Today’s guest post covers a topic that is not discussed often, especially within the PTSD community. Is PTSD contagious? Of course, in the common usage of the word “contagious,” it is not. PTSD is not a virus or a bacteria. You can’t get it from touching someone or breathing the same air as a trauma survivor. However, “witnessed PTSD” is a real phenomenon, one to which children are especially prone, but which anyone from any demographic can acquire.
This story is different even from that. Patricia Eden, or “PTSD Wifey,” as she prefers to be known, is a blogger and PTSD advocate who acquired PTSD after her husband experienced a direct trauma. Vicarious PTSD typically occurs when someone witnesses or hears about a highly disturbing trauma which someone close to them experienced. This wife claims, however, that she earned her diagnosis after a year of experiencing her husband’s PTSD symptoms. When I first heard this, I had a lot of questions. So I invited her to write this guest post.
The answer isn’t one that is easy for me to face. Earlier this week I explored the ways in which my mental health affects my family. My husband and I both have PTSD, and like anybody with PTSD, we both get triggered at times. My kids can share our air, our food, even our drinks without worry. But can they share our space when one of us gets triggered? When I read this essay, it made me realize all the more that we need more supports-not less-for parents with mental health conditions. We don’t deserve to have our children taken from us, but we do need reliefs and supports for our safety as well as our family’s.
Patricia Eden is the voice behind PTSDWifey. She is a mother of two beautiful daughters and a wife to an outstanding husband who is recovering from Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and she has Vicarious PTSD. As the author of a unique blog written from the supportive partner’s perspective; PTSDWifey hopes to be an inspiration and a beacon of light for others affected by PTSD. She is working on registering as a non-profit to provide previously unavailable resources to families and individuals suffering from non-combat related PTSD & CPTSD. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and learn more about our invisible disease and find support, remission, and recovery! For more articles like this visit www.ptsdwifey.com Don’t forget to say hello while you are there!
Although living with PTSD, Minor Depression, and an Addiction Disorder often feels like the loneliest existence on the planet, these are issues which affect my entire family. Especially when I am in the depths of an episode, I like to believe that my words and actions don’t impact others. When I’m in that state, I feel like my family doesn’t need me or care about me. I feel as though they would be better without me; like I hurt them simply by being. Of course, it’s that line of thinking which truly hurts my family.
Mental illness or injury affects everyone it touches. Expressing that reality was the reason I began my “Tales From The Other Side” guest blogger series. I wanted to show that when one person in a family is hurting, the whole family hurts. Yet despite publishing these touching stories by real people affected by PTSD and other disorders, it has been difficult for me to truly realize that when I hurt, my family hurts.
Hello! Thank you for dropping by this fine day in July! Or if you’re in the part of the world that says things like “fine day in December” (so weird), then thank you for dropping by this cold wretched day in July.
Today’s post features a mama struggling with depression over in The Netherlands. I completely feel for her and understand 100% the burden of being a mom and wife while having to also tend to your depression. Motherhood is often a very lonely job. I mentioned Summer in the paragraph above…Well, Summer used to be, hands down, my favorite season. I fiended for it all through the year, waiting with mounting excitement for the time when it would be warm enough to go out all day, when I could enjoy my favorite physical activity-swimming-and when I could feel happy enough to spend time with my friends.
Now, Summer is just another season to feel even more lonely and stressed. Don’t get me wrong: I love my kids. But without any help over here, I never get to swim. Never. They aren’t in daycare long enough for me to really enjoy anything; especially since I have to spend that time cleaning, shopping, or trying write marketable articles. Any outdoor excursion becomes an event. One which involves arguments over socks, inexplicable screaming fits, a monstrous stroller to haul, heavy bags loaded with diapers and snacks and extra clothes and diaper wipes…you get the picture. Nothing is carefree. Nothing is fun. It’s taking a toll. I can feel a very serious depression creeping up on me, wrapping its hands around my eyes again. I’m not built for a life where nobody cares for me. No help in sight. No end in sight. Just my lonely, burdened existence.
So I understand where Mom Mandy from The Netherlands is coming from. She is a gorgeous woman with a beautiful family, living in a country internationally lauded for its peacefulness. My reasons for saying all this are not to guilt Mandy for her feelings but to point out that Depression and Anxiety are, in fact, illnesses with biological causes. People can have the most enviable-looking lives…people can be in the middle of their favorite season…and still experience Depression. Just as beautiful women with loving families can get cancer or the flu, they can also get Depression and Anxiety. Let’s dive into this interview to see how Mandy experiences and copes with her illness.