Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has many faces. When I was first diagnosed with PTSD, I had recently survived American Airlines Flight #965 that plane crash in the Andes Mountains that killed my parents along with 160 total souls on board. I remember how confused I was at my doctor’s diagnosis. She explained it was a condition commonly found in war veterans. I remember telling her “How can I have this if I’ve never been to war?”. War is a subjective term. War can be battling a cancer diagnosis, going through a bitter divorce, living in financial hardships, or losing a loved one. This list could go on and on. But what matters most is how a person decides to come out victorious from the other end of their battle. Often times they come out wiser and stronger.
Today as we honor our nations veterans, let’s all be mindful of the war many still have playing over and over again in their minds and hauntingly in their dreams. Bravery and heroism come with a price; a price many of us cannot even imagine. According to this article by INC., between 7-8% of the general population lives under the cloud of PTSD. Little triggers can emotionally throw them into an emotional tailspin. For me triggers include startling loud noises, heights, excessive speeds, and frequently thinking in any situation what could go horribly wrong.
Not all who live with PTSD are veterans, but all have waged some kind of physical or emotional war that left their minds and hearts scarred for a lifetime. We often hear the adage “always be kind to one another, because never know what battles people are quietly fighting in their lives” and Veteran’s Day is a sobering reminder. Thank you to all the veterans through the generations that have secured our freedoms and defended our nation. Again, here is the article I referenced above, I’m glad I stumbled upon it.