Enfield Stabbings and the Effect of Gang Culture on Mental Health
In a recent copy of the Enfield Independent, there were two reports of murders and two stabbings in the local area. The other three articles consisted of random attacks, burglaries and the ridiculous cost of housing in Enfield and Edmonton. This edition of the Enfield Independent was by no means an exception to the rule: week in and week out, there are similar reports of violence on the streets and it seems, if anything, to be getting worse. It has been well documented that both physical violence and mental abuse cause problems for people. Those affected often develop a range of psychological problems including depression, anxiety, panic attacks, psychosomatic symptoms and sleeping disorders. But what does this news do to people in the local community? Individuals all live in a community and being part of this is an essential ingredient to well being. Now, it is evident that there are some cultures who invest a great deal of energy interacting and corresponding with members of the local community. For example, tribes in many parts of Africa hold regular ceremonies in which locals dance, sing and spend time together. In England, fewer people go out to meet each other and spend time outside the comfort of their own homes. Even pub culture has lessened over the last twenty years with fewer people meeting up with friends and the local boozer. Part of this is cultural. The English, for example, tend to go from one box to another – that is to say, they move from their flat, to the launderette, to the post office and then back home. And, as it is often so cold, they tend not to meet people outside. Presumably, this is not so prevalent in place like the Lake District where people enjoy walks in the countryside But, whether we go out in the community a lot or a little, it is where we find our place in the world. In this zone, we find are social identity. There are some people who are comfortable spending significant periods of time on their own; but, most people, crave some form of social interaction. Now, if we get regular reports of stabbings and deaths on the street, this can make people feel unsafe. This can lead to anxiety, car and bus phobias, depression and avoidance behaviour. When people stop going out their feelings associated with fear and anxiety become entrenched and this is a more difficult psychological problem to resolve. If you are feelings anxious and are not aware of the reasons, it is possible that something inside of you is fearful of being out in the local community. Understanding this mechanism can help yo alleviate this anxiety so that you can continue leading your life to the full.
David Kraft is an experienced psychotherapist in the Enfield area.
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David Kraft PhD
Registered UKCP Psychotherapist
Flat 70, Cosmopolitan Court
67 Main Avenue
0207 467 8564 (General Enquiries)
07946 579645 (Work Mobile)