Someone in my life sits in the middle of a conflict zone for the second time in their life.
When they came home from deployment the first time, I could see the changes. Sometimes grenade launchers were shot over the fence while they were stationed at Baghram. Thankfully this time they are somewhere safer, but I know it’s not entirely safe. I know others are out there in harm’s way seeing things unimaginable beyond any nightmare—war.
So imagine my outrage as Trump says this about soldiers (and sufferers of PTSD in general):
Yep, another pin in Trump’s hat…
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder is a common plight. About 4% of all men and 10% of all women will experience it at some point in their lives. This includes victims of abuse, assault, and witnesses of injury and death.
For soldiers, the incidence is higher with as many as 30% of soldiers experiencing PTSD. They are shooting guns and witnessing violence. They see injury and death up close and personal. They go through hard f*cking training.
They have lived through traumatizing events. When they close their eyes, they see the horrors visited upon them in their dreams. They feel themselves detach in daily life and panic that they don’t know how to cope with this. They may feel guilty for various reasons. They feel an attack may come at any moment so they’re always on edge.
Somehow, Trump overlooked the reality of what PTSD means.
He implied not being able to handle trauma (and having that manifest through PTSD) somehow made people weak. This notion is utterly false and potentially dangerous. It’s already hard enough to ask for help. It’s scary, there’s already this horrible stigma around mental health in general that shouldn’t exist.
This isn’t the first time hubris has come from him. He thinks he knows more about ISIS than the generals. He thinks he’s better than many of the demographics represented within the U.S. He is misogynistic, ableist, classist, racist… In short, he’s xenophobic. To him, anyone but Donald Trump is a lesser person. U.S., we can’t afford to elect him. If we do, fear will be fed rather than the love we so desperately need to unite this country as well as foster international well-being.
And if you’re out there suffering from PTSD, you matter. You’re strong enough. There’s help out there. For more information about PTSD and veterans, please visit here. There’s still hope.
Author: Lindsay Lock
Editor: Caitlin Oriel
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