PTSD from Your ZIP Code: Urban Violence and the Brain
A recent study in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry has revealed the effects of violence on our minds, showing that we may not need to directly experience a violent event to feel the pain it causes. Upon interviews of eight thousand people in Atlanta, Georgia, professors from Emory University are observing higher rates of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in urban populations in comparison to the most common population for the disorder: war veterans. Patients from Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta revealed in a survey that nearly two-thirds of them had experienced violent assault—a shocking statistic to observe.
Frequent violence has been linked to a dramatic decrease in students’ test scores, as well as an overall feeling of mistrust in neighborhoods. As crime affects urban areas all around the nation, this becomes a reminder for all of us to step up and be an advocate for prevention, as the consequences affect both our emotions and our learning successes.