PTSD Facts & Myths: 21 Things You Should Know

Even in times of trauma, we try to maintain a sense of normality until we no longer can. That my friends, is called surviving. Not healing. We never become whole again … we are survivors. If you are here today… you are a survivor. But those of us who have made it thru hell and are still standing? We bare a different name: Warriors.” Lori Goodwin – Author of Legion (Sentinals of Verndari #1)

It is a serious issue that many people do not want to face.

They call it PTSD, but the long version is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it is crippling and even killing men, women and children daily.

When you hear the term PTSD, what is your immediate thoughts?

Wait, don’t answer that question too quickly…You just may not enjoy my response.

And, even if you do think you have a good clue about the debilitating affects of PTSD, you probably are still not aware of the full extent of this world-wide issue.

No, PTSD is not just associated with war.

It travels much further than that.

So today, I am going to give you 21 crazy facts and 7 idiotic myths about PTSD.

PTSD Myths

1: PTSD Only Affects War Veterans

It is called post traumatic stress disorder.

While veterans suffer high rates, anyone who has been in or seen a traumatic event can suffer from PTSD.

2: Getting Treatment For PTSD Will Harm A Military Member’s Career

This could turn into a debate, but several studies have been done on this.

Out of soldiers who sought treatment early, only 3% stated that it harmed their career with the military.

Where military careers are harmed is when the individual holds out until their Commander recommends they get treatment.

By that time, the individual has already damaged their career by hiding the situation.

3: People Who Cannot Cope With Trauma Are Weak

When I said idiotic myths, this one is probably the King of the myths.

And, the person who said such a thing is probably the weakest of them all.

They have probably never faced serious trauma, or have and are trying to hide it.

4: People Who Did Evil Things Are The Ones Who Get PTSD

Ok, this one rates as the Queen of idiocy.

There are many people who have been ravaged with PTSD who are close to sainthood.

Sure, some may have had to kill, but they did so on behalf of your freedom.

5: People Who Are Emotionally Numb After A Trauma Are Not Suffering From PTSD

While not everyone who suffers trauma suffers from PTSD, it is dangerous to assume that just because someone seems emotionally numb is not suffering.

In all actuality, the show of numbness may be a “firewall” to keep people like you from seeing the pain they are feeling.

6: It Is Good To Make Small Talk About A Person’s Trauma

Truth be told, everyone is probably wondering just how many Taliban Frankie killed.

Or others want to know what it was like pulling that burning body from the rubble of 9/11 when Robbie was a NYC Firefighter.

But the family picnic or get together is not the place to ask that question.

As a matter of fact, there is nowhere you should ask about a person’s trauma.

The only way it dare be discussed is if that person brings it up, and I suggest you do a whole lot more listening than talking.

Face it, you may never know the answer.

And it is best that way!

7: PTSD Makes People Violent And Dangerous

Not everyone who has PTSD is dangerous.

The fact is, just a small percentage would fall into that area of concern, and that is because they have used alcohol or drugs as a way to escape PTSD.

Sure, they may be irritable, but that does not make them violent and dangerous.

If it does, then try waking me up at 3 AM and you will wish you had someone with PTSD there protecting you.

“Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending.” Maria Robinson

Other Posts You Might Enjoy:

  1. Recognizing And Treating PTSD In Soldiers
  2. The 2016-2017 Military Budget: 10 Facts You Should Be Aware Of
  3. The Top 20 Iraq War Books

PTSD Facts

There is no particular order to these facts. They are all here so you can understand just how bad this issue is.

While I have not personally battled this issue, but I do think I wandered quite near with the murder of my 23 month old grandson, I stand for many other people who are battling PTSD daily and their families who are also in the PTSD war.

These are “Just The Facts.”

1: 20% Of United States Residents

have experienced trauma developed PTSD.

2: The Trauma That Causes The Most PTSD Is

sexual assault.

It is more likely to bring symptoms of PTSD than any other kind of trauma including combat.

3: 1 Out Of 13 People

will develop PTSD at some point in their lifetime.

This is an estimated figure.

4: There Is Online Treatment For PTSD

Recognizing a huge need to treat people for post traumatic stress disorder, there are websites that offer online treatment.

5: 1 Of Every 10 Women

will get PTSD at some point in their life. This is an estimated figure.

6: The European Countries With The Lowest PTSD Rates Are:

  • Spain

  • Switzerland

7: The European Countries With The Highest PTSD Rates Are:

  • Croatia

  • The Netherlands

  • The United Kingdom

8: The Requirements For Diagnoses Of PTSD

There is a strict method for Doctors diagnosing PTSD.

There are 3 clusters, and a certain amount of each cluster must be prevalent for diagnoses.

  1. Re-enacting or living the trauma/event: The patient must have 1 or more of these symptoms that include chills, panic or heart palpitations.

  2. Hyper-arousal: The patient must have 2 or more of these symptoms that include irritability, sudden anger, easily startled, overly alert, lack of concentration or difficult sleep patterns.

  3. Avoidance of reminders: The patient must have 3 or more of these symptoms which include any people, activities, places or thoughts of trauma reminders.

That includes withdrawing from friends and family, normal activities and being emotionally detached.

9: PTSD Cases From Vietnam

The figures are mind-boggling, but it is estimated that 1,000,000 Vietnam veterans suffered from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

In World War One, they called it shell shock. Second time around, they called it battle fatigue. After ‘Nam, it was post-traumatic stress disorder.” Jan Karon

10: People With Highest Risk Factor For Developing PTSD

The people who experience the following traumas are at the highest risk of developing PTSD.

  • Rape

  • Severe physical assault

  • Sexual assault

  • Serious accident

  • Shooting or stabbing

  • Sudden death of family member or close friend

  • Life threatening illness in a child

  • Witness to a killing

  • Natural disaster

11: Who Seeks Help

Out of the people who have symptoms of PTSD, only 1/2 seek help. This is estimated.

12: Proper Treatment

Of the people who seek help for PTSD, only about 1/2 receive adequate treatment. This is an estimate too.

13: The Effects Of PTSD On The Human Brain

Studies have shown that prolonged trauma does greatly alter the human brain chemistry.

14: Help Yourself

If you feel you may have PTSD, there are many ways to help yourself.

I put a link earlier, but you should consider all of these:

  • Seek help from trained professionals

  • Stay clear of alcohol and drugs

  • Try to resume a normal routine

  • Fight through the battle of avoiding people, places and things

  • Use relaxation exercises

  • Eat and sleep properly

15: If Not Treated

PTSD will normally get worse.

16: Signs Of PTSD Healing

You may wonder what signs there are of healing with PTSD.

Look for these signs:

  • The person can think about the trauma without becoming distressed

  • They do not think about the trauma at inappropriate times

  • The feelings of being threatened are diminished

17: Suicide Factor

It has been shown that PTSD is a leading factor in suicide.

The suicide statistics for veterans are devastating:

  • 18 daily

  • 126 weekly

  • 6,552 yearly

18: The Primary Treatments For PTSD Are:

  • Medications. Primarily antidepressants.

  • Psychotherapy. Including exposure and cognitive therapy.

19: The Homeless Vets

It is estimated that 45% of homeless veterans suffer from PTSD.

20: Resiliency Factors

Many people wonder why some humans get PTSD so bad while others in the same trauma are not.

These are known as resiliency factors, and include:

  • Responding effectively in the face of fear.

  • Seeking support from family and friends.

  • Using a positive coping strategy.

  • Getting involved with a support group following a traumatic event.

  • Feeling good about our actions in the fear of trauma.

21: Combat Statistics

It is estimated that 1 out of 5 combat veterans have, or do suffer from PTSD.

Always remember, if you have been diagnosed with PTSD, it is not a sign of weakness; rather, it is proof of your strength, because you have survived!” Michael Templet

Final Thoughts

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a nightmare for many people. But, if we attack this nightmare early and with precision, it can be turned into sweet dreams.

What are your thoughts? We are open to comments from those of you who have or do suffer from PTSD.

We at Part Time Commander are with you, and offer our help in any way we possibly can. If you have comments or questions, please post them below. Thank you and have a great day.

chuck holmes

Chuck Holmes
Former Army Major (resigned)

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