This week, I came across a great resource called The PTSD Self-Test. Not only does this site have a wealth of statistics, resources, and information, it also has a self-test at the end of the article to help you determine if you are suffering from PTSD.
Thousands and thousands of people discount their experiences or the PTSD they are experiencing because many of us associate Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with soldiers returning from war. Being on a battlefield or in a high-stress danger situation can definitely cause PTSD, but it’s not the only thing that does.
When I was attacked at the juvenile detention center where I worked, I initially brushed off the encounter and thought I’d be back at work right away. Pop a couple Tylenol, take a few hours to settle my racing heart, and then all would be fine. Little did I know that what happened to me would impact every move I made for years, until I finally did what it took to get a handle on the impact of that trauma.
Even something like the Covid-19 pandemic can have a traumatic impact. Studies have shown that the isolation, constant stress, and life-changing death of loved ones (and not being able to see them or even go to the funeral) has resulted in PTSD for many people.
Are you feeling more anxious than usual? Extreme stress? Panic attacks? Nightmares? The urge to hurt yourself? Any of these symptoms and many more can be a sign of PTSD.
So many of us are ashamed to admit that a traumatic event has had an impact on our mental health. It took me a long time to open up about what I went through and how it changed my day-to-day life and relationships. Then I decided to write You’ve Got Some Nerve, my account of what I went through and how it changed my life. I wanted to be an advocate for others, and an example that it can and does get better. That seeking help is not something to be ashamed of, but rather celebrated.
“What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor, and more unashamed conversation.” – Glenn Close
Talk to the people who love you. Talk to a therapist. If you are thinking of self-harming, please call the National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255. You are definitely not alone, and you are not the only one.
Someday, hopefully soon, the world will go back to hugs and social circles. Until then, let’s keep talking, whether it’s here on my blog or on social media, and keep bringing sunlight to the battles so many people face.
For more about my book and myself, please visit my website. Please feel free to comment and start a conversation about this vital topic.