To the editor of the News Journal: PTSD Awareness Day is June 27, an occasion to acknowledge the vital need for Trauma Informed Care (TIC) training for frontline providers. As the pandemic continues and PTSD diagnoses rise, many will needlessly find themselves aboard the Trauma Train Express. They will suffer even greater harm simply because they ask for help from trauma-uninformed and thereby harmful providers.
When I turned to monolithic ChristianaCare for help with Complex PTSD from Developmental Trauma, the organization and its providers were unprepared and short of resources to deliver necessary services or appropriate care. The corporation has been a danger to me as a trauma survivor.
ChristianaCare denied the pharmacogenetic test that would have prevented the prescription toxicity issue, ignored my words and needs, retraumatized me, and recklessly funneled me to Rockford Center.* I experienced eight nightmarish days of retraumatization, followed by several dreadful weeks of polypharmacy withdrawal. ChristianaCare’s maltreatment set back my progress by two years so far.
The absurd lack of response from ChristianaCare’s Patient and Family Relations and leadership exacerbated my distress. The corporation neither offered or allowed repair, which impedes resolution of the trauma caused by its systemic failure.
This outrageous experience propelled me to become a trauma awareness activist-artist. I emphasize that, without high quality TIC training–such as that offered by the non-profit Zero Abuse Project–ChristianaCare and other providers will remain uninformed and ill equipped for the fast-rising tide of trauma survivors. They have and will needlessly cause additional great harm to countless highly vulnerable people.
*Rockford Center for Behavioral Health, owned by America’s largest psychiatric hospital chain, Universal Health Services, or UHS. “A yearlong BuzzFeed News investigation — based on interviews with 175 current and former UHS staff, including 18 executives who ran UHS hospitals; more than 120 additional interviews with patients, government investigators, and other experts; and a cache of internal documents — raises grave questions about the extent to which those profits were achieved at the expense of patients.”