Trauma & Oppression
Often in psychology's imagination & research, trauma is personal. Personal how? An event happens to an individual; abuse; car accident; a terminal illness; etc. And it is up to the individual to seek therapy, and heal their brain. Trauma can be both: personal and political at the same time. However, there is an over empathise on the personal.
In the early days of psychology, the term shell shock, what we now call PTSD, was developed to diagnosis the behaviours of some of veterans after World War 1. WW1 was very political, and yet the harm veterans experienced was pathologized as some personal failing. This tradition of blaming the individual continues throughout psychology despite the awareness of the role environment. What would happen if psychology and medicine decide to be political. Really politicialize the root cause of peoples' suffering. What if psychology name classism as the root cause of not feeling and being enough? What if psychology named the impact of anti-Black racism the root cause of generational trauma and child welfare rates? What if psychology name colonization the root cause of high rates of suicide and chronic illnesses in some Indigenous communities? Who would be responsible for change? What would accountability look like?
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