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

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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.

• What is PTSD?

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.

Originally published: May 23, 2016
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