Would you believe it, blogging is supposed to be good for you according to medical research. Benefits include better sleep, improved memory and act as a stress relieving activity amongst many proven benefits. Research has been carried out by various establishments from the world renowned Harvard University in America to Robert Gordons University in Aberdeen.
PTSD – What is it, the Truths & Myths
Having been diagnosed with PTSD I’ve encountered quite a lot of prejudicial judgements from people that are running on the myths portrayed in films and tv programmes for a good story line, take the Rambo series of films as an example. According to myth I’m supposed to be a drug/drink fuelled junkie, with a short fuse and violent tendencies, manic depressive suicidal person. The truth is the complete opposite. My trust in people has been totally eroded, I think, evaluate and process information over and over again, looking for alternative solutions to past problems, every person to me has an ulterior motive for their actions, and I must process and work out what this is. I hardly drink, and when I do I ensure I’m always in control of my drink, never let it out of my sight, and also ensure I’m not in rounds so I collect it direct from the bar, I’ve never touched illegal drugs, not even once for a “I wonder what it’s like” moment. My sleep patterns are all shot to bits, when I do sleep I have nightmares and bad/weird dreams that when I awake are immediately forgotten, these then come back to me later that day/week/month in small snapshots, linking together into slightly longer episodes as I struggle to remember more, trying then to work out if it was real or from dream land. I think that these snapshots back into my hidden dreams is what triggers flashbacks. These take you back to your trauma, sights, thoughts, memories, places, smells, visions like having a digital photo book embedded in your body that plays it’s random images when the button is pushed.
I’m ashamed to admit I had friends whose views on ptsd were prejudiced, have taken actions which surprised me, and only affirmed my trait to be cautious of everyone, not to trust anyone, and look for their ulterior motives. Where these views have come from I’m not sure, but what I do know is that none of them have ever gone to the extend of researching it and drawing the facts out.
Please don’t pre judge me, everyone is different, just like in life were all individuals the same goes for our ptsd diagnosis, no one suffers the same, I chose to open my closet and display my skeletons to the world in the hope of alleviating my symptoms, and learning to live with myself and admit my condition for the better. I know everyone has skeletons in their closet, if your hiding yours don’t be so quick to pre judge mine, yours will come out to haunt you when you least expect it, I on the other hand now speak to mine, go out for drinks or a meal with him, and introduce him to everyone I meet. Despite all my current woes I feel better mentally from my blogging, talking, and no longer hiding the shame of my ptsd.
Final word of Advice
Myth: I can’t do anything for a person with PTSD.
Fact: You can do a great deal, starting with how you act and speak. You can create an environment that builds on people’s strengths and promotes understanding. For example:
Don’t label people with words like “crazy,” “wacko” or “loony” or define them by their diagnosis. It’s important to make a distinction between the person and the illness. Instead of saying someone is “mentally-ill,” say he or she “has PTSD.” Don’t say “a mentally-ill person,” say “a person with PTSD.” This is called “people-first” language.
Learn the facts about mental health and PTSD and share them with others, especially if you hear something that isn’t true. If you employ people with PTSD in your workplace, consider hosting workshops to educate supervisors and coworkers on the facts.
Treat people with PTSD and other mental illnesses with respect and dignity, just as you would anybody else.
Respect the rights of people with PTSD and other mental illnesses and don’t discriminate against them–especially when it comes to employment. Like other people with disabilities, people with mental health problems are protected under the disability discrimination act 1995 in the UK.