What is “Hood Disease”?

By: Mayra Vargas, MFTI
ACS Bilingual Intern in After School Program and Substance Treatment Abuse Program.

“Hood Disease” is a new terminology that has been associated to describe a complex version of PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) that affects the inner city youth. According to the CBS affiliate report it states that 30% is affecting the current youth in Oakland.

The youth that live in poverty-stricken neighborhood that is surrounded with violence is a daily emotional and survival struggle for them. According to the article their environment has features of war zone and the trauma that is experience comes attached. The experiences that they live through in these neighborhoods are something that is difficult to move away from since their perspective is on survival mode. The article states that unlike soldiers, these children never leave their combat zones. For some of these kids who have all the trauma associated to the violence in their neighborhoods and/or community the way out of the situation is not through school. Therefore, school is sometimes the last thing that children and/or youth think about when they are at school. The thought process of these kids is how to get from point A to point B without getting shot or killed.

A study by the National Institute of Health reports the trauma of experience violence on a daily or frequent basis can limit the academic achievement of an individual in neighborhoods with high crime rates and can have the potential to decrease the memory.

The article is related to the high crime areas surrounding Oakland but it does not mean that other inner cities do not have the same challenges, therefore have the same cause and effect on the youth that go to school in other inner cities in California or other states. It is important for people to be aware that sometimes the behaviors that children and/or adolescent are exhibiting at school might not be because they are “trouble” but because they are dealing with other challenges in their neighborhoods and/or communities.

Source: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-California/2014/05/17/Hood-Disease-California-s-Inner-City-Youth-Suffering-from-New-Form-of-PTSD