October 25, 2007

From Ghand hiwas right@a ol.com:

Re: Nobel scientist suspended from job over race comments (Oct. 18): I believe what Dr Watson has said fits too many Africans, but my belief comes from knowing a bit about how post traumatic stress can effect one’s mental capacity, being a survivor myself of PTSD. It is extremely difficult to concentrate on school work when you are on alert.

I believe there is a substantial majority of Africans that probably suffer with PTSD as will generations of the people from Iraq. When one isn’t helped with recovery, it leaves the person wide open to become abusive as a parent or spouse, thereby traumatizing their own family and the behavior of abuse gets handed down to subsequent generations. If that person is in a position of power they can traumatize a whole country.

I believe handing down abusive behavior is why African Americans have historically had such a problem with school and social circumstances. The lucky ones are the ones where their parents were able to break the abuse brought on by slave holders over 100 years ago and were allowed to let the natural intelligence shine through.

It’s not a matter of race that effects one’s intelligence, but a matter of abuse & the world has been terribly abusive to the African continent. I believe it is for that reason that Dr. Watson has arrived at his observation.

I’ve copied the following short excerpt from the first edition of the The Post-Traumatic Gazette, (May June 1995).

Real physiological changes occur in the brains of survivors which make them quick to react. In order to live through the trauma, survivors may develop the capacity to go from fine into a killing rage in seconds. That helps them live. They may stop sleeping soundly. Sleep can get you killed. Survivors may be uncannily able to read the moods of those around them because the moods of their abusers defined their lives. They also become hyper vigilant, searching for physical danger all around and all the time. Due to hyper vigilance and lack of sleep, it is hard for them to concentrate on everyday things. They may do poorly in school and believe they are stupid when what they have is a symptom of PTSD. Survivors react faster and more completely to sudden noises. These are lifesaving skills as long as the survivor is still at risk, still in combat, still living with the batterer or the molester, still living in the bad neighborhood, the bombed city. These are reality based, effective survival skills. They keep you alive.


Blogger Jim Pivonka said...

Very good points, I think.

Maslow, in one of his books, addresses a closely related issue - that of how members of suppressed groups (women, minorities, "helots") are forced to assume the traits that "justify" their suppression in their own minds and those of their masters. He describes these traits as being held in common members of such suppressed groups - regardless of their makeup - which stongly indicates that they are the consequence of the suppression of their members natural capacities, and not of thier basic makeup.

The quote is very interesting too - it's exciting to see it, since the loss of my 4 year old sister shortly after I began 1st grade 60+ years ago has had similar, enduring effects.

I suspect that a lifetime of living under the stress of such PT induced adaptations will lead to additional counter adaptations which reduce the bioenergetic costs they impose. In other words, the PT adaptations are a continuing, evolving process, with layers added over time, and the added layers are apt to be counter to the primary adaptations due to the need to compensate for the bioenergetic and social costs those adaptations impose.

November 03, 2007 9:10 AM  

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