Thursday, 16 May 2013

PTSD - a double-edged sword

For some of you, the diagnosis PTSD might come as a relief. You might have felt, maybe for years, that something isn’t right. You might have seen several doctors, maybe even received treatment that didn’t help. Now that you have the diagnosis, you are one step closer to getting your life back on track. It will still require some searching - but at least you now know where to start. 

However, for some of you the diagnosis will come as a complete surprise – maybe as a result of a routine examination or assessment. I’ve seen it happen. And you will think “what the f*ck … - there's nothing wrong with me”. (Though you won’t say it out loud ...)
If it doesn’t feel right for you, please don’t just accept it.

For all medical or psychological conditions, there are guidelines to follow in order to arrive at the diagnosis. But with mental health issues like PTSD it is not necessarily as clear-cut as diagnosing high blood pressure (and even that can be a challenge …), especially if the assessor isn’t following the guidelines. And I have a feeling there are political interests behind getting the number of people who are diagnosed up at the moment.

If it doesn’t feel right for you, get a second opinion.
Talk the person who did the assessment and ask. They can’t just throw that at you and not talk about possible next steps. You wouldn’t accept that if somebody had told you that you have cancer, would you? But, you know what? The feelings you now experience might be pretty similar … (“It can’t be me ….”)

Then go away and talk to somebody else. If a doctor told you that you have a serious illness and are about to die – you would seek a second opinion, wouldn’t you? So why accept the label PTSD if it doesn’t feel right for you? You might find out that there is, indeed, something to consider. Most people who work in that area hopefully take their job and responsibility very seriously. But even if it isn’t, in a very sublime way carrying that label might have an impact on you. You might suddenly act differently. Even feel differently. Because something inside of you will keep nagging “… maybe …”.
Please talk to someone about it! And, whatever the result, it doesn’t mean you’re crazy!

What you guys have been through, will have left an impact. Whether it is "serious", whether and how much it impacts on your life, whether or not it requires treatment - that can't solely be decided for you.

And if you do feel you would like to talk to someone, I can point you in the right direction.

No comments:

Post a Comment