We are still very early in understanding and managing the abuse and neglect in our modern world.
In my life, social and work experience, abuse and neglect have proven to be more common than we like to acknowledge it as a humanity and, sadly, each person in this word knows probably someone that has been exposed to abuse and/or neglect, if they have not experienced it themselves.
Abuse can take the form of verbal, physical, emotional or sexual assault, also institutional, social, racial, age, ethnicity, nationality, social class, sexuality preference, disability or faith & religion discrimination.
Domestic violence, emotional distress and sexual harassment, from a little innuendo to multiple rape and incest cases, are not happening in movies only, they are occurrences that happen right in front of our eyes, around us, maybe not further than next door.
Neglect is in particular hard to spot and work with, because there is no clear understanding of what neglect means to each of us.
What becomes more clearer nowadays is that no parent in this world is able to dedicate their 24/7 attention to their children as much as they would want this, so in a way or another, most of us will have been through times when we were not attended and we could have been exposed to abuse.
In other relationships such couple, friendships, work and community groups, it is also very hard to spot and manage neglect, because modern life becomes more and more challenging and we all struggle to respond to its excessive stimulation the best way we can.
Abuse and neglect can leave significant marks on us internally and the post-traumatic stress disorder is a very real experience to many of us. Intimidation, harassment, bullying, neglect and abuse can have serious traumatic effects.
How do we measure trauma and how do we know what is trauma and what not?
The medical model states that post-traumatic stress disorder is real and is defined by a series of manifestations such as dissociation, flashbacks, nightmares, fear, irritability, shame, guilt, withdrawal as a result of an abusing, distressful or frightening past event.
It is not only the event in itself that matters, but the impact that event has had on someone’s life. A victim of bullying can suffer as much as a victim of sexual harassment for example, because they have been both violated in their being on a mental and emotional level.
If a past event is still bothering you and the content of that conflict – be it an argument, a comment made by someone, an assault, harassment or a situation where you felt humiliated, put down, discriminated – continues to come back to your mind regularly and triggers a trail of negative emotions, then you have most likely been traumatized by that event.
You might experience low mood, insomnia and an overall feeling of depression, fear and anxiety together with the flashbacks from the abuse, also reduced productivity in work and school, little motivation, procrastination, low self-esteem, shame and guilt.
Post-traumatic stress cannot be ignored or treated with superficiality. It can destroy your life if you do not take action and seek understanding, forgiveness and healing.
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