Poverty Due to Trauma

A form of trauma impacts everyone at least once within their lifetime. Trauma is not something to take lightly and can be a very sensitive topic whereas many people may experience trauma ranging from sexual abuse, accidents, cancer, violence and many more. Trauma is very difficult to deal with for anyone who experiences it, especially if they cannot be assisted in some way to cope, but nobody is truly alone to deal with these traumatic events. Many solutions are available to help such as therapy, rehab, and medications. However, these resources can be costly and many are left in debt that cannot be compensated. This forces people into poverty. As a result, it can be contradictory to the solution and just add more stress to the individual. This added stress is reflected back on relationships with friends or family. Poverty is a major result of trauma and if left to deal without help, it can cause a continuous downward spiral of the repetition of these events.

When a traumatic event occurs, it can greatly affect the individuals focus and ability to pay for education. Money becomes another problem making it harder to obtain information learned in class. “”Developmental processes are also at risk. In relation to the symptoms affecting attention, concentration, and memory, these children often experience disruptions in academic learning and skill development”” (Collins, 15). Students facing trauma are not always taken seriously or do not receive the help they require. Today, school shootings are more common, causing a massive amount of trauma for not only the students but the whole community. If students are presented with previous traumas, it can add more stress and become overwhelming resulting to the student dropping out. If a student becomes injured or a family member is injured, hospital and medical bills will begin to stack up. This forces the student/family to no longer focus on schooling or education, but just basic living essentials. If the student wishes to attend school again, many money substitutes are offered such as financial aid, which can be a great way to help pay for schooling expenses that the family cannot.

Some traumatic events may lead an individual left permanently disabled or even mentally scarred which can lead to depression. Author of Disability and Poverty: A Global Challenge, Arne Eide found, With often limited access to education and physical barriers to overcome, people with disabilities are most often severely disadvantaged on the employment market and, if employed at all, often get low-paid jobs and even lower salaries than their non-disabled colleagues. Disabled people tend to earn a low income due to not being able to get help. An example of this would be a person with vision problems that could be fixed within a doctor visit but results in permanent blindness due to their lack of money available. Children are the most vulnerable because of lack of hospital access. Some jobs can provide pensions or disability grants, but at the same time can be a poverty trap due to the cycle of endless debt, resulting in a low-income life overall. Lack of money by itself can be a traumatic situation to be in. Getting out of poverty is extremely difficult and can make the person feel useless, let alone a disabled person. Solutions, in this case, can be close to pointless, especially if the person wants an education. Loans for college can be very costly, and the more loans that are taken leaves the individual in even more debt.

Everyone is a kid at one point in their life, and most kids will experience some sort of trauma. When a child is exposed too much trauma it can cause long-term, or even lifelong setbacks, affecting social skills and key developmental growth. The book Understanding the Impact of Trauma and Urban Poverty on Family Systems: Risks, Resilience, and Interventions by Kathryn Collins discovered that Children growing up in urban poverty often display symptoms of complex PTSD, also referred to as Type II trauma disorder or Developmental Trauma Disorder. If repeated traumatic events occur, all that will come from it is a life full of stress and anticipation for worse to come. If that individual has faced only trauma and countless setbacks in life, then what else will they expect but more? Studies from the book showed that children in urban communities are exposed to violent crime in neighborhoods, gang/drug activity, house fires, incarceration, abuse, or even death of a family member. This can greatly impact a child later in life, such as suffering from attention/concentration, memory, or even academic or skill development problems. Children will also view the world as threatening and lack many skills and life lessons such as self-confidence, will have trust issues and an unbalanced nervous system. Today, adults with these traumas can be more aggressive or become more irritable with other functional impairments such as substance abuse, maintaining stable relationships, or suicidality.

Clinical studies aimed towards pregnant woman and specifically African American woman show that a lifetime of trauma exposure correlates directly to birth defects. A study conducted by Dawn Dailey found that African American women are more likely to deliver infants who are born too early, have lower birth weights, and die within their first year of life than infants of other races and ethnicities born in the US. In our society today, African American woman suffer the most trauma due to their apparent race and culture. Many women with greater lifetime trauma exposure lead to depressive symptoms, anxiety, stress, tobacco or alcohol use. Resorting to these habits and ways of coping is yet again an example if the exponential debt that individuals receive. Women who experienced these had a higher chance of premature rupture of membranes, infants born too early, lower birth weights, longer hospital stays during delivery, or death within the first year of life. During these pregnancies, they can develop anemia or some kind of infection such as a urinary tract infection, gonorrhea, chlamydia, or trichomonas. Women who experienced a robbery were more likely to deliver a low weight infant; women who have seen dead bodies were more likely to experience preterm labor, and women who experienced physical assault/death of a significant other were likely to be hospitalized longer. Trauma had proved to be a stressor on a baby before it was even born, almost like it was hereditary.

Trauma affects millions of new people every day and in many different ways but people in poverty are unable to cope, leading to health and psychological problems. It can affect someone’s education, people with disabilities, children, pregnant women, and unborn infants. Trauma affects everyone, every day, and it is hard for someone to ask or even receive help. It is a very sensitive subject, but it needs to be heard, which needs to be talked about. Trauma should be taken very seriously, and help should be provided for those unable to ask for it. Thankfully there are many alternatives to help cope with trauma and in turn will help with poverty.

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