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Dr. Rachael Ross is a recurring co-host on the Emmy® Award-winning talk show, The Doctors, and a practicing board-certified family medicine physician and sexologist whose engaging manner and frankness has garnered comparisons to Dr. Ruth Westheimer.

A pioneer of groundbreaking discussions about relationships, sex, health, abstinence HIV/AIDS prevention and comprehensive sex education for teenagers, Dr. Rachael has spread her message to audiences across the U.S. on television, social media and numerous publications.

For Dr. Rachael, practicing medicine is something of a family business. She continues to practice in her hometown of Gary, IN, with her father, Dr. David Ross and her brother, Dr. Nathaniel Ross, while mom Ruthie serves as office manager. Dr. Rachael’s sister, Rebekkah Ross, was also a physician and part of the Ross Family Doctors’ practice until she passed away from complications related to sickle-cell anemia in 2011.

In 2012, Dr. Rachael received Northwest Indiana’s prestigious Athena International Service Award for the work she started in 2004 with her sister Dr. Rebekkah, mentoring girls in their hometown. The duo’s philanthropy has also been recognized by the National Council of Negro Women.

In addition to her family practice, Dr. Rachael has been a featured speaker at college campuses nationwide and has been quoted as an expert in Cosmopolitan and Self magazines and contributes to several medical publications. She is also the author of Down Right Feel Right – Outercourse: For Her & For Him, designed to help couples develop greater intimacy.

Dr. Rachael earned her M.D. from Meharry Medical College and her Ph.D. from the American Academy of Clinical Sexologists, along with a B.A. from Vanderbilt University, where she studied anthropology. She now lives in Chicago, and in her free time, refurbishes furniture, dabbles in interior design, maintains her medical practice in Gary, and commutes throughout the U.S. passionately offering “prescriptions for life.”

The Doctors, now in its seventh season, won the 2010 Emmy® Award for Outstanding Talk Show/Informative and has been nominated five times in the category. For additional information on The Doctors, please visit www.thedoctorstv.com.

Information on PTSD: 

PTSD is a mental health condition that has been greatly misunderstood. Most people think it’s something that only affects war veterans.  The truth is that anyone can suffer from PTSD and people in our communities suffer at an alarming rate because of the violence and terror we experience on a daily basis, either witnessed in person or through our social media accounts.

While it’s true that anything can be stressful, not all stress is traumatic. PTSD can develop after a terrifying life threatening or harmful event has been experienced, witnessed, or learned about. The experience causes that person to feel intense fearfulness, horror, and/or a sense of helplessness.

Symptoms of PTSD:

  • Reliving the event
  • Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
  • Negative changes in beliefs and feelings
  • Feeling anxious and jittery

According to the Health and Human Services Office of Minority Health, African-Americans are 20% more likely to experience serious mental health problems (depression, PTSD, ADHD, suicide) than the general population. Researchers at the University of California, Los Angeles have identified five environmental factors that they say can predict depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder in minority communities.

The five environmental “domains” identified in the study that could predict depression, anxiety, and PTSD later in life were:

*   Experiences of discrimination due to racial, ethnic, gender or sexual orientation;

*   A history of sexual abuse;

*   A history of violence in the family or from an intimate partner;

*   A history of violence in an individual’s community;

*   A chronic fear of being killed or seriously injured

Steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood of PTSD after experiencing a traumatic event. Seeking social support or psychological treatment after a traumatic event may help to “counteract” these risk factors.  Other things that help decrease the risk of developing of PTSD:

*   Being connected with others, such as family or friends

*   Self-disclosure of the trauma to loved ones

*   Spirituality

*   Helping others

*   Finding positive meaning in the trauma

*   learn healthy ways to manage the stress ( blogging, writing, making memes, etc.)

As you can see based on the definition, we all have experienced trauma and many of us may currently be experiencing PTSD. Stress reactions to the news stories and replaying of the videos is a normal response. It is not normal a normal response to snap on every white person you see 🙂

Dr. Rachael answers your questions about PTSD if you click over.

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