A lot of factors may cause a students’distress, and its effects negatively impacts their school performance makingthem being unable to focus and concentrate which decrease their level ofcompetency. According to Lambert, J. et al. (2014), phenomenon like naturaldisasters and terror attacks, or those events that are not controlled by thestudents are some of the major reasons of their distress resulting to trauma.Philips & Herlihy (2009) supported the claim and they said that naturaldisasters and devastations may greatly impact school campuses anywhere. Advancement of media technology has a hugecontribution to this because it has been a medium for students’ exposure totraumatic events as it is instantly reported in the news media which providevirtual closeness to what’s happening around the globe (DeRoma et al., 2003;Lindsey, Fugere, & Chan, 2007).
Furthermore, Kim (2016) stated that besidesfrom natural disasters and terrorism, some examples of traumatic events thatalso significantly affected a person’s distress are death of a family member, parentalabandonment, domestic abuse, rape, and serious illness. These circumstanceswere no doubt been experienced by many of the students across the globe. Lambert, J. et al.
, (2014) statedthat colleges are more prone to increased stress and trauma that may lead todistress and impairments due to the stressors happening inside or outside oftheir classrooms. Callahan (2017) added that college might be an exciting andoverwhelming experience to begin new opportunities but this also may lead to anunhealthy environment which might be a source of stress and trauma. Accordingto Iijima (1998), among the students general population, law students are theone who have been experiencing a great amount of dysfunctional distress. Theywere more dysfunctional in all categories of psychiatric distress than that ofthe general public and medical students. Shanfield & Benjamin (1985) provedthe claim as they conduct a study comparing medical and law students’psychological distress. They found out that law students were more uncertain totheir career and they lack commitment with the legal education, which may be afactor of their distress.
Law students’ distress become constant and beensustained as they progress through their legal education. However Iijima (1998)study opposed, she stated that law students became dysfunctional few monthsafter they started law school and experiences increased dysfunction as theyprogress through their legal education. Furthermore, law students may becomevictims of emotional dysfunction upon the start of law schooling and facecontinued risks throughout the study and practice. As a result, students maybegan having memory problems, being unable to concentrate, diminishedinterests, etc.
(Sharkin, 2006). According to Bloom (1999) when a person isunder stress their capacity to think is limited and because of it they makedecisions quickly without even thinking what would be the outcome of theiractions. He/she tends to respond with action because they are physiologicallygeared and have no time for immediate and complicated mental processing.
Moreover, Lee & Cummins (2004) claim that all people have this capabilityof making decisions that depends on the person’s thought of how he/she cansolve their problems. Everything will fall under our decisions. However, a”dynamic thinking system” can cause too much decision making which might worsenthe result.
Perhaps, we can base decision-making from the things that we havelearned in our life for these shortcomings. Also, students’ performanceproblems affect their emotional well-being, developing anxiety and depression,and vice versa, just as how their psychological state influence theirperformance. For example, hope, optimism, and motivation may be strongerpredictors of their good academic performance (Iijima, 1998). In addition tothe previous, as law students experience anxiety, they become nervous towardsan event and they tend to overthink (Tull, 2017).
Furthermore, theyalso tend to treat other circumstances as a threat even though it has nothing todo with them because of anxiety and fear (Neil, n.d). However, when they experience fear and anxiety it does not alwaysoccur in situation when they are in immediate danger because all of theirattention is focused on impermanent survival in the present time (Bloom, 1999).Therefore, fight or flight response emerges with their choice of facing thesituation (Calmclinic, n.
d). However, Bal (n.d.) and Bloom (1999) found thattrauma does not only affect students’ mental and emotional well-being but alsophysically. Its victims experience physical illnesses that are unrelated to anyinjury they experience. Moreover, according to Cheshire (n.
d.), we becomeshocked, or always ready to fight or escape, or even shutting ourselves offfrom our surrounding if our systems was engulfed by different traumatic events.Simultaneously it brings pain conditions and restricting the healthyfunctioning of all our system because our physical body tends to tighten orcontract. Furthermore, Scaer (n.d.
) said that “… stress and trauma candirectly affect the human brain and its operation. If brain operates in anabnormal way it might damage the body …”.The symptoms of trauma may occur ifthe traumatic events are kept in the brain that regulate in the body (Scaer,2007). Interrelationships, both externaland internal, help one’s self by providing support and encouraging growth.According to Iijima (1998), law school allows students to sever from theseconnections as it focuses more on a narrow definition of success-getting highgrades and securing prestigious employment. In that case, law students losetheir interconnections and intraconnections which may affect their well-being andgreatly increase the risks of trauma and stress they may face in the future, thereby,when a student struggling in law school faces the possibility of failure,his/her relationships with people that support him/her during difficult timesmay become unavailable which may result to more distress.
Their bond with theirfamily parted as well as their reinforcements. Aside from stressors within theschool facilities, they may also become more vulnerable about what’s happeningoutside their campuses may be in fraternities/organization, relationships, andaccidents. They may become victims of it, and with the thought of becoming avictim, it may contribute to their trauma. Once a person became a victim, theycan either turn away from being a victim or turn into a victimizer as well(Bloom, 1999). A person doesn’t like the feeling of being defeated, being avictim makes them feel helpless and powerless and losing power is a pernicioushuman experience.
According to Ruback &Schaffer (2002) old victimization could be the best foretell of a coming victimization.Past victimizations like tortures can turn a person into a victimizer.Moreover, to escape the shell of being helpless, the victim will eventuallyfind a way wherein he/she can showcase his power and without realizing it,he/she can also became the perpetrator. In that way, a person can feelsatisfied and avoid the feeling of helplessness (Bloom, 1999). Eventually, the victims will finally see the damage that has beendone when the abuser is gone.
They will accept that they have been abused andwill decide to escape the bond. However, even after the victim left an abusiveand cruel event, the cycle of trauma bond does not really end after that. Thevictim will continue to long for affection and eventually will lead to enteringanother abusive and cruel relationship with a certain event or person(Henderson, Bartholomew, & Dutton, 1997).
Due to these many reasons, studentsdevelop signs and symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PSTD), AcuteStress Disorder (ACD), depression, and other forms of mental distress (Hawdon& Ryan, 2012) and physical symptoms. Common scenarios of studentsstruggling with ASD/PTSD are suicide threat, memory loss, comments triggeringflashbacks, and survivor’s guilt (Lambert, J. et al.