This blog was originally posted on June 27, 2018
PTSD can impact anyone - man, woman, or child - who survives traumatic incidents. I know PTSD from many angles. I've seen the challenges some military service members face when reintegrating after a war. I've seen parents cry out in unison over senseless gun violence in our streets. I've seen it rise up in friends who no longer want to drive after a car accident. Signs of PTSD can appear in those who were direct or indirect victims of trauma. There are signs of PTSD in my life, directly related to childhood abuse. So many people suffer in silence.
I cannot watch certain TV shows or movies. I don't laugh at certain jokes. I can't classify Law & Order SVU or The Handmaid's Tale as entertainment. Sometimes, I have to stop watching the news for a few days or weeks. I've managed to stay away from certain areas and people, too. Perhaps this is why I never returned back home after I graduated college... Even the news can be too detailed and become a trigger for me... I have to be aware of what I'm exposed to and guard my heart.
So, what is PTSD? Many associate PTSD with military service, but it can span across many other situations. PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The American Psychiatric Association (APA) defines PTSD as a "psychiatric disorder that can occur in people who have experienced or witnessed a traumatic event such as a natural disaster, a serious accident, a terrorist act, war/combat, rape or other violent personal assault".
An estimated 1 out of every 9 women develops PTSD, making them about twice as likely as men. - ptsdunited.org
The APA describes signs of PTSD:
Sadness, fear, anger
People with PTSD may avoid situations or people that remind the of the traumatic event
I've experienced every sign on this list. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs reports that, "Women with PTSD are more likely to feel depressed and anxious" and that "Sexual assault is more likely to cause PTSD than many other events".
I composed the IRIS Book Series to empower and educate those who are at risk for abuse, have been abused, and their support systems. I want readers to know that they have Incredible Resilience and Inner Strength to live and begin again. As I wrap up my second book, IRIS Diary, I am thankful that I am able to share my story so that others can garner hope and healing. If you suffer from signs of PTSD, please seek help. Self-love, respect, and care is vital to life. When you seek help, you are expanding your support circle, which is critical. Surround yourself with people who encourage your healing journey, not hinder it. I pray you find healing. I pray we all do. Help spread the word by sharing information about PTSD with your social circles, as the entire month of June is dedicated to it's awareness. Feel free to start with this blog! Thanks for going on this journey with me. Post your comments below.
Stay tuned and sending love. - Joi
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