Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health issue accompanied by stigma. Despite the amount of research made about the condition, there are still several myths that surround it. These misconceptions give people with PTSD a negative image.
Before debunking any myths, here’s a brief definition of PTSD.
What Is PTSD?
Over the years, PTSD has been called many things, such as shell shock, war strain, and combat fatigue. It may occur to an individual who has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event.
People with PTSD have intense and disturbing thoughts and feelings about a traumatic event long after they experienced it.They can relive it through flashbacks or nightmares, which can result in sadness, anger, or fear. Apart from that, they may have strong negative reactions to ordinary things, like loud noises or accidental physical contact.
Now that you have a general understanding of PTSD, read on to debunk 3 of the most common myths.
PTSD Only Affects Military Veterans
Most people think of military veterans when they picture someone who has PTSD e cause the condition was officially diagnosed during the Civil War. Soldiers experienced anxiety and panic attacks (which are a symptom of PTSD) after their service.
Although the perception of PTSD has historically been associated with soldiers, traumatic events come in many forms, and the disorder can affect anyone from all walks of life.Veterans are at a greater risk of having this condition because of the violent nature of war.
People who experienced domestic violence, an accident, sexual assault, or the death of a loved one are also at risk.
People Experience PTSD Immediately After Trauma
Symptoms often show up in the first few months of the traumatic event. For some, it could even take years before they exhibit signs of the condition. Back then, this was known as delayed onset PTSD and was diagnosed if the disorder developed at least 6 months after their experience.
Now, for a reaction to be diagnosed as PTSD,the signs must last for at least a month. During that time, they’re considered “acute stress,” which is similar to the disorder. If the individual exhibits symptoms for more than a month, then they can be determined as PTSD.
People With PTSD Are Dangerous and Unstable
Although studies show that people with PTSD are more inclined to perform acts of violence than others, this has been recently disputed. In these situations, researchers have also found factors such as substance abuse and co-occurring psychiatric disorders.
The majority of the people with PTSD are nonviolent. Psychosis and aggression are also not a primary symptom.
These misconceptions create a stigma that prevents those with this condition from asking for help. But, debunking these myths will spread awareness and encourage people to be more understanding toward individuals with this disorder. If you or anyone you know would like to seek a professional, just type in “PTSD treatment near me” in your search engine to find the closest center in your area.