‘Childhood violence manifests as adulthood trauma’

Published: November 8, 2016
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KARACHI: During the concluding session of Aga Khan University Hospital’s 19th National Health Sciences Research Symposium on Sunday, speakers pinpointed the significance of a creative mind and how creative thoughts are promoted as well as the impact of childhood violence and neglect on adulthood.

In the ‘Art, Music, Literature and the Mind’ session, speakers such as musician Arshad Mahmood and actors Nadia Jameel and Jamal Shah spoke about the creative elements of the mind.

“Creativity is a phenomenon,” said Mahmood. “It is a quest for the unknown.”

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According to Jameel, what is being taught is known fact and your knowledge base must go beyond that. “The measure of an actor’s success lies in his connection with the audience. That is what life is all about,” asserted Jameel.

In the concluding session ‘Psychopathology of Violence and Terrorism’, two teachers of psychiatry, American John Sargent and Nigerian Olayinka Omigbodun, and activist Jibran Nasir discussed case studies of childhood violence and its effect on adulthood.

“Advancements in science and technology have led to numerous killings, what are more required are advancements in peace and peace-building,” said Sargent.

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Giving examples of Nigeria where Boko Haram has created panic amongst residents, Omigbodun said, “There are multiple layers of trauma experienced by these men who were given away as young children to religious preachers and were later left on the streets to become the dangerous men we see now. The issues of poverty and intellectual disability have today led to extreme levels of violence.”

According to Nasir, we have become indifferent to violence. “In segments of society, we care more for the safety of ourselves than for anybody else,” he said. “Operations are called out when a segment of a society feels threatened, but look at the conditions of the Hazaras in Quetta, people of Shikarpur, of Gilgit-Baltistan and Parachinar area near the border where countless deaths have occurred and lives have been lost.”

Published in The Express Tribune, November 8th, 2016.

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