Inner City Oakland Youth Suffering From Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

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In the inner city, a health problem is making it harder for young people to learn. The Centers for Disease Control said 30 percent of inner city kids suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The CDC said these children often live in virtual war zones. Doctors at Harvard said they actually suffer from a more complex form of PTSD that some call “hood disease.”

Unlike soldiers, children in the inner city never leave the combat zone. They often experience trauma, repeatedly.

“You could take anyone who is experiencing the symptoms of PTSD, and the things we are currently emphasizing in school will fall off their radar. Because frankly it does not matter in our biology if we don’t survive the walk home,” said Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D. of San Francisco State University.

In Oakland, about two thirds of the murders last year were actually clustered in East Oakland, 59 people killed.

Jaliza Collins, a teacher at Fremont, said, “It’s depression, it’s stress, it’s withdrawal, it’s denial. It’s so many things that is encompassed and embodied in them. And when somebody pushes that one button where it can be like, ‘please go have a seat,’ and that can be the one thing that just sets them off.”

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