Unseen Wounds: Destigmatizing Mental Illness

“When something traumatic happens in your life, it rocks you to the core. The world is no longer a safe place. It becomes somewhere that bad things can and do happen.”

We live in a modern era where we have normalized many things and new concepts. But regardless of that, the stigma around mental illnesses remains intact. Every year, we host numerous webinars and raise awareness through blogs, highlighting how we are still unable to fully comprehend the core of mental health issues. Unfortunately, we do not give enough attention to mental health issues the way we prioritize physical health.

Let’s focus on one prevalent mental health issue that affects individuals around us: PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is essential to understand why stigma occurs around PTSD. Stigma arises when people fail to understand PTSD or believe that it is an untreatable illness. Often, mental illness is wrongly attributed to being “one’s own fault” or something that can be easily overcome. People tend to associate individuals with mental issues, particularly PTSD, with being dangerous.

But what exactly is PTSD? When individuals experience traumatic events, it affects their ability to think, feel, and respond. While most individuals recover from such events, some may experience long-lasting effects on their mental well-being. Events such as injuries, deaths, threats to the lives of loved ones, or encounters with violence can have a lasting impact.

If individuals develop long-term symptoms that interfere with their regular activities and relationships as a result of this stress, they may be diagnosed with PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

The invisible scars of PTSD manifest in various ways. Some symptoms include reliving and replaying the traumatic event in one’s thoughts, experiencing intrusions such as nightmares and sleep problems, negative changes in mood and cognition, intense and ongoing fear or sadness, irritability or angry outbursts, constant vigilance for threats, denial of the event, or avoiding people or places associated with it.

In addition to the stigma surrounding mental illness, particularly PTSD, many individuals feel shame or guilt about having PTSD. They may hesitate to confide in even their closest friends. This self-stigma is a barrier to seeking help and support. It is crucial to respect yourself and your emotions, especially when it comes to your mental health. Seeking help and therapy from psychological experts is vital, but it starts with accepting that you deserve help and taking steps towards your own recovery.

Remember, the stigma surrounding mental health is not your problem. Other people’s actions and opinions should not define you. While it is not your responsibility to change their minds, you can help them understand PTSD. By educating others, they may be able to overcome their negative views and attitudes.

It is crucial to prioritize your mental health just as you would with physical health. Only you can truly understand the pain you experience during phases of PTSD. Going through trauma was not within your control, and there may have been no way to avoid it. However, recovering from it is within your capacity.

Seeking professional help is your right. Mental health issues, including PTSD, can significantly impact your daily routine, relationships, and responses to situations. Living your life constantly triggered is not a solution. Instead, allow a professional psychological expert to guide you out of the misery. Let us introduce you to Dr. María Rodríguez, Ph.D., LPC, an accomplished mental health professional who is passionate about providing her expertise to cater to the needs of individuals with mental health issues.

Dr. Maria obtained her Ph.D. from Capella University and a Master’s Degree from William Paterson University. She has over 20 years of experience in Counseling and Psychology, 18 years as a Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Psychology, and 14+ years of managing, providing clinical supervision, and developing programs and projects.

Dr. Maria is the founder of Care Counseling Center, where she has been assisting thousands of people in coping with mental health issues and helping them recover to lead better lives. By seeking professional help, you can address your emotional support needs and traumas. It is the best way to recover and live a life free from triggers and unhealthy relationships.