Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Results of Untreated PTSD

Chapter 11 of our book speaks about a Child Welfare System that will be confronting emerging social concerns such as obesity and mental health issues particularly in the Latino and African American communities. What I like about this chapter is the thought that we as social service providers must get out in front of these concerns and advocate for more preventative approaches in caring for our children. For example, "Immunization, can and has prevented childhood diseases, while early childhood education and compensatory learning can prevent high school drop out, which also prevents one from becoming possibly unemployable, and dependent upon welfare." These are some great preventative strategies in addressing many of the issues that young Latino and African American men and women have faced and will continue to face in their everyday lives. With that said, I want to delve deeper into the mental health component of this emerging social concern that has continually gone completely ignored but play a significant role in the decimation of families, and cost our communities the lost of many lives. More often than not when we speak of mental health issues and welfare concerns particularly in the lives of African American children, we often think about ADD, ADHD, ODD, etc., and while these psychosis are real and present significant challenges to families, educators, and advocates, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, continues to go unrecognized and the residual effects are devastating to our communities. In urban communities such as the one I come from, the issue of PTSD is real. Most of the trauma stems from witnessing gun violence in the streets, violence in the home or school, and this experience goes untreated for years. The residual effects as previously stated is devastating; as we will see in the video above; hurt people hurt people. We have to begin to address the mental health issue of PTSD in our children at a young age, before these children grow up to become what has traumatized them.


  1. If everyone can play the lives of each child as you have done so when you posted up this video they can probably start to understand how important it is to advocate for some serious change in our juvenile and social systems. The majority of these children grow up in the most horrid situations unimaginable to most of us. Although this is a work of fiction, Art usually imitates life. Some of these situations will probably cripple most adults, so you can imagine what a child will be face with when they become adults. PTSD is an issue that must to be addressed among adolescence exposed to family and neighborhood violence.


  2. I agree on what Hassan said about Post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. It is going to be of good benefit if people that are suffering from PTSD start getting treatment in time. Because that will reduce the implication ahead of time and also reduce mental illness. If the health services can recognize the extent of harm that this disorder can cause if ignored and not treated at early stage then there will be good hope for people that are suffering from this problem. A lot of attention is being given to ADD and other ones so I think if PTSD can get enough recognition then a lot of life of children will be saved.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I agree with what Hassan said about the Post traumatic stress disorder. PTSD going undetected and is a way of life in the oppressed urban communities. If you look at the video posted, the parents are the ones living with PTSD. The kid’s father had just got out of jail, and mother was so high on drugs that she gave his little brother a box of raw noodles to eat. The video then shows the drug dealers who are enslaving the community hand out free money to the youth as if they are taken care of them. The next couples scenes you see the dealers committing murders and going to jail afterwards. In the end, both sides to substance abuse both using and selling drugs, led the young man to a point where he was faced with two options kill or be killed in his environment. I grew up in this type of neighborhood for many years. So I've seen many people succumb to the immense pressure from living in their poor, dangerous, drug infested, discriminated, oppressed society. People that are subject to this type of environment that may never make it out psychologically even if they make it out physically or change their socioeconomic status. There aren't enough resources that teach the youth how to cope with stress, and peer pressures of their poverty stricken neighborhoods. Perhaps that's the Social Workers greatest challenge... instilling hope for a better future.

  5. I agree with you Hassan. It is worrisome to see how these mental health diagnoses like the ADD, ADHD, ODD, and more particularly how the issues of PTSD has present major challenges to our families, educators, and the society. And I think it is disturbing how the issue has not been properly addressed because the problem is devastating our communities with issues related to gun violence.
    Applying early diagnosis and a follow up treatments will help to reduce the problem. It is imperative that those who are diagnosed with any mental issues should be treated and placed on immediate medical attention because mental health problem can get better if treated early.

  6. Hi Hasan:

    You make a good point in mentioning the importance of why and how the society must advocate for those without a standing or voice within our communities. As you are well aware of, the funding for many mental health and social service program are always at risk of being downsized or eliminated due to cuts in federal funding or spending. It is for this reason that it is imperative that we as social workers and advocates take up the struggle and continue the fight for those unable to fight for themselves. Be it in the name of mental health or social services our commitment to achieving social justice for the masses must not be allowed to wane.

  7. Hassan,
    I would like to respond to 2 of the topics mentioned in your blog the first one being advocating for more preventive approaches in caring for our youth. Yes I strongly feel that more advocating is needed to assist youths that’s experiencing obesity, lack of education, and lack of medical treatment. But how should the advocating be performed? What avenues do we start with? Many youths experiencing the negative effects I mentioned above, may stem from either their economic status, or neglect from their care giver. That being said, we could advocate for the youths to receive subsidy benefits such as SNAP, TANF and reduce early childcare education; but what happens when the care givers of these youths are found not eligible for the subsidies? What steps should we take to advocate further, if there’s any steps at all.
    As for PTSD, I wouldn’t wish this illness on anyone and it’s horrible that many youths are suffering from it. Furthermore, after an individual has gone through a particularly stressful or trying experience, it is common for that person to be reserved or anxious. However, this change in behavior may also be a sign of a greater problem. PTSD is a severe and debilitating psychological disorder which can be extremely difficult to overcome. When an individual experiences a psychological traumatic event, he or she may develop post traumatic stress. Most doctors diagnose people with PTSD when the following criteria are met. The below effects last for more than a month and significantly impairs the individual.
    • The individual was exposed to a traumatic event
    • The individual has frequent flashbacks and memories of the event
    • The individual becomes emotionally distant
    • The individual has trouble with sleeping, controlling anger, or concentration