PTSD Demystified: The Big Myths
Part 1 of 3
Welcome to our new short blog series on common myths about PTSD! Post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, is a mental health condition that can develop after experiencing a traumatic experience, event, or situation. Despite being a relatively well-known condition for decades, there is still serious stigma and misunderstanding surrounding it.
In the upcoming week, we will be discussing some common myths surrounding PTSD, in the hopes you can get a better understanding of what the condition actually is.
Today, we are going to take a look at two “big myths” that surround PTSD.
Myth One: PTSD is a condition that only war veterans experience.
One of the earliest forms of PTSD was shell shock, the term given to describe the PTSD that many soldiers experienced in World War I. Since then, PTSD has commonly been associated with war, and for good reason: it is estimated that anywhere from 11 to 30 percent of veterans will develop PTSD in their lifetime. That being said, PTSD is certainly not exclusive to this demographic - anyone can develop the condition.
According to the McMaster University Medical Centre, nearly 9.2% of all Canadians are affected by life-time PTSD. This is a serious issue that affects more than just those who have fought in a war - it can affect anyone.
Myth Two: PTSD goes away with time
When we experience traumatic or stressful events in our lives, it doesn’t necessarily mean we will develop PTSD, even though we may experience some of the symptoms of PTSD. Traumatic events can happen to everyone, but for most individuals what follows is a period of acute stress, which is temporary discomfort regarding the event. Acute stress largely goes away by itself but PTSD doesn’t.
Since acute stress is commonly mistaken as PTSD, many people have come to believe that PTSD is just something that goes away. As a result, many people with PTSD do not try to seek help, under the assumption that their negative feelings and symptoms will just go away. This leads to long-term negative effects caused by the condition, and the confusing feeling of knowing something is wrong, but not knowing what the root cause is.
We hope that this short post cleared up some of your misconceptions surrounding PTSD. Be sure to look out for our upcoming blog posts surrounding some more myths of PTSD!
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