“Don’t be ashamed of your story. It will inspire others.” – Unknown
There is still a lot of stigma surrounding mental health and emotional well-being.
Mental illness is more common than most of us think. According to a study, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives.
51% of you told us that you have experienced mental health problems before, whilst the remaining 49% told us that you have never experienced mental health issues.
June is #PostTraumaticStressDisorderAwarenessMonth. For millions of people around the world, the most traumatic events of their lives have never left them. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (also known as PTSD) Awareness Month is dedicated to raising awareness about this struggle, and how we can help make sufferer’s lives just a little easier.
It is estimated that up to 3 in 100 people may develop PTSD at some stage in life.
In a recent poll, 35% of you told us that you either know someone, or have suffered, from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
PTSD is ‘a type of anxiety disorder which can develop after being involved in, or witnessing, a traumatic, stressful or frightening event including terrorist attacks, military combat, sexual assault or robbery’.
People who suffer from PTSD often relive a traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks. They may also experience feelings of isolation, irritability and anger.
It’s normal to experience confusing and upsetting thoughts after you’ve had a traumatic experience, however, most people should improve over a few weeks or so. You should visit your GP if you or a loved one is having problems after a traumatic experience.
See what our members had to say when we asked them if they know someone or have suffered from PTSD themselves:
“Yes, and still suffer from it, although I have been taught through CBT how to better control it and how to get through situations where it may present. I've came leaps and bounds with mine since having CBT.”
“As a counsellor I have seen those who seem unable to get past it (a better term than 'get over it') and those who have done so successfully. One technique that really helps is called EMDR. You can get to the point where you don't even think about it for weeks or months on end, and when you do it's just the same as any other memory. I admit that not all victims of PTSD reach that point, but many do.”
Find a list of symptons and how PTSD is treated here.
So, is there still a lot of stigma surrounding mental health in general?
We also asked our members in a poll whether they thoughts that there is still a lot of stigma surrounding mental health in general. 35% of you said that there still is a lot of stigma surrounding it, whilst 57% felt that it has improved in recent years.
This is what some of our members had to say:
“People still seem to recoil when mental health conditions are brought up in conversation, but at least they are being talked about and there's more sympathy than there was in the past.”
“There is enough attention to it just not enough promotion towards the help lines and assistance.”
“There's less of a stigma now for sure, especially with well-known and well-liked celebrities being open about their mental health conditions.”
I think it goes without saying that we could all do a bit more to help combat the stigma surrounding PTSD and more widely, mental health in general. Life can be difficult, and we’re all human. Don’t ever suffer in silence, and never be afraid to ask for help.
I think you’d be surprised at the positive reaction you’d get if you just tried it.
How do you think we could help raise more awareness about mental health? Let us know in the comments below.