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'What happened' vs. 'what's wrong': Recognizing how trauma impacts us all | Perspective [philly.com]

 

There is a toxin in Philadelphia that our children and families are being exposed to near constantly: trauma.

Trauma lingers and isn’t just limited to a single incident, like a gunshot. Trauma manifests in hunger, housing instability, or living without utilities. It can include exposure to abuse, neglect, gun violence, police brutality, imprisonment, and domestic violence. And trauma can pass through generations as the result of historical violence, slavery, redlining, and mass incarceration. Very much like a toxin, the longer it goes unnoticed and untreated, the worse things can get.

Last Sunday, on 60 Minutes, Oprah Winfrey spoke with a leading trauma researcher, Bruce Perry, MD, about trauma, adversity, and how exposure to them affects our bodies and minds over the course of our lives. Not only does trauma affect our health, but it can adversely impact our behavior and economic success. For example, according to researchers from the Center on the Developing Child at Harvard, adverse experiences in early life impair the building of the brain’s architecture, which can adversely impact how we learn, how we feel and how we behave. And trauma exposure is related to serious physical consequences that go beyond the original injury that includes depression, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and substance use.

[For more on this story by @Mariana Chilton, go to http://www.philly.com/philly/o...pinion-20180315.html]

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