A local CBS-affiliated network in San Francisco reported that a study conducted by Harvard doctors and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention finds that nearly 30 percent of youth in inner-cities are affected by “hood disease.” The term is used to describe a complex form of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that affects young people who live in socioeconomically disadvantaged neighborhoods where they are repeatedly exposed to trauma.
A more accurate term to describe the youth’s condition is Continual Traumatic Stress Disorder, or CTSD because children who live in urban neighborhoods are continually exposed to trauma. This makes what inner-city children experience different from those who experience PTSD because PTSD generally stems from one event or a series of events that has come to an end. CTSD stems from repeated exposure to traumatic and violent conditions rather than just a single event.
Wendy Tokuda, the news reporter who coined the term “hood disease,” wrote an email to Ebony accepting responsibility for her ignorant and insensitive terminology. She also admitted that neither Harvard nor CDC ever confirmed using the terminology to describe CTSD. “I so regret using the term ‘Hood Disease’ which is not a term either the CDC uses or HARVARD,” Tokuda explained in an email to EBONY. “That came from a resident in Oakland, and we seized on it. It is my fault.”
While it’s honorable of Tokuda to accept responsibility for her actions, this is an example of news stations disregarding quality of information in an attempt to deliver content quickly and efficiently. “Hood disease” is a very degrading term used to describe trauma that African-American youth face in their communities, many times as a result of systemic oppression. This video contains the original segment as well as reaction to it.