May is Mental Health Awareness month. And together with a team of powerful women, we are starting a conversation about the true faces of PTSD.
I wrote this song for the campaign, even still battling with my inner voice that said "Faker", and "Imposter." The thing is, my survival strategy for a really long time has been "It's not that bad. It wasn't that bad." Because I was terrified to turn around and face the truth. Because being sexually abused at 10 years old really was that bad. Because learning early in life that not only would no one protect me, but no one would listen after the fact so that I could process all the feelings that were left swirling around in me. Rage, shame, hurt, betrayal, confusion. So I became really good at faking normality and over-achieving became my drug of choice. I would be the good girl so no one could see that I was really the dirty whore I had been told I was. And if I had panic attacks and a ridiculously over-tuned startle reflex, and struggled with depression, I never thought about what that meant. I never added up all the pieces of the equation to equal PTSD. Honestly, until we started this campaign, I never thought of myself as having it. That is, until I read the writing of all these other survivors describing all the things I live with every day, and saying hey, this is PTSD. Huh. Well that's an eye-opener.
And this is why this campaign is so important. Because there are so many other women like me living with this, and wondering what is wrong with them. Wondering why they struggle with things that seem so easy for everyone else. Wondering why when they get caught up in a crowd at Ikea they start to panic. Or why when a certain song comes on the radio they start to sob uncontrollably. When we can name it, we can understand it, and more importantly, we can get help.
So if someone you know may be struggling with PTSD, please share this video to let them know that they are not alone.
What is the #FacesOfPTSD campaign?
#FacesOfPTSD is a social media campaign kicking off Friday, May 6, 2016, and going throughout the month of May.
Survivors who identify as having PTSD will flood social media with photos of themselves, along with the tagline, “Not all wars take place on the battlefield,” and the hashtag #FacesOfPTSD.
Our goal is to alter the current landscape of social media and search engines (Google, Bing) to include all trauma survivors,
particularly women who are rarely represented, in order to reflect more accurately the #FacesOfPTSD.
TOGETHER, WE CAN MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Why the #FacesOfPTSD campaign?
There is a common misconception in our culture about who suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
(PTSD) and what it looks like. A quick Google image search will lead you to believe that the majority of those living with PTSD are men in uniform, when the reality is that women are twice as likely to develop it as men, and it can be acquired in a number of ways. Not all wars take place on the battle field.
How can you make a difference?
- Share an image of yourself—or if you don't live with PTSD but still want to show support, share one of the images posted on our page—and be sure to include the hashtag #FacesOfPTSD
- Use any of the #FacesOfPTSD campaign images if you publish a blog post or any articles about PTSD
- Know the facts. Women and children get PTSD. Women get it twice as often as men. Children get PTSD.
- Men get PTSD and women in the military get PTSD, too, typically from sexual assault rather than combat.
Let’s make a change!
It’s important to accurately represent the thousands of women and men living day to day, while doing the best they can to manage flashbacks, constant triggers and the debilitating medical and mental health effects of this disorder. It’s time to recognize the many #FacesOfPTSD.
To read the article that inspired this campaign written by Cis White of Heal Write Now / How to Live On Earth When You Were Raised in Hell, visit
US: Christine "Cissy" White firstname.lastname@example.org 781-331-4679
Canada: Jodie Ortega email@example.com
This campaign is a joint initiative of
Christine "Cissy" White of Heal Write Now / How to Live On Earth When You Were Raised in Hell
Arwen Faulkner of Lilacs in October
Jodie Ortega https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J2xYSYLPuy4
Dawn Daum and Joyelle Brandt of Trigger Points Anthology