What Williams is describing, depression, drug use, and aggressive behavior are all symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. Researchers even have a new name for it: toxic stress.
Williams agrees but puts his own spin on the concept.
“I call it present traumatic stress disorder. When you have post-traumatic stress disorder it means the trauma has ended. With our people it is a perpetual trauma that is inflicted on almost a daily basis,” Williams says.
According to researchers, along with the other symptoms, toxic stress and PTSD can lead to sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, and flashbacks. In children, the effects can negatively impact their development.
Researchers are finding that people who live in violent areas are having many of the same symptoms as soldiers who served overseas.