PTSD as a mental-psychological brain injury...

Sues

Confident
When I first learned I had PTSD, I didn't know what to think. Now I think of PTSD as an injury, or even more as my body's response to what happened to me.

I don't tell anyone I have PTSD because of the stigma and literally no one would believe me or understand. I certainly don't tell people I go to therapy (stigma with that too).

I've lived through 30 years of hell and abuse from my ex-husband. I got out 11 years ago, and I'm still being stalked and threatened (he's retired LAPD). Restraining orders only help me with my peace of mind, but not with actually stopping him from the continued torture of stalking and harassing me causing hyper-vigilance of past threats (where the PTSD takes over), and ongoing current threats of him stalking me.

I've always acted "normal" at work and outside our home, so no one knew about the abuse, not even my family. I was a different person at work than at home where I was terrorized and abused. So no one would believe me or understand now.
 

Friday

Moderator
I think it’s about as useful as calling a cat a rhinoceros.

If you want to? Go for it.

Just don’t expect for people dealing with brain injuries to respect you for it.

Like I sooooo got PTSD from standing in that line, and OMFG, that waiter totally raped me! Look! He short changed me by $3 whole dollars. f*cking pervert. That’s so cancer.

Why should we mean what we say? Just pick a word you like. The definition doesn’t really matter.
 

Sideways

Sponsor
I can wrap my head around the concept of ptsd as a 'psychological injury'. I think it's unhelpful, because it's a mental health disorder, and naming mental illnesses correctly is pretty critical to helping reduce the stigma associated with it. But if it helps someone on an individual level for whatever reason to call their ptsd something else? Whatever else, I say go for it.

Because yeah, it's helpful for society at large to name things accurately, but none of us have any personal obligation to be the person that reduces stigma in the community or educates the people around us. Our first obligation, and ultimately the one that really matters, is to ourselves and our own healing. And if calling it a 'psychological injury' helps you get there, then do that.

If you have PTSD, you have a mental health disorder. But, that's medical jargon. Call it whatever you like!

I'm not a fan of calling it a brain injury. That means something else entirely. Conceptually, that might make sense to individuals, but they are 2 entirely different things, and so to me, calling ptsd a brain injury is about as helpful as calling it brain cancer. It's not. Brain cancer is something else entirely, and I'd probably be asking myself "is this unhelpful avoidance" if I wanted to go down that road, never mind that I'm not doing any favours to people who actually have a brain injury by moonlighting as having one myself if I use their illness's name instead of my own.

I have a mental health disorder. I don't like it. Most people I know don't understand it. But that's what it is. A shitty, wish-I-didn't-have-it disorder.
 

Lionheart

Sponsor
Perhaps psychological injury or just injury would be the better term rather than brain injury just out of respect for those who have or had an actual brain injury. I just really like the idea that it is an injury and tho I know it doesn't work for everybody, it works for me.

It is like my insistence in calling child sexual abuse, sexual child abuse, it just makes more sense for me. Another example would be this...In the United States, I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, but to me, the term minimizes the actual problem. It sounds like one is only tired. When in truth there is a myriad of symptoms that go along with that fatigue so I have adopted the British term, "Myalgic Encephalomyelitis". For me, it is the better fit.

I mean no disrespect to anyone, so I will no longer use the term 'brain injury' because it is true that it is something else and not PTSD. I don't think I necessarily need to tell everyone I have PTSD as many still don't understand what it is and it is not my place to educate them in a short few minutes, but I don't mind letting people know the truth and saying that I have PTSD if they are going to take the time to get to know me, it seems to me only then would I be able to help reduce the stigma anyway.

It is okay for you to disagree with me on the subject, but realize it is my preference and opinion that it is more correct to call it an injury. But you do you and if you want to tell everyone you have PTSD and educate them as to what it is, have at it. I simply choose not to.

I want to add that I have been very open about my having PTSD with people, maybe too much so. I prefer a little more autonomy and control over who gets to know that I am disabled with PTSD.
 
Last edited:

Sideways

Sponsor
it works for me.
Ultimately, this is the bit that counts. You're not hurting anyone. And if it's meaningful and helpful for you? That's the bit that matters.

Too much of our life we had no say over. If having a bit of control over how you identify yourself and what's going on for you gets you some place better for you? Then do that. Language matters to me too, so I get why it's important to you, even if I come out at a different end point, I think I get it.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
I understand why injury can be used, and how stress does actually affect the brain functioning, apparently with a threshold point that triggers PTSD. If you look at the term, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, technically it’s a stress disorder consecutive to a trauma, that is namely, a form of injury. Replacing disorder with injury in this nomenclature doesn’t make much sense, it’s redundant and technically it would say it’s a stress injury consecutive to an injury. From a strict grammar point of view, I don’t get what a "stress injury" would mean. For me it sounds inelegant and not explanatory of what actually is—a disorder with typical sensations of fear and a variety of behavioural responses. If it is to revise the nomenclature to make it sound less discriminatory… then perhaps revising it entirely and not just replacing one word.

It’s a pain in the ass that "disorders" have such a bad advertising, going with famous bipolar disorder and the terrible personality disorders. But it is what it is, something embedded in you but treatable.

In continental Europe all the imagery of combat PTSD is much less prevalent than in the US, there isn’t much of that image of the veteran gone cuckoo. Actually there is, but it’s practically deemed nonexistent because there isn’t a critical mass of PTSD’d veterans. It’s as if it were an American thing. There is a lot of discussion about family trauma but clearly more on a psychoanalytic/language point of view and the neurological level is vastly unknown in general conversation but also by a number of counselors. And in psychiatry, it’s very quickly diagnosed either with depression or a personality disorder. I’ve almost got stamped with BPD where I clearly didn’t meet enough criteria. There is generally more a tendency to diagnose you with depression + there-is-something-wrong-with-you, and PTSD feels far more liberating than the blank I had before.

In French they chose to translate disorder with "trouble", which sounds much less scary. It sounds more like something of Post Traumatic Stress Mess, but it’s also super vague. It’s quite a problem that the names are translated from the DSM, as it’s difficult to find something that matches the original meaning, while the original wording also was difficult to find.

Besides that I think the difficult part isn’t so much to deal with the discrimination of the term PTSD, but just basic comprehension. And I guess there are so many flavours and a spectrum of severity in PTSD that it’s difficult to bring a one-size-fits-all explanation. It’s a conversation that is long, complicated, vaguely boring and evidently upsetting given it’s about trauma.

I find that the discrimination lies much more in the reasons of the trauma than in the disorder itself. Explain that you’ve gone cuckoo because you had a horrible car accident that killed half of your family, expect some compassion. Explain that you’ve been abused and most likely coped with it in some collaborative way with the abuser before you could leave and you’ve got PTSD in the whole process, then it triggers fear and discomfort because no one wants to see how incredibly prevalent abuse and violence is, and it’s easy to stamp you as "crazy" or broken and ignore the entire thing. That for me is the core of the social conversation, and then seeing the consequences on people’s mental health.

Another discriminatory part is simply the social consequence of being dysfunctioning in a level or another. Then you are perceived as deficient, or eventually dangerous. Western society has a great intolerance for any kind of dysfunction or basically anything that questions its core beliefs. Rebranding the disorder I think will have little to no effect on this. It’s displacing the problem. As soon as it would be understood as being that "thing," it will be just the same. But I completely understand that some might feel more comfortable with a different term.
 

Lionheart

Sponsor
I completely understand that some might feel more comfortable with a different term.
It is in the wording for me, I like trauma or injury. Also, one person said to me oh, "You're on disability." and I was like, "no, I am disabled and receive disability benefits.' I didn't like the wording they used because to me it implied that I am living off of the government through some fault of my own. Like "being on welfare". It just didn't sit well with me.
 

ruborcoraxxx

MyPTSD Pro
It is in the wording for me, I like trauma or injury. Also, one person said to me oh, "You're on disability." and I was like, "no, I am disabled and receive disability benefits.' I didn't like the wording they used because to me it implied that I am living off of the government through some fault of my own. Like "being on welfare". It just didn't sit well with me.
Yeah I totally get it. Something that stresses (no puns intended 🙃) more the cause-consequence thing. Otherwise it’s somehow floating in that judgy wording full of suspicions.
 

brat17

MyPTSD Pro
Changing4Best-Im in the same situation. I have chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, though they are sort of the same. Herniated discs and stenosis, a slew of stomach and digestive issues, a past brain injury and significant emphysema, in addition to ptsd. People I dont know well ask me to do things like go hiking or marathon shopping. I cant do these things. However, if they were close friends they would know that and I dont feel the need to explain to them. If we become closer, more will be disclosed. Lastly ptsd probably.

Lionheart-I dont know if this helps any, but I just tell people that I am retired and I am. Im 62 and received disability for some years. I think the term disability opens the door for questions like you mentioned "so you're on disability?" when in fact, that is a question about your source of income which is entirely nobody business. I dont ask others how they make their money. They could be a trust fund baby....Nobodys business.
 

Lionheart

Sponsor
Yes my friend @brat17, it does help. As you may already know I too have Fibromyalgia, Spinal stenosis, Chronic fatigue syndrome, and emphysema, and more. I have not worked for 22+ years as I have been disabled since late in 1998. I usually say I am medically retired, but maybe even that is to give too much information about myself. Generally, if I decide to tell someone that I am disabled with PTSD and they ask why? I just say trauma and usually, that is enough, but not always. I had a doctor ask me once why I was holding on to the past, which left me flabbergasted. So some understand and some do not, but I like that you just say you are retired. Even though my disability is not service-related, I am disabled and a vet. so I could just say that I am a disabled veteran. But perhaps that would be disrespectful to other combat veterans. I don't know I haven't ever tried that, but I appreciate you for sharing. Thanks, with much respect and admiration.

Lion
 
Last edited:
Top