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In these divided times, psychological trauma takes many forms

Jon Olav Eikenes

Trauma comes in many forms: from refugees who were forced to walk over dead bodies as a child on the way to school in a war-torn country, to survivors of sexual assault, to the spiritual trauma many feel living in a nation that is divided and bitter.

Dr. Farha Abbasi, an assistant professor of psychiatry at Michigan State University, joined Stateside to talk about her definition of trauma, what can cause it and how to treat it.
"Trauma is acute, or chronic adverse experience that really impacts your mind to a point that you are unable to cope [with it] – the inability to cope with an acute, adverse experience, the inability to go back to your previous functioning, the inability to continue to function, the inability to maintain relationships," Abbasi said. "So it's almost like a shut down of your brain and your body."    

Listen to the full interview above for more about how people encounter trauma in everyday life – including how some experience it before birth – and more about how to treat it.

Minding Michigan is Stateside's ongoing series that examines mental health issues in our state.

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