Can Racial Trauma Cause PTSD?
Following the murder of George Floyd, America has been forced to address a long-standing history of racial injustice and discrimination. Many people have only just begun to listen, but the Black community has been speaking up for years. Now, they have a greater voice than ever, but with that attention comes an incredible amount of pressure. Emotional trauma from racial discrimination is finally being acknowledged, but where do you go to start healing?
Being Black in America is a stressful, anxiety-ridden experience on my fronts; parents fear for their children’s lives every day, and individuals experience shaming, ridicule and discrimination throughout life. Racial-based trauma can lead to a variety of mental health symptoms and conditions including depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
What is Racial Trauma?
Black and POCI people have faced systemic injustices for centuries; cultural conditioning has resulted in hundreds of microaggressions that lead to chronic stress and anxiety. From fear of being pulled over and arrested unjustly or facing workplace discrimination or harassment, Black people have always been forced to live differently.
For LBGTQ+ and transgender Black people, the rate of discrimination and targeted attacks is even worse. In virtually every aspect of their life, ethnicity plays a factor in how they are treated, perceived and ultimately valued.
The result of this ongoing trauma includes physical and psychological effects, many of which share symptoms with PTSD. Hypervigilance, avoidance, anxiety attacks, flashbacks and nightmares are all common experiences that have been silenced for far too long.
At Caring Heart Counseling, we are committed to helping members of the Black community heal and grow from their experiences; we strive to use our own skills and platform as a voice for the underserved, and we want to not only help you overcome racial trauma but transform your pain into a powerful testament to the BLM movement.
How We Treat Racial Trauma
Social and cultural context are two of the most important aspects of addressing racial trauma. Even if you do not meet the diagnostic criteria for PTSD, your experiences are real, valid and deserve to be acknowledged for exactly what they are. We are here for you, and we want to help you find strength in your story.
Education is the cornerstone of our own treatment; we know that we have to learn and continue to amplify Black voices to become more understanding and empathetic therapists. Our entire team is committed to continually providing expert therapy and counseling to members of the Black community.
Together, we can work through this historic movement while resolving pain from the past and building hope for the future. Together, we will stand with you now and in the future with unlimited support, compassion and guidance.