Column: My hidden enemy
You might see me walking around campus with a dog in tow or walking by myself trying to get to class on time. Do I look like any other student you see every day?
It might seem like the statement is true, but unless you’re friends with me or I have told you, would you be able to tell that I have PTSD? Well, I do.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is what it’s called, and it doesn’t affect just people who were in the military, it can affect anyone who has had trauma if their life.
My PTSD stems from being in the military and serving proudly, with four deployments in my career in the United States Army.
Even though you don’t see it on the outside, or may think I’m just doing it for attention, I promise that I am not in any way. I wouldn’t wish this on anyone.
I mostly stay by myself, since I am not able to be in big crowds without having a panic attack. When I do hang out with friend’s I’m mostly silent and do not talk about myself or my condition since I’m embarrassed to admit it.
If you tell me we should hang out and I agree, I must sit where I can see the exits while indoors. This is called hypervigilance, meaning I’m always alert and watching everyone, but if you didn’t know me you would just think it’s peculiar.
So, if you see me walking around campus with a service dog or by myself, remember not all problems are shown on the skin. Students, teachers and staff might have problems that are not visible upon first glance.