It was just a word spoken in jest. Nothing was meant by it. An action that in any other circumstance would be just that an action. But it takes just a word, an action, a phrase or tone of voice to bring back memories that I would rather forget.
I am that person who prefers not to sleep, so I don’t dream. I am the one who wakes in the night screaming, sweat pouring off me, my heart racing, as the nightmare plays out in my head again. I am the one who freezes, because of a word uttered, and I am the one who braces myself fall the fallout, ready to defend myself when someone raises their voice or a hand.
Yes, I have PTSD, but only those closest to me, might get glimpse of it, every now and then. For the most part, most people wouldn’t know, because I’ve learnt to deal with most of my demons, I know how to breathe to calm down and to avoid certain places. But I along with many others live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
PTSD is one of six common types of anxiety disorder. The others are Generalised Anxiety disorder, Social phobia or social anxiety disorder, Obsessive Compulsive disorder, Panic disorder and Agoraphobia.
Anxiety disorders is one of most common class of mental disorders. Approximately 14 % of Australians have an anxiety disorder in any given year. People with one anxiety disorder are likely to have another, and also to experience depression. There are however many mental disorders that people suffer from – different phobias, schizophrenia, bi-polar and paranoia just to name a few.
March is Mental Health Awareness month and whilst it’s good to dedicate a day or a month to a certain issue, be it Cancer, Domestic Violence, Epilepsy and the list goes on, it shouldn’t be just forgotten about until the next year.
Issues like Mental Health should be talked about daily but sadly Mental Health as with other topics are still taboo and only discussed when something happens, like a murder. When it hits the news people suddenly become informed and will speak their opinions,without thinking, about the wrongs or rights of a situation.
In reality, we should be able to talk about Mental Health and other issues, that society faces with facts and empathy, in order to gain understanding and knowledge. For it is with knowledge, that one can begin to help another, and as a society, is that not our role. To help one another, not shun someone, because they have an illness.