By Ravi Sahay:
Dear Elders, Parents, Teachers, Health Professionals and Social Workers,
According to Dr. Vincent Felitti, head of the Department of Preventive Medicine at Kaiser Permanente in San Diego and collaborator on the largest-scale study to date of the incidence and effects of childhood trauma, known as the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, “This Study has major implications for the healthcare professions: that all patients should be routinely screened for adverse childhood experiences; that a childhood trauma history may be very relevant to both serious illness and vague somatic complaints; and that appropriate approaches to treatment must include dealing with childhood trauma. Additional data suggest that evaluating patients for ACEs is also cost-effective.”
Specifically, as health professionals, I urge you to prevent Child Sexual Abuse and heal the victims by increasing awareness on Child Trauma and its adverse effects on the individuals and the society. 1 out of 2 children are victims of this crime in India (53.2%). The cost is too high. This brief TEDx video emphasizes the urgent need for trauma education.
The victims or adult survivors of this crime may develop C-PTSD (Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder). Though every case of healing journey is unique, they usually develop codependent or counter-dependent (avoidant) personality as adults. They persistently avoid stimuli associated with the trauma and are numb of general responsiveness. They avoid professional help, counseling or introspection.
Dr. Sue Johnson, author of Hold Me Tight, writes on healing traumatic wounds: “If you have a responsive love partner, you have secure base in the chaos. If you are emotionally alone, you are in a free fall (p. 235)….Going through it alone after trauma – shutting down all emotions in an attempt to control the emotional turmoil – is disastrous for survivors and their relationships (p. 243)……While trauma survivors desperately need their loved ones’ support, they often react in ways that push that help away. That can skew survivors love relationships for decades, even for a lifetime. But if couples can reach out and face trauma together they can put the dragon to rest (p.247).”Â
You can educate your patients and loved ones about the horrific effects of this crime and ways to prevent it, you can be an instrument in transforming a survivor to become a thriver. Your contribution can be a catalyst in the transformation of the individuals and thus accelerate their inner healing process, as described by Krishnamurti.
“When you study and learn about yourself, there comes an extraordinary strength, based on clarity, which can withstand all the nonsense of establishment.This strength is not a form of resistance or self-centered obstinacy or will, but is a diligent observation of the outer and the inner. It is the strength of affection and intelligence.”
– J. Krishnamurti, Letters to the Schools, Vol. 1
Faculty, Sperling School of Business at University of Phoenix
16508 Old Guejito Grade road
Escondido, CA 92027