The Shocking Reality Of PTSD

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Understanding PTSD symptoms and PTSD causes is as important as knowing that PTSD does not discriminate. PTSD is prevalent in veterans and too many others.

understanding ptsd

PTSD Does Not Discriminate

PTSD symptoms and PTSD causes are greatly misunderstood. We often see PTSD as something that is untouchable, untreatable, and unrelated to us. But these PTSD myths could not be further from the truth. At VProud, we had the great honor of sitting down with Kim Ahearn Young, from Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, to learn what PTSD really is, how PTSD affects veterans, how PTSD affects so many others, and what we can all do to support and help anyone who suffers from PTSD. Below, mother and writer Jen Bardall reflects on the PTSD video in a searingly honest essay about how we all need to be informed about PTSD and that there is no better way to support our vets than to learn about their realities and support their homecoming in any way that we can. Take a look at Jen's vitally poignant essay. It's an absolute must read.

—The VProud Team

PTSD causes

Learn About PTSD And Honor Our Veterans In The Right Way

By Jen Bardall for VProud

Can you imagine not being able to face the crowds at your kid’s soccer game? How would it feel if you knew you couldn’t go to a parade because of the loud noises? What if you were always on your guard, looking around, trying to protect yourself from unseen danger? What if you were afraid to sleep?

This is the reality of life with PTSD, and on Veterans Day we need to be especially aware of its effect on our veterans and their families. Physical injury is visible, and something we all recognize, but it’s the invisible injury inflicted upon the hearts and minds of these brave soldiers that can carry the most weight.

It’s only through interviews like this one and the ongoing work of Kim Ahern Young and professionals like her that PTSD can be better understood and treated. These veterans, and their families, shouldn’t be left to fight this alone.

How can we help them? First, we have to stop throwing the term “PTSD” around casually, as pointed out in the interview. Those of us who have never experienced combat or another truly traumatic experience have no place using this to describe ourselves; it’s an insult to those who suffer daily.

We have to remember that people suffering from PTSD can become overwhelmed by life, and that they might need help. We can’t hold them to our standards; we have no idea how real their ordeal is. For them, the war is still ongoing. Patience and empathy go a long way.

What also goes a long way is encouraging a friend or loved one you suspect is suffering with PTSD to get help. The warning signs of PTSD are clearly outlined in this video; if a person sees these signs in their loved one, help should be sought out. There’s only so much any untrained person can do to assist someone going through this, and the consequences can be dire if left untreated.

We owe it to the people who have fought for us to fight for them. On Veterans Day, especially, let’s remember that they need our help. The veterans who returned from warfare in the early-to-mid 20th century weren’t fortunate enough to benefit from the awareness we have today – let’s not make the same mistakes with today’s veterans.

About the author: Jen Bardall is a writer and cook from New Jersey. Her book, Delicious, details her struggles with disordered eating and low self-esteem. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter. Join Jen's honest conversations on VProud

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