The Mighty Logo

10 Things You Shouldn't Say to Someone With PTSD

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

I have heard some of the most offensive and awfully insensitive comments, questions and statements about my PTSD and PTSD in general. Here are just a few:

• What is PTSD?

1. Can’t you just get over it? 

No. We can’t just “get over it.” We can learn to deal with our emotions often, and but sometimes they leak out our eyes, in the form of tears, when our heart does not know how to respond.

2. You volunteered to go into the military?

Sure, but not for what we had to do to survive.

3. What did you expect if you go out dressed like that?

Clearly it was not the person’s fault who was assaulted or raped. We need to stop saying this.

4. Didn’t they train you to kill?  

This is an insensitive question.

5. How bad could it have really been?  

Answer: Pretty f*cking bad.

6. How many of your friends died?

This is insensitive because many have survivor’s guilt.

7. My grandfather fought in World War II and was fine. That was a real war. 

8. What did you do to provoke him to hit you? You must have done something, he is a great guy. Did you insult him or hit him first?

9. How many people did you kill, when you were over there?  

Really? If I had a dollar for every person who every asked me that question. Often from people who have known me for less than a minute.

10. I almost drowned and I’m fine.

Way to make it about yourself, rather than the person with the issue.

Unsplash photo via Matthew Hamilton

Originally published: October 2, 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