Category Archives: Trauma

“‘It just weighs on your psyche’: Black Americans on mental health, trauma, and resilience” – STAT: Daily Recap

wears on youCRYSTAL MILNER/STAT

Photos and interviews by Crystal Milner

I’m feeling it, my friends and family are feeling it: the weight of this moment is immeasurable. Black Americans have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic. This has been compounded by the tragic deaths of Black men and women — lives cut short at the hands of police and vigilantes.

“Ahmaud Arbery shot while jogging. Breonna Taylor killed in her home. George Floyd suffocated as the world watched. Rayshard Brooks asleep in a Wendy’s parking lot. Robert Fuller found hung from a tree in Palmdale, Calif. We lament the Black lives lost, past and present.

“Repeated trauma and stress have real effects on health, both physical and mental. Though the dialogue surrounding mental health is changing, it’s often considered a taboo subject in the Black community. Navigating the intersections of Black identity has always been layered and complex. With these ideas in mind, I photographed family, friends, and others in my community of Southern California and spoke with them about how being Black in the U.S. affects them, especially right now. Here are their stories and portraits.”

Click here to read this article in its entirety.

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Resources for Helping Children Come With Chances Resulting From COVID-19 (In English and Spanish)

helping children cope

To download the above files as a .pdf file to print and share, click here for English and here for Spanish.

“People Don’t Outgrow the Effects of Childhood Trauma Just Because They Become Adults” – Psych Central

trauma-brain.png

by W.R. Cummings

“Scrolling through Facebook this morning, I passed a picture someone had posted, which said, ‘Stop blaming your parents for how you turned out. You’re grown now. Your mistakes are your own. Grow up. Forgiveness is important.’

“I think I understand where the creator of the post was coming from, but I also think they must’ve been very under-informed about what childhood trauma actually does to the brain. I’m sure the sentiment behind the statement was to encourage people to take responsibility for their own choices, to work hard to overcome obstacles, and to avoid leaning on emotional crutches.

“However, I can’t help but wonder about the life of the person who wrote it.”

Continue reading this article at Psych Central, click here.

 

“The Truth About Trauma Informed Care” – ACEs Connection

trauma informed care“‘Trauma-informed care’ is a movement. Service providers are talking about it.  Researchers are studying it.  Theorists are writing about it.  Academics are teaching it. Practitioners are implementing it.” | *Graffiti artwork by Leon Rainbow

by Meagan Corrado

“What is trauma informed care?  SAMHSA (2014) seeks to answer this question by providing a list of trauma-informed principles.  These include:

  • Safety
  • Trustworthiness and transparency
  • Peer support
  • Collaboration and mutuality
  • Empowerment, voice, and choice
  • Understanding culture, history, and gender

“Many other theorists and practitioners have developed their own sets of guidelines.  As you think about what it means to provide trauma informed care to clients receiving support from your system, keep these ideas in mind.”

Click here to read this article in its entirety at the ACES Connection.

 

“Connection Is a Core Human Need, But We Are Terrible at It | No person is an island, and we need healthy relationships to thrive” – Medium

connectionIllustration: Hélène Desplechin/Getty Images

by Brianna Weist

“In his book Lost Connections, Johann Hari talks about his decades of work in the fields of trauma and mental health and why he believes that the root of almost everything we suffer through is a severed connection we never figured out how to repair.

“At one point, Hari talks about an obesity clinic where patients who were overweight to the point of medical crisis were put on a supervised liquid diet in an effort to try to save their lives. The treatment worked, and many of the patients walked out of the clinic hundreds of pounds lighter and with a new lease on life—at first. What happened later was a side effect no doctor predicted. Some of the patients gained back all the weight and then some. Others endured psychotic breaks and one died by suicide.

“After looking into why many of these patients had such adverse emotional reactions, the doctors discovered something important:” Continue reading this article at Medium; click here.

“Do You Wish Your Doctor Understood Trauma? (Help Me Inform Medicine About ACEs With Your Vote + Free ACE Fact Sheet)” – ACEs Connection

ACEs

by Veronica Mead, M.D.

“The most common reactions I get when I mention the word ‘trauma’ to other people with chronic illness are shame, fear or rage that stem from having been told – by our society, by a doctor, by a family member or friend or coworker – that it means symptoms are all in their heads.

“I still regularly read or hear from people with chronic diseases of all kinds that their physicians, nursing staff or other health care professionals have disbelieved or belittled them, or whispered behind their backs that they were faking their symptoms or their need for help with basics like walking, eating or getting to the bathroom.

“This culture of judgement is especially common for people with difficult-to-diagnose, invisible or mysterious illnesses such as my own disease, which is chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS).

“Yet it happens to people with well-established, respected and objectively diagnosable conditions all the time too.”

Read this article in its entirety, click here.

“Primal Fear: Can Monkeys Help Unlock the Secrets of Trauma?” – The New York Times

“Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico’s ‘monkey island.’ The surviving primates could help scientists learn about the psychological response to traumatizing events.”

monkeysCaretakers on Cayo Santiago taking food pellets and other supplies to the main clearing where the monkeys hang out. Glenna Gordon for The New York Times”

This is a longer read than normal; the article, though, is a journey through the trauma that Hurricane Maria visited on the inhabitants — human and others – of Puerto Rico and its islands.

trauma

by Luke Dittrich

“On Valentine’s Day, 2018, five months after Hurricane Maria made landfall, Daniel Phillips stood at the edge of a denuded forest on the eastern half of a 38-acre island known as Cayo Santiago, a clipboard in his hand, his eyes on the monkeys. The island sits about a half-mile off the southeast coast of Puerto Rico, near a village called Punta Santiago. Phillips and his co-workers left the mainland shortly after dawn, and the monkeys had already begun to gather by the time they arrived, their screams and oddly birdlike chirps louder than the low rumble of the motorboat that ferried the humans.

“The monkeys were everywhere. Some were drinking from a large pool of stagnant rainwater; some were grooming each other, nit-picking; some were still gnawing on the plum-size pellets of chow that Phillips hurled into the crowd a half-hour before. Two sat on the naked branch of a tree, sporadically mating. They were all rhesus macaques, a species that grows to a maximum height of about two and a half feet and a weight of about 30 pounds. They have long, flexible tails; dark, expressive eyes; and fur ranging from blond to dark brown.”

Click here to read this New York Times article in its entirety.

“Mourning Paradise: Collective Trauma In A Town Destroyed” – California HealthLine

by Stephanie O’Neill

“One of the final memories Carol Holcomb has of her pine-shaded neighborhood was the morning sun that reflected red and gold on her trees last Nov. 8. That day, she said, promised to be a beautiful one in the Butte County town of Paradise.

“So she was surprised to hear what sounded like raindrops tapping her roof a short time later. Holcomb, 56, stepped outside to investigate and saw a chunk of pine bark floating down from the sky.

“‘It was about 3 inches by 2 inches,’ she said. ‘And it was smoking.’

paradise ptsd“In the commotion of evacuating from Paradise, Carol Holcomb lost a backpack containing her mother’s Bible, her grandfather’s Purple Heart medal from World War I and photographs of both of them. Thanks to a good Samaritan, she recovered the backpack containing the family treasures.” (Michelle Camy for KHN)

“It was her first glimpse of the approaching wildfire that would become the deadliest and most destructive in California history — one she continues to relive in debilitating nightmares and flashbacks.

“The Camp Fire virtually incinerated Paradise, a town of 27,000. It killed 85 people in the region — many of them elderly. Most died in their homes — others while fleeing in their cars or trying to flee on foot.”

Continue reading this article at California HealthLine, click here.

 

“Suicide prevention: Research on successful interventions” – Journalist’s Resource

suicide

by Chloe Reichel

“As suicide rates rise in the United States, researchers have been working to identify approaches to curb the trend.

“This roundup looks at recent publications in the field of suicide prevention research.

“The findings are organized by risk group, an approach endorsed by Cheryl King, a professor in the University of Michigan Medical School’s department of psychiatry. Behind this structure is the understanding that different populations exist in different contexts with respect to access to and provision of health care.

“As an example, King compared youth and veterans: youth require family permission for health care, and veterans generally have the option of seeking health care from an entirely separate system than the civilian population. This means ‘there are differences in the interventions, in the approaches we take,’ she explained in a phone call with Journalist’s Resource.

“The research below includes a sampling of successful strategies for suicide prevention for certain risk groups including men, the military, the incarcerated, youth and the elderly. ”

Click here to continue reading this article at Journalist’s Resource.