Public service announcement regarding trauma

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Public service announcement regarding trauma

Post Sep 27th '18, 17:03

I wish I didn’t feel this thread were necessary, but due to the utterly nightmarish state of our national news, I have a sneaking suspicion that very few survivors of sexual assault have not experienced PTSD flashbacks recently, unless they’ve simply been living under a rock for the past two weeks. I am not, personally, a survivor of sexual assault, a fact for which I remain incredibly thankful, but my ex-girlfriend was, and I’m certain she essentially lost at least seven years of her life to PTSD as a direct result. I have, however, experienced PTSD as a result of other traumas. My symptoms were nowhere near as severe, and I have luckily only experienced one flashback, which was horrifying enough that I hope never to experience another.

Should you be in need of psychological assistance, there are resources that can help. I strongly encourage anyone who is a survivor of sexual assault and needs to talk to someone (or, for that matter, who has a loved one who is a survivor of sexual assault who may need help) to contact RAINN or some similarly reputable organisation that helps survivors. You can call RAINN toll-free (at least in the U.S. and probably Canada) at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).

Alternately, there are online resources at https://online.rainn.org, including a chat, which may be more helpful for people who find it difficult to speak on the phone. Should you need assistance finding in-person resources, https://centers.rainn.org/ has you covered. A list of tips for survivors about media consumption can be found here, a list of articles on PTSD flashbacks can be found here, and a list of articles for friends & family on helping survivors and managing one’s own reactions can be found here. RAINN’s abridged terms of service follow:

The National Sexual Assault Online Hotline
Chat online with a trained staff member who can provide you confidential crisis support.

Your privacy and safety are crucial. Please make sure you are in a safe place and that you are using a secure device and Internet connection. Please note that while we have taken numerous measures to keep your communications safe while using our site, no Internet transmission is 100% secure.

Terms:
During your session, we will not ask for information that would identify you (such as your name or address) and we will not record the chat. However, if you disclose your name and location and are under 18 or if we fear that you are in danger of committing suicide (or otherwise as required by law), we may have to provide information you have given us to the appropriate authorities.

And should you need more information on the organisation, there’s a brief video you can watch here.

Please take care of yourself. It may feel like we’re living in a slow-moving horror film, but there are people out there who care and can help. It helps to talk about these things with trusted friends and family, as well, but I strongly encourage anyone who’s dealing with severe trauma to seek professional assistance. And if the first professional doesn’t seem helpful, find another – sometimes you just don’t click with a therapist, and that’s fine. But there are some things that laypeople like us simply aren’t equipped to deal with, and there’s no shame in asking for help. Indeed, asking for help often takes a commendable amount of strength. So, as I’ve said, please take care of yourself.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

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