The Mighty Logo

Evan Rachel Wood's PTSD Tweets Might Resonate If Sexual Assault News Is Hard for You

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

On Friday, “Westworld” actress Evan Rachel Wood tweeted about how recent news concerning sexual assault can be triggering when you live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She said, “Has anyone elses PTSD been triggered thru the roof? I hate that these feelings of danger are coming back.”

• What is PTSD?

The recent discussion surrounding sexual violence — sparked by allegations made against Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein — can be particularly difficult for survivors because of the pervasive and often inescapable nature of the news cycle. As more and more high profile men like Louis C.K. and Kevin Spacey were called out for their behavior, women kept the conversation going on social media with the words #MeToo. Unless you went on a social media break, talk of sexual assault was nearly impossible to escape. In a study on PTSD and sexual assault, it was found that for survivors, events perceived as uncontrollable are much more distressing than controllable events.

When someone responded to Wood’s tweets about feeling, “sad and shaken all the time,” Wood replied, “We must all talk together. People need to know and its good for us to listen but yes, it is so painful.”

Wood is not the only one who has struggled with the important — but upsetting — recent discussion surrounding sexual violence. In her piece The Negative Effect of the #MeToo Campaign, Mighty contributor Anna Johnson shared how her own PTSD was triggered as well.

After the #metoo campaign blew up online, the flashbacks and anxiety raged back with tremendous force. I scheduled an emergency session with a counselor and bawled my eyes out for half of the session because it was too much to take. Somehow, a campaign to promote hope became a nightmare for me. As the stories continued to flood my social media and news pages, I had to significantly limit my time on these pages. In reading everyone’s stories, it felt like I was reliving my own trauma.

According to RAINN, the nation’s largest sexual violence organization, survivors have been reaching out in record numbers — the organization has seen a 21 percent increase in those contacting their hotline.

Though it is ultimately a good thing that survivors have come forward and have shined a light on this important issue, news and discussions about sexual violence can be still be difficult and triggering. For anyone who is struggling with sexual assault in the news, Wood has a message for you. The actress tweeted, “I just want to say to everyone, we are going to get through this.”

If you or a loved one is affected by sexual abuse or assault and need help, call the National Sexual Assault Telephone Hotline at 1-800-656-4673 to be connected with a trained staff member from a sexual assault service provider in your area.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Image via Creative Commons/Gage Skidmore

Originally published: November 14, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home