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11 November 2019

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Veterans Day: Coming Together Around Our Commonalities

Veterans Day & of course we acknowledge all those brave men & women who have protected our freedom & way of life.

 

With my own diagnosis of PTSD, Veterans Day has become personal the last few yrs, especially as someone who did not serve our country & so greatly respects those who have.

 

We talk in this space so much abt the term “stigma” – well look no further than the men & women who have come back from duty & the way they’ve been treated in society.

 

For so long, we erroneously were told in school/movies – “PTSD is exclusively for servicemen/women.” We were told that some ppl come back from service as “misfits” as “damaged” as “unable to assimilate back.”

 

No, no, & no. PTSD is NOT exclusively for men/women of the military. Mental health lives on a continuum. We ALL are affected based on stressful & traumatic life events we experience. Do men/women of the military often experience some of those events at greater intensity? Absolutely. Does this often make the symptoms that impact them, greater? Yes.

 

All of that said, PTSD can happen to the guy/gal who works at the corner store, just like it can to the military warrior. I don’t say this to downplay what those in the military experience. I say it bc we MUST get to a place where we realize we are all on the same team when it comes to MH. We all struggle, we all face challenges, we all live through traumatic events – some are just greater than others. We shouldn’t label nor bucket based on those differences. We should instead embrace each other, & come together on our similarities.

 

Mental Health doesn’t have a uniform. On this Veterans Day, let’s take a stand that we are all one team, all here to support a return to health, especially for those who may have been affected putting their lives on the line defending our country!

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