To find more topics and series like this, start here. To learn how to use our tools for mentoring, train here.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) isn’t just a condition soldiers suffer from. It affects people from all walks of life. Though it’s becoming more familiar in our culture, there are several myths concerning the causes and effective treatments of PTSD.
Myth #1: Only Wartime Trauma Causes PTSD
PTSD is often associated with military veterans. While veterans do experience the disorder at a higher percentage than others, it is important to remember that trauma is not unique to the battlefield. In the United States, for example, 7-8% of people will experience PTSD at some point in their lives. While there is a correlation between PTSD and the frequency and severity of traumatic experience(s), any situation in which a person feels powerless, out of control, or unsafe can lead to the disorder.
Myth #2: The Only Aftermath of Trauma is PTSD
Humans are resilient, but there are times when a traumatic experience cannot be immediately overcome. PTSD is one of several possible, prolonged responses to trauma. Other examples include depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. Individuals may try to escape or numb their emotions through substance abuse or addiction. Others may look for comfort in controlling what they eat, which can lead to an eating disorder.
Myth #3: PTSD Is a Terminal Diagnosis with a Poor Prognosis
If left untreated, PTSD can wreak havoc on a person. Anger and irritability can damage relationships and make job retention difficult. The good news is that there are scientifically-supported treatments available. With the help of a mental health professional, an individual can define, face, and overcome their traumatic experience and its effects.
If you have suffered any kind of traumatic experience, one way to begin addressing the possible side-effects is to seek out a qualified mental health professional. For friends and family of those suffering from PTSD, sharing a caring, listening ear and not rejecting the sufferer is huge.
No matter what, remember that even in the midst of PTSD, there is hope.