Conflict Nightmares and Trauma in Aceh
Rent the article at a discountRent now
* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.Get Access
In both the Acehnese and Indonesian languages, there is no single lexical term for “nightmare.” And yet findings from a large field research project in Aceh that examined post traumatic experience during Aceh’s nearly 30-year rebellion against the Indonesian state and current mental distress revealed a rich variety of dream narratives that connect directly and indirectly to respondents’ past traumatic experiences. The results reported below suggest that even in a society that has a very different cultural ideology about dreams, where “nightmares” as such are not considered dreams but rather the work of mischievous spirits called jin, they are still a significant part of the trauma process. We argue that it is productive to distinguish between terrifying and repetitive dreams that recreate the traumatic moment and the more ordinary varieties of dreams that Acehnese reported to their interviewers. Nightmares that refer back to conflict events do not appear as an elaborated feature of trauma as the condition is understood by people in Aceh, but when asked further about their dreams, respondents who reported symptoms suggestive of PTSD were more likely to report PTSD-like dreams, memory intrusions that repeat the political violence of the past.
- Aron, A. The Collective Nightmare of Central American Refugees. In: Barrett, D. eds. (1996) Trauma and Dreams. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 140-147
- Frödin, L. (2006) BRA Reintegration Assistance Table. European Commission, Banda Aceh, Indonesia
- Good, B., Good, M.-J.D., Grayman, J., Lakoma, M. (2006) Psychosocial Needs Assessment of Communities Affected by the Conflict in the Districts of Pidie, Bireuen, and Aceh Utara. International Organization for Migration, Geneva
- Good, M.-J.D., Good, B., Grayman, J., Lakoma, M. (2007) A Psychosocial Needs Assessment of Communities in 14 Conflict-Affected Districts in Aceh. International Organization for Migration, Geneva
- Hartmann, E. Who Develops PTSD Nightmares and Who Doesn’t. In: Barrett, D. eds. (1996) Trauma and Dreams. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA, pp. 100-113
- Hinton, D., Nguyen, L., Pollack, M.H. (2007) Orthostatic Panic as a Key Vietnamese Reaction to Traumatic Events: The Case of September 11, 2001. Medical Anthropology Quarterly 21: pp. 81-107 CrossRef
- Kleinman, A. (1988) Rethinking Psychiatry: From Cultural Category to Personal Experience. Free Press, Collier Macmillan, New York, London
- Kompas 2003 Panglima TNI: Bila GAM Tidak Menyerah Akan Dihabisi. In Kompas. Medan. Available at: http://www2.kompas.com/utama/news/0305/19/112137.htm.
- McCarthy, J. 2001 Living with Tigers in South Aceh. Inside Indonesia 65: January–March. Available at: http://insideindonesia.org/content/view/498/29/.
- Mollica, R.F. (2006) Healing Invisible Wounds: Paths to Hope and Recovery in a Violent World. Harcourt, Orlando, FL
- Mollica, R.F., MacDonald, L.S., Massagli, M., Silove, D.M. (2004) Measuring Trauma, Measuring Torture. Instructions and Guidance on the Utilization of the Harvard Program in Refugee Traumas Versions of The Hopkins Symptom Checklist-25 (HSCL-25) & The Harvard Trauma Questionnaire (HTQ). Harvard Program in Refugee Trauma, Cambridge, MA
- Reid, A. eds. (2006) Verandah of Violence: The Background to the Aceh Problem. Singapore University Press, Singapore
- Siegel, J.T. (1979) Shadow and Sound: The Historical Thought of a Sumatran People. University of Chicago Press, Chicago
- Siegel, J.T. 2000a Curing Rites, Dreams, and Domestic Politics in a Sumatran Society. In The Rope of God, pp. 311–335. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
- Siegel, J.T. 2000b Possessed. In The Rope of God, pp. 336–422. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.
- Conflict Nightmares and Trauma in Aceh
Culture, Medicine, and Psychiatry
Volume 33, Issue 2 , pp 290-312
- Cover Date
- Print ISSN
- Online ISSN
- Springer US
- Additional Links
- Political violence
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Anthropology, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, William James Hall, 3rd Floor, 33 Kirkland Street, Cambridge, MA, 02138-2044, USA
- 2. Department of Social Medicine, Harvard University Medical School, 25 Shattuck Street, Boston, MA, 02115, USA