This blog series is intended to raise public awareness about issues related to PTSD, reduce the stigma associated with PTSD, and help ensure that those suffering from these invisible wounds receive proper treatment.
Rather than quote facts and figures in this post, I have decided to tell a story…
When I was about three years old, a young man named Mike came to live with our family. Mike was a US citizen attending school in Canada, and his parents were family friends. I had no siblings, so he became my big brother Mike. While attending university, he helped around the house and often looked after me. We went on long walks and played in the park – he was such a kind young man, and I adored him.
Then news came that he had been drafted and would have to leave for Vietnam. I recall my parents being upset, and Mike was very angry. I had no idea what was going on – all I knew was that my brother Mike left for quite a long time. When Mike finally returned, he was different. The gregarious young man had been replaced by a moody, brooding dark cloud. He no longer wanted to play at the park or go on adventures – I had lost my brother and friend. It was as though he had left a chunk of himself in that place called Vietnam. I now know that Mike had severe PTSD, which stemmed from his experiences during that traumatic time. Fortunately, he would get help and move forward in life – but some are not as lucky.
Thus, I encourage you to take the time to reach out to those in need…those whose scars are not visible but are so deep.