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The Transition House, Inc.

9 myths about PTSD that people should ignore

About 8 percent of the U.S. population is believed to have Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The condition usually occurs after someone is the victim of a traumatic event. When those who experience trauma have difficulty coping with daily life, they are usually diagnosed with PTSD.


There has been a lot of attention given to PTSD recently, but that spotlight has shined on some myths about the condition that seemingly cannot be silenced.

We found 9 myths about PTSD that people need to quit spreading.

  1. Only veterans have it – With the rise in the number of veteran suicides, there has been greater focus on the difficulty many veterans face when returning home from war. But PTSD can be a condition resulting from any traumatic event, such as a sexual assault or other physical violence.

  2. It’s a new phenomenon – Yes, there has been more information and discussion about the condition in recent years, but it was first recognized by the American Psychiatric Association in 1980. It may not have been called PTSD before that, but it is believed many of the soldiers of the Civil War were exposed to traumatic events and had difficulty coping with daily life after the war.

  3. Only weak people have itPTSD is the result of real chemical changes in the brain that occur after someone has witnessed a tragic event. The only way for someone with the condition to get better is to obtain treatment.

  4. It shows up quickly – While PTSD can be a diagnosis shortly after someone is the victim of a traumatic event, sometimes it can take months or even years for an individual to express difficulties related to the event.

  5. People with PTSD are dangerous – Many believe that those with PTSD can snap at any time and act out to harm others. There are many factors that trigger violence and it usually is not just PTSD.

  6. Victims should be able to cope – While some of those who are exposed to traumatic events are able to cope with that incident, not all are able to do so. Getting help should not be a sign of weakness, but instead of a willingness to do something to get better.

  7. Only adults get it – A recent study found that children often have a difficulty coping after the family is impacted by a natural disaster and therefore have signs of PTSD, too.

  8. It will hurt my career – Many of those in the military are reluctant to seek help because they believe they will lose security clearance or suffer some other setback that will diminish their chance of advancement.

  9. It can’t be treated – Many treatments show promise for helping people overcome their condition. Still, it is widely held that those with PTSD are doomed to suffer the condition forever.

Helping people with PTSD is something The Transition House does at TTHI Counseling Centers in Kissimmee and St. Cloud. If you think you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD, we can help. 

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