I am a face of PTSD.
Today, June 27th, is National PTSD Awareness Day. This day is dedicated to creating awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and the struggle of the people it affects.
PTSD is a form of anxiety that can develop after a person experiences or witnesses a traumatic event, such as death, serious injury, or violence to themselves or others. PTSD can happen as a result of a single traumatic event, or after repeated exposure to trauma.
I am a face of PTSD. I avoid large gatherings. I cancel plans last minute. I have full on break downs before going to the store. I stare at the ground, or search the room when I speak, only making eye contact with someone I feel safe with. I sometimes stay in bed for days. I may cry when I’m alone. I have trouble sleeping, but I’m exhausted all the time. Social events result in me being reclusive for days afterward. Major changes can completely unravel me. I have flashbacks and triggers which at times cause me to become overly alert or on edge, sometimes my episodes lead to emotional numbing or depression. I have to distance myself from the people and situations that cause me ANY stress.
I am a face of PTSD. I am fragile, but I am strong, and I am trying.