more mature person.

To Translate use Google Below.

1. We must all get regular medical examinations. Regular medical examinations can save our lives and prevent much suffering. This is particularly necessary for children, and should be followed up regularly over the years.  
2. Fear of being examined can endanger your life. Just because you have no current symptoms, avoiding medical examinations is likely to cause much worse discomfort later.  
3. Trauma in childhood can last a life time. There are many types and degrees of trauma that affect children. Without being understood and treated appropriately with all necessary love and attention, the trauma may remain hidden and affect the child the rest of their lives. The greatest danger is from severe, repetitive traumas, before the age of six or seven when a child is at risk of believing the trauma is their fault. Whereas an older child can reason someone else is to blame, the young child instinctively feels responsible and shamed unless absolved by caregivers. The results is unrelieved and hidden shame which affects the adult and their family and community.  

4. Faced with trauma or sever illness, we all need help.

We must actively help each other get good preventative health care even before we get sick, and once sick we should not be embarrassed to ask for all the help and support we need.

5. Traumatized children may appear OK on the outside, but the damage remains hidden.

Typically a traumatized child who has feelings of shame, will try to appear normal. The effects of trauma are buried and hidden. They learn to appear normal, by hiding what they really feel about themselves, but the dreadful feelings of shame haunt them like a nightmare they can't tell anyone about.

6. Adults traumatized as children, typically hide their shame and other symptoms.

This happens often because childhood shame is seldom adequately eliminated. The adult will try to push away or hide feelings of irrational shame, not wanting to experience the self-blame they feel and even expect others would reject them if they knew.

7. The child who doesn't get healthy love, is likely to blame themselves.

Because a small child’s survival depends on being cared for and not rejected, there is an instinctive drive to be loved by the caregiver. Charles Darwin observed this in many primates and saw it as an important socializing survival instinct. A child feeling at risk, tries at all costs to get the care they need and will necessarily interpret any failure as theirs. Unlike an adult who can reason objectively or be patient, the child can only try even harder to find relief. Of course in young children, this is usually done with guidance and reassurance by caregivers. But failure to succeed leaves the child feeling they failed. Whereas healthy shame drives the child to find safety and reassurance, toxic shame results when the child is abandoned or blamed. Such an abused child might later say, “what did I do wrong that I should be treated so?” Unfortunately, their painful experience leaves them with no expectation of being rescued and thus the nature of such shame leads to it being buried and hidden.

8. Adults who do find the bravery to reveal they suffer from childhood shame are not helped by being told to get over it or that "it isn't true."

Telling someone their shameful feelings and thoughts are not logical and they do not deserved to feel ashamed or guilty for traumas that happened to them as children, doesn't make the toxic shame go away. In fact it can make them feel worse, as if they are once again failing to do the reasonable thing. They already know that children in general don't deserve to be traumatized and that it isn't these other children' fault when it happens. But their own feeling are not logical and can't just be turned off. So telling them to stop talking that way or repeating that it wasn't their fault, unfortunately doesn't provide lasting help. Instead the adult should be helped to talk about their feelings, including the negative and irrational ones. Feeling accepted can gradually help them learn not to hide and suffer in secret. They will need much patience and support before they become ready to begin letting go of their shame. Once they can challenge the shame in themselves, they will can better benefit from your good words and support.


9. Most early trauma remains hidden, For example, millions of children are traumatized each year by war, poverty and other disasters and receive no treatment, as if their traumas will heal themselves.

All over the world, most children who suffer the traumatic effects of war, extreme poverty and other severe traumas receive minimal or no assistance capable of addressing the long term damaging effects of their traumas. This is because the nature of early childhood trauma is seldom fully understood and there are far too little resources to help the many child victims.

Instead, available assistance is focused on survival and encourages the children and their caregivers to move on as best as they can. In addition, many cultures stress that child victims should not complain and be glad they are alive. They are often told it will make things worse to criticize those who may have abused or failed them. These cultural messages worsen the children's' fear of being shamed and blamed if they dare to reveal their torment or even just seek understanding. Such widespread cultural blame and neglect reinforces their expectations they will be blamed even more and will not be forgiven. As big as the original traumas were, such children not being treated only passes the damage on, making it a worldwide problem seldom recognized or addressed.

Unlike the adult military veterans who receive some sympathy when they act out symptomatically (flashbacks, self-destructive behaviors), the far greater numbers of adults who silently suffer childhood trauma are given little understanding or encouragement to reveal their wounds. Sadly, they tend to agree with society and hold themselves guilty for not being healthier on their own. This in turn further prevents healing and increase the chance they will cause harm to themselves and even their own family.


10. Trauma in children is not just an individual problem, but affects the whole society for generations.

Since so many children are being severely traumatized and carry both undiagnosed and untreated wounds that will affect them for life, their families and society will pay for generations either by their passing on aspects of the traumas or being diminished in their capacity to heal and contribute to their societies.

So lets guess that among the millions of children under 6 or 7 who experience any of the many traumas affecting the world each year, there are some who are left insufficiently loved or cared for, such that they become the silent sufferers of Childhood Post Traumatic Shame (CPTS). Naturally they hide the effects as best they can, but since material help is often inadequate and psycho-social help seldom addresses such hidden traumas which seldom repair themselves, we can rightly assume that some percent of these millions of children remain unknown and untreated. Even if it only 5% or more? What is the impact of such an unaddressed problem affecting countless millions year after year, having on our societies, especially the most traumatised ones?


11. Children require unconditional, healthy love.

Healthy adults know that a small child requires unconditional love. That for a small dependent child this means being nurtured, protected and appreciated. They understand the child needs this "love" just because they exist - that this means being treated with support and understanding by caring adults. A child, even one who has suffered the sense of failing to be safe or loved, can learn to feel good about themselves and replace the shame and pain of failure with a sense of accomplishment and safety,if they succeed in getting the attention and care of one reasonably healthy adult. This then starts them on the way to becoming capable adults.  

12. Abusive of children should not be kept secret. It only makes the results far worse.

Children should not be told they are wrong to talk about abuse done to them. There are many forms of abuse and different cultural reactions, but it doesn't help to keep it hidden, in fact it makes the damage worse and guarantees it will last even to the next generations.  

13. We need more public education about trauma.

We need to support education into the nature and best treatment of traumatic effects on individuals and society. This must include not only the obvious examples of Post Traumatic Stress in military veterans, but also the hidden traumas affecting the far greater numbers of more vulnerable children.

In recent years, some societies such as the United States, have begun to admit and recognize that children are not only vulnerable but often traumatized by many harmful events and that these "adverse conditions" are detrimental to their later health, both medical and psychological. Recently studies and treatment have developed around the nature and effects of Adverse Childhood Effects (ACE). Currently the focus is mostly on improving recognition and treatment of children, with increasing emphasis on prevention through developing healthier families and communities. But in the case of the most adversely affected within the US or in impoverished or traumatized countries, there are far less resources available. Therefore little is being done as yet to gain a similar scientific understanding and response to the causes of such traumas.


14. We need programs capable of making the public aware of the full extent of traumatic damage being done to children.

The general public is unaware of much of the extent and lasting damage traumas cause in children. Programs are needed to bring this broader understanding to public awareness. ACE studies mentioned above plus investigations into the more basic causes of social traumas is needed world-wide. Identifying the extent and devastation caused by CPTS could spur such an effort.  

15. We need programs that help with each part of the trauma problem.

We need specific and coordinated programs that address each aspect of prevention and recovery from trauma. There is a massive need to reach out and help individual trauma suffers overcome their shame and the social barriers to relieving the traumatic legacy. These should include recognition of the vast numbers of undiagnosed children being traumatized and left untreated, not just within the wealthier countries. Such programs need to address the larger context and solutions, but also to focus on specific major contributing problems such as Hepatitis C tests for all who are at risk,. Such programs should prioritize those currently neglected countries such as Cambodia. Other programs are needed to help make understandable the reactions to trauma such as resistance to disclosure, shame, and the difficulties of overcoming reactionary cultural barriers to addressing trauma.  

16. Some lessons are relatively obvious.

Getting regular tests for Hepatitis C and others known threats should be automatic and universal. Healthcare workers should include education along with free and universal testing. There needs to be greater education on the hidden dangers of Hepatitis C and other traumas, and on the increasingly effective treatments. In the US and most developed countries, tests for HCV are free or cheap. Recent treatments are very effective, but very expensive, so everyone is encouraged to get insurance or health coverage and be tested soon.


17. Some lessons are relatively difficult

It is not yet obvious even to many health care workers, that trauma in a child is virtually permanent. This makes it difficult to treat or to help adults understand and without blaming themselves or the victims. For example, burying the shame, prevents full treatment or recovery. Understanding the guilt, shame and masking that adult trauma victims exhibit is difficult. Treatment is slow and resistant. Trauma affects are often seen as character or behavior flaws and seldom understood by the family, healthcare workers or the individual themselves.  

18. The Cambodian Holocaust is little known in the US

In the US, most people are unaware of the massive trauma that Cambodia experienced before during and after the Pol Pot period in 1975 to 1980. As a consequence, Cambodians in the US do not receive due consideration for the lasting effects of those traumas on their current life. In addition they remain as a group less willing to seek blood tests or treatment for any of the symptoms. Affirmative action is clearly needed.  


[Do you see one I missed?]  

20. Beating a child physically, is more harmful to their mind and future than their bodies.

Small children are hurt far more than adults by violence done to them, especially when it is done by the people they depend on for love and care.  




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This particular page last edited on: 04/07/2017