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If you have witnessed or experienced a terrifying event in your life, you are likely dealing with a condition commonly known as post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. This mental health condition affects people of every culture, race, gender and age, as 3.5 million people find themselves dealing with it annually. Approximately one in 11 people will have to cope with this condition in their lifetime, and twice as many women deal with it as men. This traumatic illness is hard for many people to see and understand, and as a result, there are a lot of misconceptions about what PTSD is, who it affects, and how it works. Let’s get the facts about PTSD and help you cope if you’re dealing with this debilitating condition.For residents of the Panama City, Florida area who are suffering from PTSD, Dr. Roman Nation and Nation’s Best Family Health Care have a wide variety of urgent care, family medicine, and mental health care services to help you get through this terrible illness.

Here are some common myths about PTSD:

Only soldiers get PTSD

Because soldiers were among the first people to be diagnosed with this condition back when it had different names like combat fatigue or shellshock, many people believe that PTSD is only something soldiers or civilians in war zones have to manage. But as the information above indicates, anyone can get this mental illness if they’ve gone through a traumatic event. Assuming that only soldiers deal with it makes it all the more difficult to see when people around you are suffering from it.

You should just get over PTSD

This is a reaction similar to how many people see mental conditions: that it’s something you should either push through and get over, you get dismissed as being crazy, or that it isn’t that serious in the first place. But once you’ve experienced a terrible and traumatic event, you may not start showing signs of PTSD for months. If it’s based on a childhood event, you may not start showing signs until years later.

This myth becomes even more troubling when you consider how PTSD works. A common symptom of this illness is reliving the tragedy repeatedly in the form of flashbacks and nightmares, which make simply ‘getting over’ such a terrible condition impossible.

PTSD can’t be treated

Another common myth is that people dealing with mental illnesses can’t be adequately treated following their diagnoses. This often leads to more marginalizing of people who desperately need help. This is especially true of PTSD, but nothing could be further from the truth. Many treatment options are available, including psychotherapy, exposure therapy, cognitive processing, and medications.

It’s all in your head

Similar to the suggestion that you just get over a mental illness, it’s easy for many to dismiss something when they aren’t dealing with it or don’t understand what they see in someone else coping with a mental condition like PTSD. So sadly, many people may simply ignore it altogether. If you’re suffering from all the symptoms and they aren’t going away, you need help. The first step to getting that help is to come to grips with having a problem and looking for help to recover from it.

Mental illnesses like PTSD are illnesses to be treated like any physical condition for which you see a doctor for treatment; it’s just harder for people to see.

If you’re dealing with PTSD and you aren’t getting the help you need, make an appointment with Dr. Nation today to start the road to recovery.

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