I’m relieved that the findings in this article on childhood PTSD are being publicised while being desperately sad at the scale of children and young people whose mental health needs are not even being recognised.
I work with may young people who have been through traumatic experiences and also adults who are still suffering from the impact of their childhood trauma.
All of us who work in the field are aware of that cuts in funding to Child and Adolescent Mental Health services and how hard it is for those in need to access services. It’s ironic that this is happening at the same time as more and more research is being done to highlight how many more children and young people need support.
Not dealing with it doesn’t mean the issues go away. They carry on and I have written about this before here. The ACE studies show the life long impact of adverse childhood experiences and many adults are still living with the effects.
These multiple adverse experience are more likely to lead to a form of PTSD called Complex PTSD. When definitions of PTSD were first developed it was for those suffering single event traumas like an accident or war injury. It’s taken a long time for recognition of PTSD in childhood to be caused by abusive situations. For more info on what cPTSD is like I highly recommend this author, Pete Walker.
I found this very interesting article today on the BBC news website and found it very thought provoking. It also brought back memories of my counselling training where similar exercises were undertaken.
They were challenging for all, regardless of gender and its a difficult process looking deep within ourselves.
I work with a lot of male clients from 11 to adult and there is a theme that comes up around what does masculinity look like. In some cases it’s a lack of role models, for some it isn’t fitting the social norms of the society around them.
I have great hope though in the younger generation. Despite the media portrayals of social media obsessed entitle young people, those I meet are not like that. They are far more aware and accepting of difference, in gender and sexuality or race and religion than my own generation ever was at that age and they are using that awareness to challenge the stereotypes imposed on them by their parents and grandparents generations. Many are politically awakened and sadly too many have to be very conscious of the dangers in the societies they are raised in.
Its a long article, but worth reading through to the last paragraph:
“I think that men are going to be called to do this work more and more,” says Rafia. “I think that women have put a lot of issues on the table and a response needs to come from the men. We do need to show up. We do need to heal ourselves. And the world does need authentic men.”
I have been really moved by this Ted Talk by a woman who had to choose between her daughter and her Church because of her daughters sexuality.
While it brought up sadness and anger that people are still being treated this way by organised religions, the hope and love she demonstrates brought me to tears. There are good people out there, there is an enormous capacity for love. When we connect to it, when we connect to others the power of that is incredible. That makes me hopeful.