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Trauma, Development, and Spirituality

Running head: TRAUMA AND DEVELOPMENT 1

TRAUMA AND DEVELOPMENT 2

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Essay 2 Instructions

Trauma, Development, and Spirituality

Explain in detail (using your readings/presentations from this module/week to support what you say) how trauma can affect development, most specifically neural development. Discuss how spiritual development can counter the effects of trauma. What are the determining factors that lead to developmental delays when a child is exposed to trauma? Give details on the prevalence of different types of trauma and if they differ among different cultures.

Make sure to support everything you report with at least 2–3 current APA citations and then a reference page at the end. Review the Essay Grading Rubric before submitting. Your paper must be at least 600 words.

The Effects of Trauma on Development and Spiritual

Name

University

Abstract

Trauma is an experience that all people are potential vulnerable towards. Trauma comes in many forms ranging from non-typical situations of abuse and neglect to intense reaction to life events such as the death of a loved one or a natural disaster. Trauma may be experienced personally or may result from witnessing a particular event. The effects of trauma are long lasting, though not necessarily irreversible. Trauma may result in a variety of mental health or addiction diagnosis and often has significant impacts on neurological development. While trauma has many negative effects, there are many approaches to trauma that may minimize these effects. One such approach described in the paper is a spiritual approach. Spiritual development and application may provide understanding and hope after a person has experienced trauma and is often a successful means of recovering from the effects of a traumatic experience.

Trauma

Kuban (2012) defines childhood trauma as “any experience that a child perceives as terrifying and feels hopeless and powerless to do anything about in his or her life, safety, or situation” (p. 15). Trauma can include any number of events, including witnessing violence or abuse, being the victim of violence or abuse, having one’s parents involved in a high-conflict divorce, an incarcerated parent, death of a loved one, natural disaster or suffering the effects of a parent with drug or alcohol addiction (Brooks, 2014; Kuban, 2012; Little & Akin-Little, 2011). Kuban states that one of the reasons there are such a wide array of potentially traumatizing situations is because different experiences may constitute trauma for different individuals. Kuban points out that the primary identifying factor in whether or not an event can be labeled as trauma centers around whether or not the child sees the situation as terrifying.

Effects of Trauma

The experience of trauma can lead to an array of emotional and behavioral difficulties (Young, Kenardy, & Cobham, 2011). Young, Kenardy, & Cobham examined the results of multiple studies and found that the most commonly diagnosed issues are oppositional defiant disorder, separation anxiety disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and major depressive disorder. Childhood trauma can often resemble post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and sometimes later leads to a diagnosis of just that (Brady & Back, 2012; Brooks, 2014; Dubovsky, 2011).

Additionally, research has shown that those who experience childhood trauma may later develop alcohol use disorders (Brady & Back, 2012). According to Brady & Back, early stress is associated with a long-term increase of cortisol levels, which in turn causes abnormal functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. This can then lead to long-term decreases in inhibition, which allows for increased risk taking that may include drug or alcohol use. According to Brady & Back, studies have also shown that the effects trauma has on neurotransmitters may affect the pathways for dopamine and additionally lead to increased risk of drug or alcohol addiction.

Trauma and Culture

Certain types of abuse, neglect, and other trauma, at least in their most general form, typically have the potential to permeate all cultures to some extent (Kuban, 2012). Certain cultures may experience trauma in relation to a natural disaster, such as Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, or the Tsunami in Japan (Little & Akin-Little, 2011). According to Little & Akin-Little in cultures where war is a daily reality, children have an increased likelihood of experiencing trauma related to involvement in or witness of violent acts. Children living in poverty may have a higher likelihood of experiencing traumatic events.

Spirituality and Trauma

Spiritual development and practice can help a person to manage and cope with the lasting effects of trauma (Morgan, 2009). Studies have shown prayer and meditation to decrease stress levels and increase overall health (Roehlkepartain, 2006). Additionally, Morgan (2009) points out that an active spiritual live is often associated with increased levels of hope and acceptance of past events. As previously discussed, early experience of trauma can often lead to the development of drug or alcohol issues. Many programs, including Narcotics Anonymous and Alcoholics Anonymous, use a step-by-step program that includes a spiritual component in which the addict seeks the guidance and comfort of a higher power. Morgan states that “trauma recovery involves repair of connection to community and restoration of shattered trust” (p. 12). The community is often found in a church or other religious setting, and the restoration of trust is a path taken while healing from the past and connecting with the divine.

Conclusion

Trauma is a terrifying event that causes lasting effects on a person’s development. Trauma comes in many forms, but is primary dependent on how an individual perceives a given event. This perception may be effected by the specific details of the event, as well as by a person’s culture and living conditions. The effects of trauma include emotional and behavioral issues, lasting mental health problems, and the potential for the development of drug and alcohol issues. Spiritual connection and involvement is one route towards recovery from trauma and often provides a person with a platform from which to begin understanding their experience, as well as a map of hope towards restoration.

Resources

Brady, Kathleen T,M.D., PhD., & Back, S. E., PhD. (2012). Childhood trauma, posttraumatic stress disorder, and alcohol dependence. Alcohol Research, 34(4), 408-413. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1430978756?accountid=12085

Brooks, J. (Performer) (2014). Divorce and Stress [Web]. Retrieved from http://learn.liberty.edu/webapps/blackboard/content/listContent.jsp?course_id=_84345_1&content_id=_4378631_1

Dubovsky, S. (2011). Childhood trauma might shorten lives. Journal Watch.Psychiatry, doi:http://dx.doi.org/10.1056/JP201109260000004

Kuban, C. (2012). Healing childhood trauma worldwide. Reclaiming Children and Youth, 21(3), 14-16. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1326253614?accountid=12085

Little, S., & Akin-Little, A. (2011). Responses to childhood trauma: An international perspective. School Psychology International32(5), 441-447. doi: 10.1177/0143034311402915

Morgan, O. J. (2009). Thoughts on the interaction of trauma, addiction, and spirituality. Journal of Addictions & Offender Counseling30(1), 5+. Retrieved from http://go.galegroup.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA210222929&v=2.1&u=vic_liberty&it=r&p=AONE&sw=w&asid=9bd468664134e54e5a6874698be201a9

Roehlkepartain, E., King, P. E., Wagener, L., & Benson, P. (2006). The handbook of spiritual development in childhood and adolescence. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications.

Young , A., Kenardy, J., & Cobham, V. (2011). Trauma in early childhood: A neglected population. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Reviewo14(3), 231-250. doi: 10.1007/s10567-011-0094-3

Essay 3 Instructions

Addiction in Adolescence

Explain in detail (using your readings/presentations from this module/week to support what you say) the relationship between abuse and addiction in adolescence. How does abuse or addiction affect the developing brain of an adolescent? How does a healthy spiritual development effect the likelihood of use/abuse/addiction in the adolescent years? Discuss local news coverage of alcohol or drug-related stories to adolescent use in your area. Give details on the prevalence of addiction based on your readings and the news stories.

Make sure to support everything you report with at least 2–3 current APA citations and then a reference page at the end. Review the Essay Grading Rubric before submitting. Your paper must be at least 600 words.

NAME

University

Addiction in Adolescence

Abstract

This paper will illustrate the difference between abuse and addiction in adolescence. The many ways that drugs can affect the developing brain of an adolescent. How a healthy spirit development can affect the likelihood of use/abuse and addiction of drugs in the adolescent years. Local news coverage of alcohol or drug related stories. The prevalence of teens using and abusing alcohol or drugs in the Northeast area will be discussed.

As a little girl, Samantha always wanted to participate in family activities. She was always the first child of three children to volunteer for their family to go out. Wednesday evenings was family night. Friday was movie night, and Sundays was church, until she turned 10. From the age of 5 through 13 Samantha always forced her parents to do something. As a freshman in high school, there was a significant change in her behavior. She stayed in her room; she was always sleeping and constantly wanted to go out with her friends. When her parents approached her, she became defensive, demanding her privacy, and wanted to be left alone. It was obvious that Samantha was hanging out with the wrong crowd. Samantha became more involved in social activities with friends, and her parents could not reach through to her. As suspected, Samantha was using illicit substances. Samantha’s drug use became uncontrollable; out of desperation to improve her behavior; her parents enrolled her in catholic school. Catholic schooling did not help, and she was expelled from catholic school for not attending school. Samantha had to return to public school in the 12th grade. Samantha graduated from high school, and she was accepted to Bloomsburg University. One of the requirements for admission to the university is for her to participate in individual counseling. Through individual counseling, it was reported that Samantha was the victim of sexual abuse. For 6 years, she was being raped by her cousin, (whom the parents allowed to sleepover). Feeling helpless and hopeless, Samantha turned to drugs, because she knew if she told her mother about the sexual abuse, it would cause discord with extended family members. Samantha’s mother pursued criminal charges against her nephew; however, she was told by law enforcement that Samantha (the victim) is the only person who can press charges. Samantha refused, feeling that she was partially responsible for allowing the rape to occur for such a long period of time, and not telling anyone. From August through September, Samantha felt pressured by her parents. Finally, on October 19th, Samantha left a note, apologizing to family members for not wanting to pursue criminal charges. She overdosed on heroine, and was pronounced dead by the coroner.

According to the National Institute on Drug and Alcohol (2014), Addiction is defined as a chronic, relapsing brain disease that is characterized by compulsive drug seeking and use, despite harmful consequences. Since drugs have the capacity to change the brain, and its structure, addiction is considered to be a disease. Addiction is similar to other common diseases such heart disease. According to the Merriam-Webster’s dictionary (2014) the word abuse is defined as the improper use of something. The relationship between abuse and addiction in adolescence is the fact that both are related to family conflicts (Martha A. Morrison, 2010). Adolescence begin to abuse illicit substances for different reasons, to feel good (to increase intense feelings of pleasure), to feel better (to alleviate stress, anxiety, depression, etc.), to do better (some teenagers abuse drugs to improve their cognitive abilities, or to enhance their physical performance in sports), curiosity and because other friends are doing it (peer pressure), (National Institute on Drug and Alcohol, July, 2014). In the case of Samantha, she began using drugs as a means to alleviate multiple stressors pertaining to the sexual abuse that she endured. She had guilt, and was clinically depressed. Through the depression that Samantha was going through, she began to self-medicate. She also doubted herself, believing that she must have enticed him in some sort of way.

According to Weinberger (2010), substance abuse affects the brain in the following methods; it alters the functions of neurotransmitters (chemical messengers of the brain that allows nerves cells to communicate). Substance abuse alters perception, which affects teenagers’ perceptual skills. Lastly, drugs and alcohol will cause an addiction in the brain. The last effect that drugs will cause in the brain is habit forming. The more a teenager uses the drug, the more desires that will have to keep using, thereby causing habit forming behaviors.

Teens that are reared with strong spiritual development are least likely to develop use and abuse of illicit substances. This is due multiple factors such as their faith, their spiritual development, and outreach support from church members. According to McNeeley, C., Yohalem, N., Blanchard, J., Pittman, K., (2009) states that faith is a factor in exploring identity. Spiritual development is shaped both within and outside of religious traditional beliefs and practices. This basically means that a child, who is brought up with faith and has integrity to always make right decisions, will do so willingly. As a child who was brought up through spiritual development, my adolescent years consisted of weekly attendance at church, community outreach services. Being reared through spiritual development teaches the child (at an early age) to isolate from all secular activities. We often received support from youth ministers, who were also available to speak with the youth who were involved in juvenile judicial law enforcement problems. As mentioned in the introduction, Samantha was the daughter to one of my childhood friends who was brought up in the church. Unfortunately, in our generation as parents, we are not as persistent as our parents were in ensuring that our children are exposed to positive influences, rather than negative influences.

On October 16th of 2014, an article was posted in the Pocono Record, indicating drug charges were filed against two teenagers from Pleasant Valley High School, ages 15, and 16. School officials apparently discovered on-line chat (on school grounds) about a drug transaction that was to occur. The two teens were talking about the transactions on the school computers. When the state police were notified, they got a search warrant to the teen’s homes, and during the search, police found marijuana plants growing in their backyards. The teens were charged (at Northampton Juvenile Detention Facility), and the parents were charged, because they were growing the plants for the teens to sell to other students (Pocono record news, October 2014). For the 2013-2014 academic school years, there were at least 10 deaths of teenagers who crashed their vehicle as a result of driving under the influence (articles could not be found through local news paper).

The office of adolescent health (2014) reports the following prevalence on high school students who reported to illicit and non-illicit substance abuse. Alcohol is the most common substance abuse by adolescent, followed by marijuana, tobacco, and prescription medication. In the past month 39% of high school seniors reported that they drink alcohol, 23% admitted to smoking marijuana, and 16% smoke cigarettes. About half of adolescents have abused drug once, and most have used prescription medication.

In conclusion, we see that there are a high percentage of adolescents abusing drugs, and there is a high need for intervention. The best method of intervention would include prevention, a strong connection with parents, a strong connection with extended family members, support from religious leaders, and professional counseling would be the most effective way to reduce the prevalence of adolescence abusing drugs. Let’s go back to Samantha, who overdosed. If Samantha’s mother raised her in the growth through spiritual development, Samantha would have multiple supports through church members, through the youth attending the church, and most importantly, she would have the innate guilt and knowledge of knowing that suicide is a sin, and those who commit suicide will not enter the kingdom of God. Spiritual development teaches us to do well; it encourages youth to make right choices, verses wrong choices.

References

Jimenez-Iglesias, A., Moreno, C., Rivera, F., &García-Moya, I. (2013). The Role of the Family in Promoting Responsible Substance Use in Adolescence. Journal of Child & Family Studies, 22(5), 585-602. Doi: 10.1007/s10826-013-9737-y

Johnston, L. D., O’Malley, P. M., Miech, R. A., Bachman, J. G., & Schulenberg, J. E.

(2014). Monitoring the Future national survey results on drug use: 1975-2013: Overview of

key findings on adolescent drug use. Ann Arbor: Institute for Social Research, The

University of Michigan. Retrieved October 10, 2014,

fromhttp://www.monitoringthefuture.org//pubs/monographs/mtf-overview2013.pdf

Drug Facts: The science of drug abuse and addiction: The Basics. (September 2014). Retrieved

November 18, 2014, from http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/media-guide/science-drug-abuse-addiction-basics

Morrison, M. (1990). Addition Medicine and Primary Physician. Addiction in Adolescence, 543-546.

Weinberger, D. R., MD, Elvevag, B., PhD, and Giedd, N, MD, the Adolescent Brain: A Work in

Progress, for the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, 2005.

– See more at: http://samafoundation.org/youth-substance-addiction/effects-of-drugs-on-adolescent-brain/#sthash.v7FlYxah.dpuf

The post Trauma, Development, and Spirituality appeared first on Smart Essays.

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