Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one of those mental health illnesses that many suffer from and have no idea trauma is present. It looks different for everyone, and I want to take the time to give you a glimpse into the invisible trauma that has many faces.
Mayo Clinic describes PTSD as a mental health condition triggered by a terrifying event, either experienced or witnessed by an individual. When I look at the medical definition, I realized how broad this mental illness truly is.
After much research, I have discovered that symptoms come in many forms and range from intrusive thoughts to nightmares and reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again.
I suffered from PTSD after my mother’s death, and to this day, certain times of year set the memories in motion. It could be a date, a scent even a specific food. Through therapy and doing my research, I have learned that the key is not to avoid feeling but to move through it.
I want you to examine your own life and situations you have encountered in hopes that you can recognize if you have PTSD. The severity depends on your experience and medical diagnosis.
- Lost a loved one
- Have been in or witnessed an accident
- Have been physically or verbally abused
- Being threatened with a weapon
- Witnessed someone else experience physical or verbal abused
- Have been sexually assaulted
- Combat exposure (Military, first responders, etc.)
The list could continue, but I want you to know help is always available, and you don’t need to deal with this on your own.
There are steps you can take to begin your journey to healing:
- Research PTSD symptoms and risk factors
- See a Therapist for medical diagnosis and treatment
- Follow your treatment plan
- Consider a support group
- Spend time with those who support you
- Be honest with yourself about what you have been through