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Setting the Record Straight: 13 common PTSD Myths and Facts

Here are some common myths surrounding PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)?

Myth 1: Only veterans can develop PTSD.
Fact: PTSD can affect anyone who has experienced a traumatic event, such as a natural disaster, assault, or accident.

Myth 2: People with PTSD are dangerous and violent.
Fact: While PTSD can cause irritability and anger, most people with the condition are not violent. They are more likely to experience symptoms such as flashbacks, nightmares, and emotional distress.

Myth 3: If you experience a traumatic event, you will automatically develop PTSD.
Fact: Not everyone who undergoes a traumatic event will develop PTSD. Factors such as genetics, previous trauma, and the severity of the event can influence the likelihood of developing the condition.

Myth 4: PTSD is a sign of weakness.
Fact: PTSD is not a sign of weakness or lack of resilience. It is a normal response to an abnormal situation and can affect anyone, regardless of their strength or character.

Myth 5: PTSD symptoms always appear immediately after the traumatic event.
Fact: PTSD symptoms can manifest immediately or be delayed, sometimes appearing months or even years after the event.

Myth 6: People with PTSD will never recover.
Fact: With proper support and treatment, many people with PTSD can significantly improve their symptoms and lead fulfilling lives.

Myth 7: Talking about the traumatic event will make PTSD worse.
Fact: Evidence-based therapies like cognitive processing therapy and prolonged exposure therapy involve discussing the trauma to help process the memories and reduce symptoms.

Myth 8: You can "snap out of" PTSD.
Fact: PTSD is a complex mental health condition that often requires professional support, self-care, and time to heal. It is not something that can be "snapped out of."

Myth 9: PTSD symptoms will appear immediately after the traumatic event.
Fact: Although some PTSD symptoms may appear soon after the traumatic event, they can also develop months or even years later.

Myth 10: If you don't experience symptoms immediately, you don't have PTSD.
Fact: PTSD symptoms may not surface right away. In some cases, symptoms may only emerge months or even years after the traumatic event. Delayed onset PTSD is a recognized condition that requires the same level of understanding and support as any other manifestation of PTSD.

Myth 11: Time heals all wounds, including PTSD.
Fact: Although time may help some people recover from trauma, PTSD often requires active treatment and support to work through the effects of the traumatic event.

Myth 12: People with PTSD cannot lead normal lives.
Fact: With proper support and treatment, many people with PTSD can lead fulfilling and productive lives. It may take time and effort, but recovery is possible.

Myth 13: PTSD is a rare condition.
Fact: PTSD is more common than people think. According to the National Center for PTSD, about 7-8% of the US population will experience PTSD at some point in their lives.

Myth 14: PTSD can be easily overcome by "moving on" or "getting over" the trauma.
Fact: Recovery from PTSD is an person process and requires time, support, and often professional intervention. It is not a matter of simply "moving on" or "getting over it."


 >>> Back to The physical effects of PTSD on the body

Written by Adewale Ademuyiwa


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