PTSD 22 Push Up Challenge

We are all aware of the 22 push-up challenge and the reason given for doing these is the most poignant and well-deserving cause anyone can think to support. I have been challenged on at least two occasions to complete these daily exercises, however I have not yet got down on all fours – and this is why.

Not long ago we all got behind the ice-water bucket challenge and the social media splash as everyone wanted to get involved. Now the question, what charity did this soaking ourselves support? Without ‘Googling’ the challenge I am willing to bet that no more than 10% of us can remember. So in a years time, who will remember the push-up challenge cause?

This is my dilemma, PTSD is something I truly care about and as I do not want this post to be about me, I will pop a link here for your own research should you chose to have a quick read otherwise please scroll on…

I still feel compelled to start the challenge but I want my contribution to have a bigger impact, to give proper support to such a worthy challenge with something that people can take away and learn something about it. Although there will be 22 press ups a day (I promise) – I want this post to be more impactive than people watching me sweating and struggling, laughing at how out of shape I am, so instead I will post  22 reasons why PTSD should be a concern to us all.

  1. PTSD, means “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.”
  2. Anyone can suffer from PTSD, not just service personnel.
  3. PTSD – is not something people like to admit to, The ‘Disorder’ part sounds bad and people do like to admit to having a Disorder. It should be PTSE, “Post Traumatic Stress Experience.” We are happier to talk about Experiences.
  4. PTSD is a mental health issue and is not recognised by many as an illness.  Unlike an injury, like a broken arm or missing limb (god forbid…) people cannot see the damage caused inside our noggins.
  5. There is no cure for PTSD. There are ways to manage it, but once settled in the brain, that Trauma can be raised again and cause another bout of upset.
  6. PTSD will never go away, there will always be something that can set off a recurrence and at some point it will pop back up. Whether it takes hold as a full blown episode or just affect moods and performance for a short while no one knows.
  7. PTSD is buried by the sufferer. It is such a personal issues, it is not something they want to replay, to discuss or have analysed.
  8. A sufferer is generally someone who cares greatly about their reputation (old and new ones) that should someone know the PTSD issues, they feel like they will lose face, so it is not discussed.
  9. Most people who say they can help people with PTSD, have never suffered from this condition and do not truly understand how debilitating this health issue is.
  10. A traumatic experience is linked to everything that the person has ever experienced before, which makes the condition like a weed. It has roots in everything and can regrow. We can only keep our garden tidy and fight each new weed that sprouts.
  11. Exercise does help the condition – absolutely 100%, but it is not a cure.
  12. Although exercise is good, do not force anyone to go do it. To get a sufferer to start, they have to be in a good place, this really is a chicken and egg scenario. Being forced to exercise when they are low, will only impact on the condition.
  13. We are all different. If a suit looks good on Daniel Craig (007) it will probably not look the same on someone with a different physique. So why do we try and push all PTSD sufferers down the same ‘cure’ lines?
  14. There appears to be 3 stages that sufferers can go through, Confusion, Anger and Comfort. There is no order which these stages come up and it is not a cycle as it can flick between any of them at any time for no reason or remain in one stage.
  15. Confusion is exactly what you would expect, they do not know what they are going through or what is happening. The Traumatic experience has been buried, it is so sore they will not want to use this as the excuse and more importantly they are scared of it.
  16. Anger will be at everything, there will be no reason why they should be feeling like this, it can be part of the confusion or denial.
  17. Comfort is what they require but only they know when they want it but will not ask for it – How confusing is all of this? Exactly!
  18. At any time a sufferer can fall into any one of these stages, whether it is for a few minutes, days or even weeks.
  19. Just because someone has PTSD, it does not mean they cannot function in society or hold down a good job.
  20. A high number of PTSD sufferers face relationship issues, which only increases the chances of a relapse.
  21. People look at a PTSD sufferer like they would a ticking time bomb.
  22. The most important fact is that PTSD sufferers are discriminated against because of the complex nature of the condition and this is why it is not discussed and kept hidden from so many.

If I am honest I could do a 100 facts on the condition and still could not portray the truly horrible and scary issues as to how this awful disorder affects so many people. I only hope that these 22 starter points will start discussions to bring this mental health issue into the light.

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