PTSD Strikes NOLA Juveniles that Witness Violence!!
Cause and Effect strikes again, this time with our most valuable resource, our children. This is a really scary story, a frightening tale of how children exposed to violence and death during their daily lives often develop Post Traumatic Stress Depression (PTSD). Middle school children cite symptoms of depression and post traumatic stress at much higher rates than typical teenagers.
Interviews conducted by the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies also showed New Orleans children were concerned about their safety. Of course, school work suffers when kids have these issues to contend with. Children were interviewed for more than one year, with about 700 interviewed in all. The students were between 11 to 15 years old, although most were between 11 and 13. 39% were boys and 61% were girls.
More than 29% had seen assaults with weapons, and 14% had witnessed homicides. Other children who haven’t witnessed such crimes have to live with the added stress of living in such dangerous neighborhoods.
The data used in the study is a small sample and not very scientific, but peer-reviewed studies in South Florida also showed similar links between witnessing violence and mental disorders in young people.
Here’s a quote from a February 4, 2012 story in the New York Times entitled In New Orleans, Dysfunction Fuels Cycle of Killing-
NEW ORLEANS, Feb. 4 — When the body was brought out, the two little boys did not stop chewing their sticky blue candy or swigging from their pop bottles. The 18-year-old mother wheeling her baby came to watch, and the teenager with the spiky hair and the bulky duffle coat was laughing up on the worn stoop.