The Divide in the PTSD Community We Need to Start Talking About

I’ve noticed something from being in the post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) community. All PTSD is not treated the same. There seems to be more awareness around the military and PTSD. I’ve written my congressmen and legislators asking for certain bills to be passed for veterans to receive better care. They deserve it. They earned it. I can’t thank them enough for their service and sacrifice.

But what about civilians who also suffer? It’s not something that’s talked about enough.

What about abuse, rape and violence victims? What about police officers, EMT and prison guards? What about people who have witnessed unimaginable crimes? What about the child who is now an adult who has suffered horrific abuse her whole life?

There seems to be a split in PTSD groups — military and civilian. To me, that’s sad, and something we need to have an honest conversation about. We are all hurting. We can help each other if we can band together.

My flashbacks are different, but I have them. Flashbacks are hell, no matter the reason. My triggers are different, but I still have them. I disassociate. I have night terrors, I sometimes harm myself in my sleep. I am in therapy. I am on medication.

It’s a struggle to find a doctor knowledgeable about PTSD. I had to ask for the specific medication I am on. I had a doctor refuse to treat me. She left me in tears because of her ignorance. I reached out for help and was denied.

Trauma is trauma and can come in different forms. Everyone of us has a story. Every brain is different. What may cause PTSD in one person may not cause it in someone else.

I am asking the PTSD community to come together, so we can heal together.

The Mighty is asking the following: What is a part of your or a loved one’s disease, disability or mental illness that no one is aware of? Why is it time to start talking about it? Check out our Submit a Story page for more about our submission guidelines.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Man walking in the woods

When I Realized Getting Support for My Mental Illness Was a Choice

A couple of months ago, I did a support workshop for a group of middle school and high school girls. From the moment the 90-minute workshop began, I was in complete awe of their intellect and maturity. As always, I ended up learning from the audience perhaps more than they did from me. One thing [...]

If I Could Speak to My 6-Year-Old Self Who Was Experiencing Abuse

I’ve thought a lot about what I would tell the kid I was back then. What would I say? Where would I start? I often wonder these things — by then he had gone through so much. Multiple forms of abuse. The trauma was already cutting through everything he was and could’ve been. I think [...]

What My Husband's PTSD Trigger Made Me Realize About Trauma

During his stint as a soldier, my husband spent a year in Afghanistan’s volatile Kunar province where he faced enemy fire on an almost-daily basis. One morning in May 2010, rockets tore through the sky, explosions echoed off the surrounding mountains and bullets whizzed through the air — the base was under attack. One of the rounds [...]

Women Are Posting Pictures to Challenge a Stereotype About PTSD

The idea started with a disappointing online search. While researching for a piece about trigger warnings, Cissy White realized when she searched for images under “post-traumatic stress disorder” (PTSD), the top results showed exclusively men in uniform. source: Words Through Thoughts Given that women are more than twice as likely to develop PTSD than men, White, [...]