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!