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Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story, sourced from CBS, stated Harvard doctors coined the term “Hood Disease” to identify the PTSD experienced by inner city youth. GlobalGrind could not confirm use of that terminology by Harvard doctors or the CDC. 

A new report from the Center for Disease Control is suggesting inner city kids suffer from symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at an alarming rate.

The PTSD 30 percent of inner city kids experience is making it more difficult for them to learn, according to the doctors. Most live in “virtual war zones,” and are actually suffering from a more complex form of the disorder.

Unlike soldiers, children in the inner city never leave the combat zone. They often experience trauma, repeatedly.

“You could take anyone who is experiencing the symptoms of PTSD, and the things we are currently emphasizing in school will fall off their radar. Because frankly it does not matter in our biology if we don’t survive the walk home,” said Jeff Duncan-Andrade, Ph.D. of San Francisco State University.

In Oakland, California, it’s a problem the youth knows all too well. About two thirds of the murders last year were actually clustered in East Oakland, according to CBS.

Teachers and administrators who graduated from Fremont High School in East Oakland and have gone back to work there spoke with KPIX 5.

“These cards that (students) are suddenly wearing around their neck that say ‘Rest in peace.’ You have some kids that are walking around with six of them. Laminated cards that are tributes to their slain friends,” said teacher Jasmene Miranda.

Jaliza Collins, also a teacher at Fremont, said, “It’s depression, it’s stress, it’s withdrawal, it’s denial. It’s so many things that is encompassed and embodied in them. And when somebody pushes that one button where it can be like, ‘please go have a seat,’ and that can be the one thing that just sets them off.”

In 2013, there were 47 recorded lockdowns in Oakland public schools – again, almost all in East and West Oakland.

But gun violence isn’t the only source of trauma these children experience, especially in concentrated areas of deep poverty.

“Its kids are unsafe, they’re not well fed,” Duncan-Andrade said. “And when you start stacking those kids of stressors on top of each other, that’s when you get these kinds of negative health outcomes that seriously disrupt school performance.”


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