Everyone feels sadness. It is a normal response to loss, disappointment or rejection. Depression is when sadness or irritable mood takes over, is predominant or so intense that a person stops being able to get through, or enjoy their normal day, feels like giving up, or starts thinking that hurting or killing theirselves would make it better. Some thoughts that can accompany depression can be all or nothing thinking, not being lovable, not being good enough or focusing on the worst case scenario. Depression may come back even after an episode gets better, so learning how to deal with depression is a good preventative strategy.
Children develop sexually, just as they develop emotionally, physically and socially. Young children have sexual feelings and may engage in sexual behaviors. Sexual behaviors can be a problem when it is developmentally inappropriate or involves other children in a way that takes advantage of children who are younger, or involves pressure or force, interferes with normal activities and interests. Behaviors that are public, disruptive and continues despite efforts to stop them, or bother or hurt other children are most likely to require professional help.
A traumatic death is when someone dies unnaturally. This may be due to violence, a natural disaster or an accidental death. In both normal grief (uncomplicated bereavement) and traumatic grief, it is normal for people to feel very sad, have sleep problems, a loss of appetite and/or a decreased interest in family and friends. They may also develop increased complaints of physical discomfort. Some common signs that a person is struggling with traumatic grief is that they may also be irritable, do risky things, be withdrawn, have trouble concentrating and often think of death. Other common signs that a person is struggling with traumatic grief are intrusive memories about the death, avoidance and numbing, and physical or emotional symptoms of increased reactivity. These symptoms hinder the process of moving from grief to mourning.
Anxiety is intense feelings of being afraid, nervous, tense or worried that are too strong for the situation, go on too long and get in the way of normal life. Worrying about too many things all the time is unhelpful and distressing. All anxiety problems involve being overly afraid or worried. Anxiety can be caused by bad experiences, stress or a chronic illness. Anxiety can run in families, so someone with a close relative who has anxiety may be more likely to experience it. Anxiety can interfere with life and it is important to get help.
Having a traumatic experience is very common. Traumas are often significant life experiences. There are differences in how severe, how long-lasting and how much the impact affects our lives. When the distress is very intense or goes on too long, treatment that can directly address that trauma can be very helpful. After a traumatic experience, time does not heal all wounds nor does it change the fact that it happened. The goal of treatment is to lower distress and return to normal functioning.
Racialized trauma refers to an emotional response to upsetting events based upon racism, including violence or humiliation. Racial trauma affects anyone who experiences racism. Given how insidious racism is, BIPOC communities often repeatedly experience racial trauma. Racialized trauma may lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. These traumatic experiences may trigger symptoms such as hyper vigilance, fight, flight or freeze, anxiety and depression, nightmares or flashbacks, aggression and irritability, and negative thoughts about yourself, others or the world. The goal of treatment it to bring down the symptoms and negative thoughts that impede functionality.
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