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Winnipeg Free Press: ‘Fifteen minutes of pure agony’

May 27, 2024 — 

Dr. Renée El-Gabalawy is the director of the Health, Anxiety and Trauma Laboratory at the University of Manitoba. She studies medical trauma and its impact on mental and physical health.

Medical trauma is a highly subjective experience and can occur in response to an acute illness, difficult diagnosis, sudden life-threatening event or surgical complications. While many people struggle psychologically in the wake of these kinds of events, most recover within a month, El-Gabalawy says. A minority of patients, however, experience persistent post-traumatic stress symptoms.

“There are certain things that can occur that will increase the risk of being in that minority,” she says. “If someone perceives they have no control in the situation, that’s a risk factor; if they have perceived or actual mistreatment from a health-care provider or if there’s a significant amount of intolerable discomfort or pain.”

To read the full story, please visit the Winnipeg Free Press.

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