#PTSD Chat 2: PTSD Misconceptions (a summary) | #PTSDchat
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#PTSD Chat 2: PTSD Misconceptions (a summary)

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Quite a few DMs prior to the chat said ‘thanks I wish I could but I don’t think I can face it right now’ or ‘it will be too triggering’.  I was a little surprised.  How could a chat on Twitter be triggering?

 

Well.  Won’t ask that again.

 

The only way to empathize, understand and connect with others stories, thoughts and trouble with the many varied misconceptions peoplehave about PTSD that directly affects us, those who have to live it, was to step back into my past.  I tried to go lightly, quietly.  Drifting in like a shadow, staying only long enough to capture that understanding.  Unfortunately, no visit, no matter how much I or you might wish it were otherwise, back to past trauma will ever be without a price to pay.

 

Why are other people’s misconceptions about PTSD important to change, educate and encourage PTSD Awareness?  You figure it out.  Read on MacDuff and tell me at the end.

 

“People think it’s fake” “I find that because it is invisible, many don’t believe I’m injured.”  This is an oft repeated comment.  Even from one professional therapist “There’s just suddenly so much of it!”, as though we are all faking it.   We have only scratched the surface of awareness but to claim this is ‘new’ would be laughable if it weren’t such a harmful position to take.  1300 BC extant document describes PTSD from soldiers.  Google it.

Why do so many men feel unable to admit that they have it? Because of this: PTSDChat so true/very sad men feel like they aren’t “man enough” or strong enough and that something must be wrong w/them  This is where the failure to recognize it as an INJURY comes in, calling it an ILLNESS – a favourite misconception amongst police departments and military is that an employee with PTSD is in someway weak minded.  This feeds into a lack of worth, a debilitating feeling of inadequacy.

“Lets start with the misconception that it is an illness when if fact it is an injury.” @BillTCCC  Much of WCB interviews of PTSD work related claims is focused on proving it is an existing illness not a workplace injury.  $ is behind this; let’s face it DSM-V is playing catch up on this.

“It’s an illness… NO.  It’s an injury, and like all injuries it can be treated and you will get better.” @sheepdgg

 

“Big misconception … only soldiers get PTSD” @CindyPeckham “That it only occurs to service members.” At some point DSM-V will recognize the many various injuries that are inherent in this blanket term: it’s about as helpful as a Doctor looking at a patient with a rash and saying “Yup, that’s a virus.”

 

“Hmm – that it’s only for veterans and that those afflicted should be able to “just get it together”.”  Awesome.  Yes.  Will get right on that.  “Get it together” why thank you.  Never thought of it like that.  Honestly, days you wish you were homicidal that’d surely be one.

 

“Big misconception… there are adequate services for Soldiers and Vets with PTSD.”  Enough said.  If there were 22 vets per day wouldn’t be dying by suicide. (Hey look what I did – I said “dying by suicide” … Understand yet?)

@DoctorBBouffard “Invisible injuries like PTSD can be ore painful due to societal stigma.  Seek support from those who have walked through it.”  Dr B it should be noted is an incredibly gifted, caring and influential doctor working with police departments in Canada.  An incredible inspiration and beacon of light for me.

From another LEO “Being asked “Do you feel like you have PTSD?”  I don’t know what it’s supposed to feel like.  I only know how I feel.”

Yet another LEO “PTSD doesn’t receive the same respect as other injuries/illnesses.  PTSD is often overlooked and/or misdiagnosed.”  In all honestly how many of us wouldn’t prefer a bullet wound to a PTSD wound that never heals?  Apparently so would many others prefer to see us shot or lose a limb, this shard of shrapnel lodged in our brains is … somehow… unacceptable.

Another LEO “That somebody doesn’t struggle with it because they appear happy.”  Good lord!  We are ace deflectors.  We hide in full view.

From an awesome Veteran: “We are to be feared.”

Shocking but true.  Even a supposedly supportive article points to the fact that not all Veterans have PTSD – the underlying message through out was PTSD is to be feared; those vets with it should be feared.  Police Departments who bench their high functioning officers because they have been treated for PTSD.  It is an epidemic of ignorance.  “I think the biggest misconception for me would be that we are a ticking time bomb or the feeling that people are treating you like your PTSD is contagious.”

“PTSD people aren’t homicidal.  They are mostly suicidal.  Not all have it to that degree.  The cause of PTSD is in the anagram TRAUMA.”

“… perception that we are dangerous or ‘troubled’ and so are less somehow.” @Now_Bree

 

“How many of you have used alcohol and/or drugs to deal with life?  I lost most of the 90’s due to using both just to function.” @HarmedHeroesCam   How brave, how honest and how true to so many trying to be ‘normal’ because to appear any other way is simply not acceptable.  So the stigma continues and lives are lost.

 

“As a lead on a PTSD peer support group for my fire department, many people fail to see the signs and symptoms in others and assume everything is okay.  The old saying of not talking about it and it will go away clearly doesn’t work.  As a group we need to support and discuss how things are going and make sure professional help is accessible to everyone.”  @Johnseneyjr

“Every new thought or idea met with struggle.  Progress is rare.  Anxiety a constant friend.” @murphycurling

“Biggest misconception for me: that it can’t be healed.” @RaiseResillience

 

“Misconception re diagnosis led to 15years in limbo for me… depression.. meds… counselling = thrive and crash cycle.” @Steve_Brady  I’ve had my demons since I was tiny.  I am a high functioning individual who has learned to deflect and hide, deal with the demons as I called them.  Ghosts now.  It is only recently that modern medicine has somewhat caught up and actually found viable treatments.  Not enough is being done.  Not enough is understood.  It’s not a new injury – it’s as old as man, you all just expect us to exist in this world you’ve created and have plastic smiles firmly in place.  Can’t be done.

“Most people think symptoms are of the mind and not of the brain – those with the symptoms will tell you of the inability to control them.”  @TheMunchProject

“I don’t go anywhere by myself.  I don’t go anywhere dark, must be very close to an exit.”  @harmedheroecam

 

Hyper vigilance is our way of life.  Always knowing where the exits are.  Always needing to feel free, unable to handle confined spaces, loud noises, our startle response fully operational 24/7…   Try living on a constant adrenalin high.  And then live with the harrowing physical costs of PTSD – if we don’t die by suicide our bodies eventually start falling apart as they can no longer live at 150%.

 

From Heroes, you are all heroes, fighting and surviving but these Veterans have your back:

@tomgreen1959 “That it is a disorder… when it is a natural human reaction to prolonged severe stress that is unnatural in origin.”

@WarDog1967 “What is PTSD?  It DOESN’T mean someone is crazy or violent.  It means they are injured and need our help and understanding.” 

and the final word as always from a fellow writer:

@larsenauthor “Don’t judge what you don’t know.”

 

Where you have DM’d I have removed your name – this is not a complete list as for some I removed them to avoid any recognition.  Yes, we are living under the shadow of STIGMA.

 

PTSDChat Responses
Account Response Channel
People think it’s fake DM
@alwayzbossie @KateGillieART #PTSDChat dad served 5 yrs in WWII my mom was 13 in Greece during WWII communists went thru her town my son was in Iraq 2009 Twitter
@alwayzbossie PTSDChat so true/very sad men feel like they aren’t “man enough” or strong enough and that something must be wrong w/them Twitter
@BehaveNetMovies @Steve_Brady It’s clearly an injury. Why not a disorder that results from an injury? #ptsdchat
@BillTCCC Lets start with the misconception that it is an illness when if fact it is an injury. Twitter
@CindyPeckham Big misconception…only soldiers get PTSD #PTSDChat Twitter
@CindyPeckham Big misconception….there are adequate services for Soldiers and Vets with PTSD. #PTSDChat Twitter
@DoctorBBouffard Big misconception….there are adequate services for Soldiers and Vets with PTSD. #PTSDChat“Invisible” injuries like #PTSD can be more painful due to societal Stigma Seek support from those who’ve walked it. 
Biggest misconception: we are to be feared. DM
That it only occurs in service members. DM
I think that it would be we are all a ticking time bomb or the feeling like people treat you like you’re contagious. DM
@HarmedHeroesCam #PTSDChat I find that because it is invisible, many don’t believe Twitter
@HarmedHeroesCam How many of you have used alcohol and/or drugs to deal with life? I lost most of the 90’s due to using both just to function.#PTSDChat Twitter
As a lead on a ptsd peer support comittee/group for my fire department, many people fail to see the signs and symptoms in others and assume DM
Everything is okay. The old saying of not talking about it and it will go away clearly doesn’t work. As a group, we need to support DM
And discuss how things are going and make sure professional help is accessible to everyone. DM
@kdlark PTSD people aren’t homicidal. They are mostly suicidal. Not all have it to that degree. The cause of PTSD’s in the anagram TRAUMA #PTSDChat
Hmm–that it’s only for veterans and that those afflicted should be able to just “get it together” DM
@murphycurling @KateGillieART @Steve_Brady @HarmedHeroesCam every new thought or idea met with struggle. Progress is rare. Anxiety is constant friend… Twitter
@Now_Bree  @KateGillieART #PTSDChat I agree w/the perception we are dangerous, or ‘troubled’ & so are less somehow Twitter
I would say that the biggest misconception is that it can’t be healed. Don’t think I’ll be around for the chat though. DM
@sheepdgg its an illness… No, its an injury, and like all injuries it can be treated and you will get better Twitter
@Steve_Brady #PTSDChat Misconception re diagnosis led to 15 yrs in limbo for me…depression meds…+ Counselling = thrive and crash cycle Twitter
@TheMunchProject  Most people think symptoms r of the mind & not of the brain- those with the symptoms will tell U of the inability to control them Twitter
@tjrussellperry that is something I have felt. That it is often overlooked (and untreated)as a possibility if one isnt in service #PTSDChat Twitter
That is a disorder..natural human reaction to prolong severe stress that is unnatural in its origin DM
@TriGirlNeana @KateGillieART #PTSDchat Being asked ‘Do you feel like you have PTSD? I don’t know what it’s ‘supposed’ to feel like. I only know how I feel Twitter
@WarDog1967  #PTSD should not be treated primarily with pills. Therapy & talking are best! Twitter
@WarDog1967  What is #PTSD? It DOESN’T mean someone is crazy or violent. It means they are injured and need our help & understanding. Twitter
@WomenPOSSE @KateGillieART PTSD doesn’t receive the same respect as other illness receive. PSTD is often overlooked and/or misdiagnosed Twitter
That it only effects military DM
That those with PTSD are dangerous DM
That someone doesn’t struggle with it because they seem happy DM
I would say that the biggest misconception is that it can’t be healed. Don’t think I’ll be around for the chat though. DM
@KateGillieART greatest misconception?? That our medical folks know what they’re dealing with! This is a learning curve for everyone!! DM
@HarmedHeroesCam PTSDChat – I don’t go ANYWHERE by myself. I don’t go anywhere dark, must be very close to an exit. Twitter
@larsenauthor dont judge what u don’t know Twitter

 

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