Lately, the news focus for post-traumatic stress disorder has been mostly about veterans coming back from the war. But the recent NYTimes article points out that anyone can have PTSD. In “Behind the facade, post-traumatic stress” by Karen Barrow, the story is about a 25-year-old woman named Robin who was sexually assaulted.
Friends didn’t understand why she never wanted to go out. They would play down her anxiety and say, “Oh, you’re just going to laugh at this in a couple days.” It took years of sleepless nights and paralyzing anxiety over tasks as simple as grocery shopping before she began to look for help.
She sought out psychologists, but some dismissed her. “They’d say, ‘What does a pretty girl like you have to worry about?’ ” she said. Others were simply too expensive. Finally, during an initial consultation, a psychologist heard her full story and said the simple phrase that changed everything: “You have P.T.S.D.”
A personal note: I hesitate to say that I had PTSD, but I dealt with issues stemming from my first suicide attempt and things related to the incident, e.g. month of the occurrence. What helped me mostly resolve those issues was when my psychiatrist finally decided to refer me to a psychologist to have EMDR done just about a year ago (it’s been seven years since the attempt). Sometimes, an issue needs to be dealt with in a focused manner, even if you are getting treatment in general.