When many people think of post-traumatic stress, they think of soldiers that have seen combat, because this disorder adversely affects many veterans. However, it affects other people as well, and misconceptions about the disorder can prevent those suffering from it from getting the help they need. Let’s look at some of the myths surrounding PTSD, along with the facts needed to set the matter straight.
TMS Treatment Center in Lexington, Kentucky, has experience dealing with PTSD in many different types of people, and Jacob Bishop, MD, takes a personalized approach to each case. If you or a loved one might be suffering from PTSD, they can give you the insight you need to find diagnosis and treatment.
What is PTSD?
Before the myths can be addressed, it’s important to have a thorough understanding of what PTSD is. Post-traumatic stress disorder can manifest in many ways, and symptoms can vary from person to person. However, PTSD is always caused by a traumatic event or period in someone’s life.
PTSD is characterized by feelings of stress and fear long after the event has passed. Even if someone is safe, they might continue to feel anxious or afraid. Many different situations can cause PTSD, including:
- Combat (as a soldier or a civilian)
- Physical or sexual assault
- Natural disasters
- Traumatic accidents
Dismissing the myths about PTSD
There are many misconceptions about PTSD, but let’s tackle the most prevalent of these myths.
Myth: PTSD affects only war veterans
Fact: PTSD can affect anyone who has experienced trauma. There are higher rates of PTSD among veterans, and treatments often involve medications with unwanted side effects. But others also can face trauma that results in the disorder. Anyone with PTSD can and should reach out for assistance.
Myth: People with PTSD need to just ‘get over’ it
Fact: Trauma affects everyone differently. Some people experience PTSD months or years after the inciting incident, and they can have this disorder for decades afterward. People with PTSD are not weak, and they should never be frowned upon for seeking treatment. PTSD is like any other illness: It requires treatment to improve.
Myth: People with PTSD are violent or prone to violence
Fact: It is a common belief that those with PTSD lash out at those around them due to flashbacks or trauma responses. This reflects poorly on everyone with PTSD. Less than 8% of those with PTSD show aggressive behavior, instead experiencing their symptoms in the form of depression, guilt, insomnia, and nightmares – not violence.
Myth: There is no way to effectively treat PTSD
Fact: This is a harmful mistruth that can prevent people from seeking the help they need. While some cases of PTSD are resistant to certain treatments, there are many different ways to treat PTSD and help victims of trauma find solace. Various medications and forms of therapy can help with the disorder, and new treatment avenues like TMS (transcranial magnetic stimulation) are being researched and used as well.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is not something to be taken lightly. Not everyone who has experienced trauma develops PTSD, but those who do should seek treatment. Dr. Bishop of TMS Treatment Center knows how debilitating PTSD can be, and aims to create a personalized treatment plan for those who wish to begin recovering. To make an appointment or ask about our treatment options, 859-533-9190 or book a consultation online.