Myths about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Myth # 1-Only soldiers who were in combat can develop PTSD.
Truth-ANYONE can develop PTSD. Men, women, children, any race and any religious affiliation can develop PTSD. Post traumatic stress syndrome does not discriminate. PTSD is caused by an individual experiencing a traumatic event.

Myth #2-PTSD symptoms only appear in people who have been physically injured or “almost sustained” physical injury.
Truth-Many individuals develop symptoms of PTSD develop after a person has witnessed a traumatic event. For example, many children suffer PTSD symptoms after witnessing domestic violence among the adults in their home. The children were never physically injured, however, the emotional devastation they experience, can be traumatic.

Myth #3-There is no treatment for PTSD. People have to learn to get over it eventually.
Truth-PTSD is very treatable! There are counselors who have special training to treat people with PTSD. There is hope for people with PTSD. Everyone’s experiences are unique. A good counselor will find the best approach that works for you.

Myth #4-People with PTSD should just focus on the future and forget and their painful trauma.
Truth-For some people and some situations, people can cope with the emotions that develop after a traumatic event. However, for some people, the trauma will trigger negative emotions and symptoms that will not go away. For those people, the trauma will need to be worked through. Research indicates that symptoms of anxiety and PTSD will decrease after the trauma has been dealt with.

Myth #5-Working through trauma will trigger such strong emotions that will result in a nervous breakdown.
Truth-Working on your trauma is not easy. It is a courageous battle that will have some uncomfortable moments. A good counselor will work with you and at a healthy pace to make sure that you are challenged to explore your feelings, but you will also receive the support you need.
Most people have symptoms related to a traumatic event. If a person continues to experience symptoms of PTSD for more than a few weeks, treatment is recommended.

Symptoms of PTSD can include:
Triggers that are related to the traumatic event that causes significant anxiety.
Difficulty sleeping
Difficulty concentrating
Anxiety attacks (tightness in chest, hyperventilating, sense of panic or sense of doom)
No recollection of the trauma
Flashbacks to the event(s)
Self destructive behaviors
Angry outbursts

PTSD is more common than you think. PTSD is treatable. PTSD symptoms may not appear for months after years after the traumatic event. Your traumatic event could have been a onetime event or a series of ongoing emotional traumatic events. Regardless, know that there is help. You don’t have to live with the pain anymore. Reach out. Talk to someone you trust. Contact a professional. Better days are ahead.