Trolls on Fire
“…if people are in a constant state of heartbreak and gut-wrench, they do everything to shut down those feelings to their body. One way of doing it is taking drugs and alcohol, and the other thing is that you can just shut down your emotional awareness of your body.”
Dr. Bessel van der Kolk – On Being – July 2016
Diagnoses of depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, PTSD and severe psychological distress populate these stories. But so does resiliency. Resiliency shows up in the “moments of shift” when the story teller, after courageously sharing the disorder of her past, lights up about her plans to re-order her future. It occurs when Journey and Peace House graduates become staff. Resiliency happens when mothers and children reunite. It is seen when women respond to quality behavioral health and addiction treatment. It is measured by low recidivism rates.
Resiliency results from living day-to-day in a calm atmosphere that is strength-focused and trauma informed.
A discussion of the prevalence of mental health issues among women in jail and prison is offered in the resources section.