Unwanted Gifts

Today it seems that “mental health” is constantly being discussed, labeling people that appear whether on paper or in person to be “unstable”. The thing about any “disorder” is that it takes place due to circumstance, not asking for it and not wanting to be a part of it in the first place. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is huge these days and more and more are not sure of how to proceed or properly engage with these “troubled” people. Whether through war, rape, witnessing murder or violence, PTSD is ruining millions of lives on a daily basis. The gift of PTSD is that is almost akin to having a super power, the vigilance and a certain “Spidey sense” of how to avoid impending trouble. The unwanted aspect of PTSD is that you are figuratively carrying a “red flag” everywhere you go. Employer’s, insurance agencies, our rights, etc. etc. etc., the ripple effect of being diagnosed can be crippling.

That’s the biggest threat when it comes to being diagnosed with any perceived mental health concern. No one ever asks for PTSD, it is due to time and place and circumstance. Those of us who remain, remain because we asked for help when we needed it. We asked for help and started therapy, now for the rest of our lives, our record is permanently vandalized. We continue to navigate this world always knowing that we will always be under more scrutiny than those who either haven’t been diagnosed or those who refuse treatment. The other aspect of this lifestyle is that we must always and constantly be aware of the feelings of the people around us. It is too easy to be taken the wrong way and face devastating life altering events that will again follow you throughout your life.

Our health records are being sought out to curtail our rights. We had an issue, we sought help and now we pay for the price of experience. How many more people need to feel the sting of rights infringed for this to be rectified? We didn’t break the law, we didn’t do anything wrong, all we did was follow our doctor’s orders and take our prescribed medication as directed and now we lose since we are not looked upon as stable law-abiding citizens anymore. We are looked upon as walking and talking liabilities that could explode at any moment. What is it about us who seek help and communicate our needs and fears that make us so scary?

Instead of going on a tirade, we did what we had to, for some maybe this also saved their lives. For this we are punished and limited. PTSD happens and if this trend continues then every single student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will also lose their rights, for witnessing savagery.

Labeling people and inhibiting on our rights does not stop crime. The more we are punished, the more will abscond from help or outreach. We haven’t broken any laws, quit trying to “protect” us from ourselves and treat us as the law-abiding citizens that we are.

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