Trauma

This blog was originally posted on Ten Percent Happier on April 22, 2022 and is reprinted here with permission

 

The Russian invasion of Ukraine is a bitter reminder that there is no end to the horrific suffering that humans are sometimes willing to inflict on others.

Pregnancy and childbirth can be a joyous time in a woman’s life but can also be a challenging one. Besides the physical changes that occur during pregnancy and postpartum, about 20% of women may experience mental health challenges.

Our growing understanding of the relationship between racism and health has enormous implications broadly and in relation to minoritized women. Black and Brown womanhood often results in the exposure to multiple oppressive and traumatic experiences uniquely dependent on the intersection among racism, sexism, and violence. 

“Polina came to our bedroom awakened by the sound of explosions. I didn’t know and still don’t know what to tell her. Her eyes today are full of fear and terror; eyes of all of us.”

Addressing health inequity requires a collaborative effort between many levels of the health care system (i.e., patient, community, provider, hospital, government). However, behavioral health providers and researchers can implement strategies that promote health equity at their level of care.
As a result of this collective pandemic experience, more of us have experienced loss, both expected and unexpected. How do we manage these feelings of grief and trauma when we are faced with seemingly endless rounds of uncertainty, doubt, and fear?
More often, people have heard about PTSD in the context of war, with combat-exposed veterans. While combat veterans often return to the normality of the civilian life after deployment, the job of firefighters, police officers and emergency medical services workers involves regular, routine exposure to all types of traumas, for years and decades of their careers.
Kathariya Mokrue, PhD
Emotional responses of witnessing and experiencing disasters, mass violence, and traumatic events can vary from person to person.
Arash Javanbakht, MD

Steve has served as a police officer for 24 years, including being a SWAT team member for years. He and I have worked together on his traumatic experiences. He has told me that in a given day a police officer might have to deal with two to three overdoses and do CPR.

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