Have you ever heard of Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? It is a psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed traumatic events in the past, including a natural disaster, a severe accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape, or other violent personal assault. And turns out, there is a month dedicated to it.
June is PTSD Awareness Month. To be specific, June 27th is National PTSD Awareness Day. Teal-colored ribbons are being used for PTSD awareness. You’re probably thinking why there’s a need for an awareness month for PTSD? People who have come up with the idea have realized how PTSD is strongly stigmatized by the public just like any other mental illness. In hopes of breaking this negativity, they aim to dedicate this month to raise and spread awareness about the condition and how to access treatment.
The National Center for PTSD has stated that between 7 and 8 percent of the population will experience post-trauma. Unfortunately, not everyone included in the percentage dares to seek treatment. Some of them may think of the fear of the discriminatory approach other people may throw at them. Stereotypes depict people with PTSD with huge negativities such as being dangerous, unpredictable, incompetent, and worse, blame the person itself for their illness. This awful action and thinking can promote stigma.
The main reason behind PTSD getting a lot of stigmas is that the person diagnosed with, just like any other mentally ill person, is that they look perfectly fine. They don’t look sick, and most of them do not act sick. A cluster of negative attitudes and beliefs that seemed to discriminate against people with mental illnesses is what stigma of PTSD is all about.
Thank goodness! There are a lot of resources readily available to help diagnose PTSD and get help during this time. No matter the reason behind the diagnosis, the good news is PTSD is treatable. PTSD awareness seeks to put a realization in people’s hearts that there is no shame in seeking assistance; to normalize prioritizing our mental health.
Battling with PTSD is not easy; it will never be. It is already worse enough that the person is struggling with it. And instead of people giving their best to be more understanding and considerate with the situation, they rather throw stones to it instead. Put in mind that everyone with PTSD—whether they are Veterans or civilian survivors of traumatic events—needs to know that there is always hope—a chance of living a better life.