10 Things I Wish Others Knew About PTSD


1. PTSD IS NOT a mental disorder, it is a brain injury with physical changes occurring to various parts of the brain like the amygdala, hippocampus and pre-frontal cortex because of exposure to traumatic experiences

2. Its generally not like the movies portray it

3. It is a 24/7/365 job staying ontop of it and your symptoms

4. PTSD can be caused by a single traumatic event or the cumulative exposure to multiple traumatic experiences

5. It doesn’t happen overnight. Its not like you don’t have it today but wake up tomorrow with it. For many 1st responders it accumulates over a period of time so subtly that you arent even aware of it until its symptoms start to overwhelm you and begin negatively affecting your day to day life

6. Major depressive disorder quite often is diagnosed alongside PTSD possibly because they are inter-related or because there are a handful of symptoms that are common amongst PTSD and major depressive disorder

7. Recovery is many times a two pronged approach, dealing with the traumatic memories and experiences and fixing the person that has been changed emotionally, cognitivey and psychologically by PTSD and the trauma experiences

8. PTSD usually causes a change in ones fundamental view of themselves, of others and of the world and how each of those three parts are viewed as fitting together

9. Flashbacks are not always like you are reliving the trauma experience like an all of a sudden unexpectedmovie. Sometimes flashbacks are just a sudden unexpected re-experiencing of emotions that occurred at the time of the trauma experience. For some people sometimes flashbacks are a sudden unexpected re-experiencing of the physical sensations that occurred at the time of the trauma experience and sometimes flashbacks contain aspects of all three

10. While PTSD affects the individual, its impact affects the entire family