From Date - Aug 26, 2020

PTSD and other stress-related disorders

There has been a lot of media attention surrounding PTSD and other stress-related disorders. We should be asking what can we as a society do to help individuals who suffer from these disorders and is there anything we can do to prevent these stress reactions from becoming disorders?

Depressed girl black & white photography e5-art portfolio

To do this we need to shine a light on the causes, recognise the symptoms, and develop effective remedies. As with all mental disorders, awareness and openness about the existence of disorders such as PTSD, what the symptoms are and what treatments are available, is key. Without diagnosis and acceptance of a problem, it is impossible to find any clear remedy.

With PTSD in particular, we tend to think that “it only happens to soldiers”. This means that our view of such matters is distorted to the extreme, and therefore treatments poor at best and more frequently non-existent. This leads to those who suffer from disorders feeling various degrees of isolation, dysfunctionality, worthlessness, and depression. Our attitudes towards sexual abuse, for example, have been positively archaic until recently. In many places on the planet, the consequences of such abuse are still not recognised. We here at e5-portfolio are consistently dealing with adolescents who manifest symptoms related to stress, anxiety, and in the more extreme cases PTSD. We can see that many of today's youth feel alone in their interconnected world. It is as though they are all in their own little holes in a huge field. It is our job as e5-mentors, offer them a hand, and help them up to the surface. From there they can suddenly see the light, they have a 360-degree vista and at that point, they can start to plot the path to their own destiny.

This recognition of the seriousness of their situation is vital. Research statistics on causes for attempted suicide show that more than a third of women rape survivors, for example, contemplate suicide at some point after their assault, and 13% actually do attempt suicide.
The risk of suicide attempt is three to four times higher if the assault happens before the age of 16 (National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 2020). Of course the suicide rate amongst young males makes for even more horrific reading. These statistics cannot and should not be overlooked by adults dealing with adolescents, especially by those of us who are in the business of education. Ignorance of the problem will only serve to enhance the seriousness
of it and it will be left to propagate in the darkness. What is required is that we shine a light on issues leading to PTSD and help our youth realise that they are not alone and there is light at the end of the tunnel. They cannot be left to let their present predicament determine the rest of their lives.

Other people at risk for developing PTSD are ones who have lived through incidents such as serious road accidents, victimisation, natural disasters, war or terror attacks. It makes one wonder how are the people of Lebanon feeling at this time? What will happen to their youth?
Do we really have to keep repeating the same mistakes generation after generation?
Surely our leaders can see that if we don’t change the game plan then we cannot expect the result to change! We at e5-portfolio do not believe in waiting for others to remedy the situation. We are focused upon an engagement in the creative process that can go a long way to helping today's youth on their journey to adulthood.

Designing and developing one's own portfolio can be both cathartic and extremely self- fulfilling. Indeed, it can be used as a tool to define one's own authentic character which once defined is the key to any future success.

Written by Stephen Preece & Victoria James

Arizona, USA &
Geneva, Switzerland

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Creativity is no longer an option, it's a life skill,

The e5-Art Portfolio Team

Stephen Preece, e5-art portfolio Founder 

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