Living With PTSD in the Age of #MeToo


I told myself I must absolutely start this article by applauding Alyssa Milano for publicizing the #MeToo hashtag. For those who don’t know, this hashtag was meant to display the “magnitude of the problem” when it comes to cases of sexual harassment and assault.

Being a survivor of sexual assault myself, I am in awe of the movement and the hundreds of thousands of women from all walks of life who have come forward to say “me too.” I hope this raises awareness about the issue. I hope those suffering in silence will see they are not alone. I hope rape culture begins to be questioned. I hope those who speak up begin to find peace in sharing their story.

On the flip side, I see the necessity to speak up about what it’s like to be living with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the midst of having an overwhelming amount of social media posts and articles on this topic.

I was officially diagnosed with PTSD six years ago after coming forward about the flashbacks, nightmares and panic attacks I had experienced due to sexual assault in my past. Although most days I am a 21-year-old students and manager of a business, some days are hard. Days when opening my Facebook and Instagram feed means seeing the very thing that haunts me everywhere are especially challenging.

I don’t have many things that still trigger me, but this movement seems to have thrown me into the deep end again. Twice this week I have had brutal panic attacks at school because of the overwhelming discussion of #MeToo.

Don’t get me wrong, this discussion has been pushed aside for way too long. But the constant reminder of my trauma has been too much to handle. I cannot seem to close my eyes without vivid flashbacks of terrifying events. I can’t seem to get through a discussion without tearing up. For someone who grew up to be afraid of expressing emotions, this week has been especially difficult. For someone who has unfortunately been threatened at gun point to not speak up about sexual assault, speaking up is harder than average — and I want everyone to keep that in mind.

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Getty image via Milkos


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