It’s that elephant in the room. That secret families keep quiet because they fear the stigma. The word that many won’t say and even more ignore.
Three of the four people in our home have been professionally diagnosed with PTSD.
You wouldn’t know it…we look, act, and seem like any other family; however, trauma has affected each of us in different ways.
“PTSD is a disorder that develops in some people who have experienced a shocking, scary, or dangerous event. Not everyone with PTSD has been through a dangerous event. Some experiences, like the sudden, unexpected death of a loved one, can also cause PTSD. Symptoms usually begin early, within 3 months of the traumatic incident, but sometimes they begin years afterward. Symptoms must last more than a month and be severe enough to interfere with relationships or work to be considered PTSD. The course of the illness varies. Some people recover within 6 months, while others have symptoms that last much longer. In some people, the condition becomes chronic.” NIMH
I was diagnosed with PTSD after a traumatic birth experience where both my life, and the life of my son, were at great risk. I felt fine emotionally for the first few months then in October (he was born in June) I decided to visit the NICU to donate some clothes. My world came crashing down soon after. I couldn’t get out of bed, I was horribly anxious, I had intrusive thoughts, terrible nightmares, and flashbacks. I started medication that made me feel worse before deciding to go to the hospital. I was admitted and very fortunate for help from my husband’s command to see a psychiatrist the same day. I was diagnosed with PTSD and given an immediate appointment with a counselor who I would then see for several months. That was seven years ago and I feel lucky to say with therapy, support, and love I found healing and strength.
When I talk about my journey or the journey our family experiences so many other military families chime in and say “I’m so glad to hear we’re not alone…” PTSD feels isolating.
You are NOT alone.
It is a difficult journey. It is filled with emotions you sometimes cannot even name. There are programs out there for military families: Give An Hour, Military One Source, Confidential Veterans Chat.
Shared by: Melissa Nauss, Owner | Lead Doula of Stars and Stripes Doulas of New Orleans