What Is It?
Breaking Silence is a web series that strives to create a community for those suffering from post-traumatic stress across all boundaries, and to educate all of us, because we all have been or will be touched by it in some way, whether we suffer it ourselves, or know someone who does.
PTSD is not a military phenomenon. In fact, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is not a “disorder” at all. It is a normal reaction to an abnormal event.
Yes, 6 in 10 combat veterans suffer from it, but they’re not alone. Police, firefighters, EMTs, ER nurses, doctors, victims of sexual abuse, widows and widowers, survivors of violence, accidents, or natural disasters, and witnesses to traumatic events may all be affected. And the list goes on.
There’s currently a stigma attached to PTS, but it shouldn’t be shameful, or weak to talk about it or seek help. It’s much more normal than most people think. Nearly 1 in 10 Americans will suffer from PTS in their lifetime, 6 in 10 will be impacted by stress after trauma or a traumatic event, and ALL of us will encounter someone who’s struggling with it.
Post traumatic stress and its impact on basic coping skills can lead to unemployment, domestic violence, substance abuse, divorce, despondency and in all too many cases, suicidal ideation. But many see it as a personal failure to cope. A weakness. A shameful part of themselves. And so they remain silent.
But we’re discovering that opening up about it, in particular to those who may have shared similar experiences, can make a big difference. So we’re setting out to create a series of videos where different groups who suffer from PTS can discuss how they attempt to cope with it. What works and what doesn’t. What is unique to one group, and what is common to everyone dealing with PTS. Asking for support is a sign of strength, not an inability to cope.
It’s time to break the silence.
Dealing with PTS is a challenge that one cannot overcome alone, so we would like to create a community, and a resource that may help. There are no simple fixes, but if we can help people understand how to manage the trauma, create a dialogue, let people know that they’re not alone, that what they’re going through is perfectly normal, then maybe we can move towards PTS being something we all can live with. Because the alternative is not an option.