Growing up I never knew much about PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). It was not a prominent thing from where I grew up in rural America.
All that I knew about it was an uncle that suffered from it. He was in Vietnam. I remember spending the night and he was having a night-terror/flashback and I remember it vaguely. I was very young. That was the only thing about PTSD I knew until I was a grown adult.
I was a military wife for nearly 10 years. PTSD was very prominent there. So many coming back from the war changed and you could see it. It was a staple of life. It still is and something that most people will deal with their entire lives.
Imagine my surprise when I sat in my therapist appointment after going for several weeks when she informed me, that I have PTSD. Among other things, but this made me raise my eyebrow. I had not wanted to go to therapy, but after suffering from some severe depression for several months, I knew I needed to do something.
She said based off traumatic things in my childhood and even well into my adult life, my symptoms line up. I was skeptical, to say the least, and so I dove into research. It is what I do when I don’t understand something or I want to understand it better. I was not the only one who assumed it was for those who had gone to war.
Though I experienced flashbacks, hyperarousal, anxiety, depression, avoidance, and nightmares. It was all there. Why did I not see this before? The only thing I could come up with was that I assumed it was just for military, police officers, and firefighters. I legit assumed they were the ones who suffered from it and not normal civilians like myself.
I think this causes many people to go without getting diagnosed. They just don’t believe they could be as bad off as those who serve in a war. Which is exactly what I thought. Trauma is trauma no matter what kind.
Take Your Mental Health Seriously
Rape, car accidents, abuse verbally and physically are also causes. The abuse verbally and physically over an extended period actually has its own classification of Complex PTSD. It is basically a complete re-wiring of your brain. You live in constant fear, this is psychological warfare technically speaking.
The thing to remember is that PTSD is not just for combat veterans and if you struggle with your mental health, you should be seen by a therapist. Take the time to find out what is wrong. Mental health is very important.
I know the idea of going to a therapist is scary, I struggled with that decision for years. Was not until I could barely get out of bed and take care of my kids that I did it. I did it for them, but then I did it for me. I hope you all that struggle with mental health issues get the help you need to live your happiest most fulfilled life.