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Post Traumatic Silence

Posted Oct 13 2008 9:03am

Post-traumatic stress in adults and children can express itself in a variety of ways.   One of these is withdrawal from social interaction, and one of the most effective means of withdrawal is self-imposed silence, or muteness.   In such cases the traumatized individual, by becoming and remaining mute, creates a permanent safety bubble of sorts that allows necessary and unavoidable interactions with others to continue, while cutting off the threat of having to establish the degree of communication that might require having to relive or having to reveal to another person the pain, horror, or profound humiliation of the traumatic incident.  .


In her new novel, Mongolia, author Nily Naiman examines the phenomenon of post-traumatic silence in depth through the main character, Lana, who first suffers muteness as a young teenager because of irrational guilt feelings over the suicide death of her sister, and later experiences it again after the death of her first husband in a tragic accident.   Lana’s grown daughter, Bayar, similarly escapes into the false safety of muteness after being brutally raped.   In both instances with Lana, as well as in the case of Bayar, the ongoing support of family and friends is not sufficient to break them out of the syndrome. It is an eventual shock of another kind that ultimately brings them back into full communication with those around them.   Through Mongolia Naiman brings to the world’s attention this little-known pattern of behavioral retreat from which the author herself has suffered.


Individuals who have suffered from post-traumatic silence are invited to submit their testimonies and comments tonilynaiman@hotmail.comand to to help the author bring the world to an awareness of this disease.


The book is now for sale at,,, and all internet booksellers.

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