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Article: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder/ foster alumni

Posted: Sat Mar 04, 2006 9:34 am
by Marina
Former Foster Children in Washington and Oregon Suffer Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at Twice the Rate of U.S. War Veterans, According to New Study ... iStudy.htm

This may be just another scheme to funnel money into the pockets of shrinks, but there is obviously a lot of validity to it, because the parents also suffer the same symptoms.

I had read about PTSD when researching "Workplace Bullying," which I found by doing a search for "emotional abuse," because of my work situation. Social services uses many of the same techniques used in 'workplace bullying.'

Many of the sites on this topic come from England and Australia, and they talk in the style of 'bloody this and bloody that.' They have passed laws against it in some European countries. I finally found an Americanized, sanitized, government publication on this phenomenon on the Center for Disease Control website, NIOSH National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The publication is called, Stress at Work.

Quoted below:

"What is Job Stress?

Job stress can be defined as the harmful physical and emotional responses that occur when the requirements of the job do not match the capabilities, resources, or needs of the worker. Job stress can lead to poor health and even injury.

The concept of job stress is often confused with challenge, but these concepts are not the same. Challenge energizes us psychologically and physically, and it motivates us to learn new skills and master our jobs. When a challenge is met, we feel relaxed and satisfied. Thus, challenge is an important ingredient for healthy and productive work. The importance of challenge in our work lives is probably what people are referring to when they say "a little bit of stress is good for you."

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(I have quoted this on a statement for an Unemployment Claim.)

All of the above can be said for any foster care service plan, based on what I have seen.

The two basic elements of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are:

Unpredictible situation,

and Uncontrollable situation.

A foster care plan says, predict your situation and control your situation, while at the same time we will predict your situation and we will control your situation.

The same is true for the children.

After a while they start to float or become detached. They give up control and run on automatic pilot. They start to lose their conscience. It goes into Reactive Attachment Disorder, which is a related condition needing another forum page.

Becoming detached and floating is a very frightening experience. The front part of the brain involved in planning shuts down, and the more primitive back part of the brain takes over, doing unpredictible things in order to survive. It happens during war to military people and civilians alike.

Posted: Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:41 pm
by Roni Shawn
This was DEFINATELY some powerful, meaningful stuff ya posted. Makes a lot of sense. I can see what my children are going thru now. How awful. Thanks for posting this.

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:05 am
by Marina
I was a temporary employee working with children and I was a "floater" at one place. I moved from place to place. I didn't know where to hang my coat. I didn't know how long I would be there. I couldn't read a book to the children, because I might have to move to another room.

I started to become detached.

One day I felt so overwhelmed by what was happening to the childeren, I felt what they felt, I acted less than professional one day.

It is very frightening. I couldn't work for a long time. I wasn't asked to work for a long time. I couldn't trust myself.

I researched why this was happening.
I became passionate about children who have inconsistent caregivers. I have a folder of weblinks from several years back.

Thanks for your response. I wanted you to feel what I felt on behalf of those children.

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 6:45 am
by Dazeemay
I saw our once incarcerated granddaughter in your post.

We have a meeting at her school and I am taking this with me. I especially saw our granddaughter in this statement.

Becoming detached and floating is a very frightening experience. The front part of the brain involved in planning shuts down, and the more primitive back part of the brain takes over, doing unpredictible things in order to survive. It happens during war to military people and civilians alike.

I think this is true when they come home from war too. Because of readjusting to civilian life. I see it in our granddaughter trying to adjust to life after being incarcerated for 8.5 months.

Thank you for posting this.

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:25 am
by Marina
I am sure there is plenty of research out there on this, to get a more scientific view of the subject. I just wrote the meaning that I got out of all the research I did several years ago.

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 6:56 pm
by Marina
Trauma is most severe when accompanied by unpredictability and a lack of control by the recipient. Since control by the bully is the core principle driving the phenomenon, bullying can be said to be traumatizing. Even witnessing the suffering of another person is sometimes sufficient to trigger trauma.

There are three classes of symptoms in PTSD.
1. Hyper-Vigilance. This is seen in targets who are often edgy, irritable, easily startled, and constantly on guard. They sleep poorly, become easily agitated, have trouble concentrating, are aggressive, and are easily startled.

2. Work Trauma, triggered by a cumulative series of events, deserves a special name to distinguish it from traditional PTSD. According to two English psychologists, Michael Scott and Stephen Strandling (British Journal of Clinical Psychology, 1994) call it PDSD, Prolonged Duress Stress Disorder to take into account its cumulative nature over time. Most bullies assault their targets over a long period with no single episode appearing to be outrageously harsh. This gives the bully a defense. Yet it is the accumulation of several acts that makes the bully's hurtful misconduct outrageous.

1. The three items in the health impairment checklist in the CAWB survey matching the PTSD symptom categories and their respective percentages were as follows:
1) Feeling edgy, easily startled, constantly on guard (80%) ... ma.html#wt

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:00 pm
by Marina
Education and the Child of Trauma

Brain research leads us to believe that the amygdala forms while still in utero. The hippocampus, on the other hand, is developing throughout the critical early period of infancy. In this manner, if the environment has been overly stressful and lacks effective parental regulation at an early age, the hippocampus becomes stagnated in its growth. Hence, the term "arrested emotional development." Ultimately, this leads to an amygdala that pours out stress and a hippocampus that is so poorly developed that it is unable to determine to any successful degree, how stressful the event may truly be. As a result, the stress and relating fear escalate, and the rational processes become confused and distorted. Bruce Perry has referred to such a state in children as an "amygdala hijacking." The amygdala pumps out stress and fear in an uncontrollable manner, and the child is essentially held hostage to his own neurophysiology

As this child continues to grow, his emotional system remains under arrest. This continues until an environment conducive to constant regulation has been provided. Once such an environment has been provided, the slow, tedious process of reparative stress interaction begins to occur. In this manner, the developing system begins to learn some degree of emotional regulation throughout each day. Overly stressful interactions send this highly sensitive system rapidly back into old patterns of chronic, intensified fear, triggered from the stress reaction

Secure, Low-Stimulus Environment: A low-stimulus environment will maintain the child in an environment of minimal stressors. Due to the sensitive nature of this child’s Stress Response System, the lower the external stimulus the more opportunity the child has to maintain a state of regulation, hence, calm. This state of neurophysiologic functioning is pertinent to the success of this child in the formal educational environment.

Stress & the Brain

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 7:09 pm
by Marina
Medical Article on Stress
Here is scientific documentation for brain effects. ... 000031.asp

Effects on Long- and Short Term Memory. During the stressful event, catecholamines also suppress activity in areas at the front of the brain concerned with short-term memory, concentration, inhibition, and rational thought. This sequence of mental events allows a person to react quickly to the bear, either to fight or to flee from it. (It also hinders the ability to handle complex social or intellectual tasks and behaviors during that time.)

On the other hand, neurotransmitters at the same time signal the hippocampus (a nearby area in the brain) to store the emotionally loaded experience in long-term memory. In primitive times, this brain action would have been essential for survival, since long-lasting memories of dangerous stimuli (e.g., a large bear) would be critical for avoiding such threats in the future.