Post-traumatic stress disorder, also called PTSD, is a mental health condition that many of us consider to be far away from our lives because it’s usually associated with war heroes. In fact, PTSD can be caused by various events such as severe illness, childhood abuse, witnessing a death or a car accident.
1 in 8 children suffer enough trauma to long lasting negative effects, both mental and physical, into adulthood. These children can expect to experience a lifespan 20 years shorter than their peers. A lot of people didn’t realize they are actually living with PTSD day to day until they learn about various PTSD symptoms that can be mistaken with being oversensitive, bad tempered, having weird habits or prone to overreaction.
In general, PTSD is characterized by intrusive thoughts, nightmares, and flashbacks of past traumatic events. Sometimes it isn’t so obvious. PTSD may cause difficulties remembering important aspects of the traumatic event. The physical reactions to reminders of trauma are often overlooked and brushed off as being overly sensitive or emotional. Check out this TEDx talk by Dani Bostick, where she shares her story of how she discovered her PTSD thirty years after abuse during her childhood.
Remember, you are not alone in your experience. Having a candid conversation about your concerns is already winning half of the battle.