Some males of color find living a peaceful life challenging. This challenge is due to the constant racial trauma they face. Unfortunately, many individuals are born into a life of repression, inhumanity, and violence. The topic of racial trauma is getting more acknowledged nowadays. This acknowledgement will enhance the lives of males of color. This article will discuss racial trauma and its effects on health.
WHAT IS RACIAL TRAUMA?
Various racist-abuse related activities cause this type of trauma. Racial trauma can affect those involved. It makes them feel unsafe and unable to perform at their best. Both direct and indirect exposure to discrimination is harmful. It increases the chances of triggering this trauma.
RACIAL TRAUMA: HOW IT AFFECTS MENTAL HEALTH
We’ll give you an idea of how it affects mental health. Here are some effects of experiencing racial discrimination.
Increased Cortisol Levels
According to medical experts, facing racial trauma may result in higher cortisol levels. The body produces this hormone when a person is dealing with stressful situations. Cortisol encourages better performance. But having constant large amounts of this hormone is not ideal. Some adverse effects of high cortisol levels include muscle weakness and weight gain. It also increases heart rate.
Overeating and Undereating Tendencies
Many individuals opt for ‘comfort foods’ to make themselves feel better. As mentioned earlier, the effects of racial trauma are very much like those of stress. It explains why trauma victims may develop a tendency to overeat. There are some cases where undereating occurs instead. Other people report losing motivation to take care of themselves. All these symptoms occur because of the overwhelming stress they undergo.
Lilian Comas-Diaz is a mental health practitioner specializing in multicultural issues. She stated that many of her trauma patients deal with fatigue. She also noted that victims of discrimination are more likely to face sleep issues. They tend to suffer from night terrors and insomnia. Experiencing these sleep-related problems causes patients to worry more each passing day. It makes them further stressed.
Countless males of color have gone through racial trauma over the years. Years ago, the topic did not get much attention. So, these individuals resorted to coping mechanisms that are not optimal. The mental health community is currently doing its best to address racial trauma. We hope to reach the point where nobody has to endure its consequences anymore. Resolving this issue should be a priority. Its harmful effects are detrimental to the wellbeing of those affected.