The Stigma Surrounding PTSD: a bit of a rant


I run into stigma everywhere I go about every mental illness that I live with. Specifically recently I have been stigmatized against for my PTSD.

Everywhere I go new professionals look at me funny because I tell them I have PTSD. They either don’t believe in PTSD or they act like I don’t have a right to say I have PTSD because I have never been in the military.

I think it’s very important for everyone to realize how much help our military needs surrounding PTSD in the military.

It’s also important that everyone realize that PTSD happens to non-military people too.

I got a question recently, “Well, were YOU ever a crime victim??”

I will give you the answer, YES.

What caused my PTSD?

In 1998 a coworker came up behind me with a trash bag and pulled it over my head and tried to kill me. I only survived because a different coworker came back to get his wallet that he had forgotten. I was 16.

When I was 17 in 1999 and in Aug. 2011, I was raped. Both times they got away with it.

In May 2008 I was walking across a street and was hit by an SUV doing about 34 mph. I ended up with my entire left side being broken and damaged, all my ribs were broken and my left knee had to be surgically repairs. I got lucky when I didn’t hit my head.

I don’t know why people would question my PTSD and stigmatize me about it after knowing that.

PTSD Symptoms for ME

I can’t have anything near my throat, not necklace or shirt or anyone’s hands or arms.

I have a very strong startle-reflex. A loud noise or door opening unexpectedly will cause me to jump a foot off the ground and have a panic attack.

I have terrible nightmares that cause me to relive the event or sometimes (sarcastically I say “just for fun”) I get nightmares that are of my daughter being killed.

Out of nowhere I will get flashbacks of the events, this is always tricky when out in public and it happens.

All I want to do it send this post to the people in my life and family and therapists and tell them that everyday people can have PTSD and please don’t knock me down, help me.

thanks

Amy

 

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