In the wake of the shooting last night where all of the mainstream media outlets are assuming the attacker suffered from PTSD I want to make something very clear. Coping with post traumatic stress, anxiety, depression, etc., doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a danger to yourself or others. That’s a common misconception that, in many cases, prevents those who are suffering from getting help.
All of these conditions exist on a spectrum of severity and even if severe, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a danger. Each person, each past trauma is unique and incredibly multifaceted.
Why does this matter? Because stigma goes largely unseen, but is devastating in hidden ways.
The stigma of PTSD and mental illness prevents people in need from seeking help and getting the treatment they need. It discourages people from being honest about where their head is at and how in need of assistance they may be.
If you or someone you know is suffering, don’t keep it bottled up. Reach out. The resources are out there and don’t worry about the un-educated folks who foolishly look down upon modern therapy, psychology, and psychiatry. Coping with post traumatic stress, anxiety, and depression is a battle that should never be fought alone.
Be very careful about this kind of stigmatization. In my opinion it’s one of the least-discussed most dangerously impactful forces in our society today.