I believe there are a lot more than 9 myths about PTSD. If anything, it is a good start on listing them. The hardest thing for me was I had PTSD for 40 years not knowing what it was called. I had symptoms. I saw one doctor after another. No answers. Many medical tests. Still no answers. Frustration. Living a half life…if that much. Being up 20 minutes a day is less than a half life. Fears and challenges were confusing and lumped together with other problems that had nothing to do with PTSD. I lived nightmares over and over and over and I didn’t even know where they came from. I struggled with sorting through what I believed and what was actually true. Not always easy when you believe something for a life time to find out you were living lies. I learned a bunch of stuff and these myths are just the tip of the iceberg. It is no small wonder that people with PTSD and their loved ones feel overwhelmed in sorting out all the information and misinformation.
This article that I read listed these http://www.vox.com/2015/1/29/7945099/ptsd-myths-trauma
Myth #1: PTSD only affects veterans – This one I figured out fairly fast. I’m not a veteran.
Myth #2: People suffer symptoms of PTSD right after a trauma – Delays can be for years or the symptoms are not recognized for what they are. I don’t remember a time in my life when I didn’t have nightmares. It started so young I didn’t know anything was unusual about what I felt or lived with.
Myth #3: Everyone has some sort of PTSD – Everyone has some sort of trauma in this world. Earth life is messy but not everyone responds the same way to the same trauma.
Myth #4: PTSD isn’t treatable – Sadly this myth leads to more feelings of hopelessness than any other myth. It is treatable and the earlier it is caught the better able to learn to manage it.
Myth #5: Symptoms of PTSD go away as a person heals from trauma – I believed this one. I was furious when I found symptoms showing up again and again. Took quite a bit more counseling to get me to accept that healing still means occasional panic attacks and other recurring symptoms. Some of the symptoms, like hyper-arousal are a habit.
Myth #6: PTSD causes violent behavior – Unfortunately, this is the media’s favorite. PTSD is fear based not aggression based. PTSD survivor is more likely to dive under the table or hide in the bathroom. I may get angry but I’ve seen more than enough violence in my life time.
Myth #7: PTSD is all in a person’s head – I once asked a medical doctor if it is all in my head, why does my body hurt so much? They are finding more and more evidence of how PTSD affects different parts of the brain…so in that way I guess you could say it is all in your head, however it is not imagined.
Myth #8: PTSD only affects weak people – For me it wasn’t weakness, I was too young to have any other coping skills. PTSD helped me survive hellish conditions. Researchers are aware of risk factors but no concrete thing to say this is what caused you to have it. Carrying the burden of PTSD changes a person but weak is not one of the things I think of when I consider PTSD.
Myth #9: It’s not an injury, so it doesn’t require medical attention – The bruises heal, but the soul injuries remain. It takes time and knowledge to heal a broken soul. Bleeding where no one can see….crying when no one can hear. PTSD needs attention. For me, an amazing counselor taught me how to live with myself and how to build relationships. I was very fortunate.