learning to navigate the world, j-bear style

Having a Sad

Hey, internet: I’m having a sad right now. Hear me out?

I’ve mentioned before that I live with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is an intense, complex thing to live with and it is something that may always be a spectre hovering over my life. I am not secretive about having it but I am selective on letting out the details as to why I have it.

This leads to today’s post.

At least three times at various medical points of care in the past month I have been asked why I have PTSD. There has never been context to this beyond exploring my medical history. It’s never been couched as a concern to make sure that my medical care did not cause a triggering event to it, it’s just been bluntly thrown at me and shaken me badly enough that I am sitting here writing this on the fly before I go pick up little boy.

This isn’t cool, people. You wouldn’t ask someone with depression or whatnot why they have depression or what have you. You see it on the page, you acknowledge it, you move on right? So why is it okay to ask someone with PTSD why they have it? Isn’t that in and of itself inviting a reopening of traumas?

I have enough struggle dealing with professionals in these capacities as it is. Let’s not make it any harder than it need be, okay world? Please? Thanks.


  1. anne rossetti (mary's sister)

    I have found that many both in and out of the medical comunity don’t consider a mental illness as a “real” illness – they seem t o think its something you have conrol over – no one would ask you how you got cancer or m.s. – hopefully, someday this will all change.

    • nicole

      Thank you much. My primary care doctor is a godsend in that she takes it seriously and openly admits that when and if she feels over her depth in helping me manage it from the medical side she’ll help me to the right professionals to handle it. I love her for that and for her compassion in regards to it. I keep hoping that it will change, and in the aftermath of Sandy Hook parents in CT are actively trying to make that the case along with other national organizations, but there’s such a long row to hoe.

  2. Jessica N and Makiko

    I agree with the above commenter. MANY people in the medical and helping professions don’t understand mental illness and a lot of people think it’s not a “real” illness, and it can go away if you try harder, or you go to therapy. I’m sorry that you have to go through this frequently.

    • nicole

      Pick yourself up by the bootstraps, they say! Only it never works like that. I was diagnosed in 2011 and honestly this is the worst I’ve ever dealt with people poking at it. I could probably do more therapy but right now, I am not -there-. In a lot of ways I am totally okay with mental illness being a part of me but geez, people need to not poke people in the raw open wounds. It’s just not the right way to be.

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