Trauma involves events that pose significant threat (physical, emotional, or psychological) to the safety of the victim or loved ones/friends and are overwhelming and shocking. (APA, 2017).
Recently the TV ONE network aired a show named UNCENSORED which airs every Sunday. Each episode will show a celebrity discuss their most vulnerable moments on screen. The first show began with comedian and actor Tiffany Haddish. During multiple radio/tv interviews, in her stand-up comedy shows, and in her autobiography “The Last Black Unicorn” Tiffany disclosed that she was in foster care. Tiffany also discussed how her mother suffered from multiple mental health episodes. While discussing different childhood events that led to her and her siblings being placed into foster care, Tiffany began to become emotional and tearful. Tiffany seems to display symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder also known as PTSD. Discussing certain topics brought back memories as if they were happening in the present. Tiffany also discussed how she despises bunk beds due to her traumatic experience in the group home where she lived for a while. Tiffany stated in the interview that the girls in the group home attacked her while she was in her bunkbed and because of the incident she will not sleep in a bunkbed or want them in her home.
Trauma Symptoms are listed below as identified by the NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health, 2018):
- Flashbacks—reliving the trauma over and over, including physical symptoms like a racing heart or sweating
- Bad dreams
- Frightening thoughts
- Staying away from places, events, or objects that are reminders of the experience
- Avoiding thoughts or feelings related to the traumatic event
Arousal and reactivity symptoms:
- Being easily startled
- Feeling tense or “on edge”
- Having difficulty sleeping, and/or having angry outbursts
Cognition and mood symptoms:
- Trouble remembering key features of the traumatic event
- Negative thoughts about oneself or the world
- Distorted feelings like guilt or blame
- Loss of interest in enjoyable activities
Tiffany Haddish also discussed seeking therapy to manage her symptoms and implementing coping skills. Tiffany’s biggest coping skill is her comedy. Tiffany uses comedy to help manage the traumatic events that has occurred in her life. Tiffany may have other coping skills that she hasn’t discussed as well. It is important for a person to develop appropriate coping skills to manage negative emotions and thoughts that may occur after experiencing a traumatic event.
If you feel that you are experiencing trauma symptoms it is important to seek help from a professional to learn appropriate ways to manage your symptoms. Talk to your doctor, call a local counseling center or search local therapist finder websites for a mental health therapist in your area.