Intersectionality and Stigma: How Culture Shapes Trauma

Speshal-Gautier
D.I.V.E. Therapy & Consulting, LLC

Key Points

  1. Mr. Johnson’s unprocessed trauma symptoms were significantly triggered and exacerbated by a meeting with a military recruiter, leading to frequent panic attacks and severe PTSD.
  2. The stigma surrounding mental health in Black masculinity and military culture contributed to Mr. Johnson’s reluctance to seek help, viewing it as a sign of weakness.
  3. Intersectionality played a crucial role in Mr. Johnson’s experience, with his racial and gender identity intersecting with military culture to intensify his mental health challenges.
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Trigger and Symptom Exacerbation

Mr. Johnson experienced an intensification of his unprocessed trauma symptoms following a meeting with a recruiter. This incident acted as a significant trigger, resulting in his first panic attack. This heightened state of anxiety led to a constant worry about future attacks and his perceived inability to protect himself. By the time he sought treatment, he was experiencing three to four panic attacks weekly, and his PTSD symptoms had become severe. His view of himself as weak for needing mental health support was influenced by his cultural upbringing and military experience.

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