Woman with Clasped Hands

This week we recorded a podcast on PTSD (it will be available soon). That of course meant that I did quite some thinking and reading on the topic too. Without giving away any of the great content that awaits, I want to reflect on some of the misinformation that floats around about PTSD.

PTSD is a normal response to trauma, just as bleeding is a normal response to being stabbed.

This is a vital point actually. So often we feel like we are going crazy and some people feel a sense of shame for developing PTSD. Would you feel that same sense of shame for bleeding though? Or breaking a leg? Same difference. This is the result of your experiences, it says nothing about you other than that you are a survivor.

No, it doesn’t work like that way. I can’t just wake up one day, say:
“Oh, I wanna be happy” and be happy. Believe me, I tried.

You simply cannot address PTSD without accepting this, so take a minute to let this sink in.

More Myths About PTSD in Need of Busting

Myth #1: PTSD Is Something Only Veterans Develop

Yes, PTSD is often discussed in the context of war trauma. Just think about it for a moment though, is that the only place where people experience trauma? Especially situations where trauma is repeated or prolonged the chances of developing PTSD increase. When it comes to abuse, those are two boxes we can definitely tick.

Myth #2: PTSD Is All In a Person’s Head

I promise you are not going crazy. Trauma, even non-physical trauma, actually affects our brain function, and can have many physical manifestations too. Aubrey is far better at explaining this, and she does just that in the upcoming podcast.

Myth #3: PTSD Only Affects Weak People

I am going to let you think about this for a minute… go back to the statement above and consider whether only weak people bleed when they are stabbed. Okay, I didn’t think so either. PTSD is an injury, it is not a reflection of your resilience, it is a reflection of the trauma you experienced.Now You Are Ready For the PodcastThat is you ready for the podcast. It is being edited as I speak so hopefully you will not have to wait long!

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Having gained experience while working for a variety of European non-profits, I am proud to now work with SwanWaters. My connection with the website is not only professional. I am glad to tap into my personal experiences to help those who are living in toxic relationships whether with parents, partners or in their professional life. We need to make the world more aware of the devastating effects of emotional abuse and help more people on their way to heal and thrive.

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One comment:

  1. Profile photo of Aubrey Cole
    Aubrey Cole

    April 19, 2015 at 3:13 pm

    It’s amazing to me that there are still so many healthcare providers who are not trauma informed and therefore lack the diagnostic toolbox to recognize psychiatric injury. The court system is also a dismal failure at understanding the physiological and psychological factors which block a trauma victim’s ability to assert their 14th Amendment right to full and equal participation in their legal case. This makes it easy as eating ice cream for a biased or uninformed judge to let the abuser to continue to run roughshod over the abused.

    I’m really looking forward to exploring the topic in more detail and relating childhood experiences to adult experiences in our next podcast, which we will record with our friends at Stop Abuse Campaign.


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