Dating is hard. Adding medical and mental health conditions into the algorithm of dating can be difficult and is a process that people must navigate when considering a long-term relationship LTR. That means that it is pretty common to encounter a person who is struggling with a mental health condition, and even more likely that you have had experience dating someone who has or it is you that has a diagnosis yourself. No matter who it is, dating someone who struggles with mental health issues requires the same skills and qualities as dating someone who does not: patience, empathy, and a willingness to understand is key. One particular mental health condition that warrants this understanding from a romantic partner is post-traumatic stress disorder PTSD. PTSD is a mental health condition that arises after a person has been through or witnessed a traumatic experience; research shows that, currently six out of 10 men and five out of 10 women experience a traumatic event in their lives that can lead to PTSD.
The Connection Between PTSD and Military Service
PTSD: Traumatic Events and Other Risk Factors
When I was 9 years old, I was sexually assaulted by someone my family trusted. When I told people, no one believed me. No one did anything about it either, so I just assumed I had done something to deserve it. My body, one that developed a little too early, and my personality-- the kind that had a smart mouth who'd grown up around two older brothers, had clearly done something to ask for it, right? The world's non reaction to my assault told me one thing loud and clear: this was something that just happens to women and then we don't talk about it. I felt embarrassed for bringing it up at all.
Causes and Risk Factors of PTSD
Relationships are hard enough on their own: asking someone out or accepting a date is an exercise in vulnerability — we have to essentially admit we like someone enough to go on a date. But for people like me who are survivors of trauma, dating someone with PTSD presents a different set of challenges. Every guy I've ever been with has commented on my need to keep them at a distance. Coping with this aspect of our emotional health can make healthy relationships feel out of reach. PTSD can be caused by childhood trauma, being a victim of rape or abuse, or surviving any sort of traumatic experience — a health crisis, a natural disaster, war, and more.
Every new relationship has its ups and downs. It takes time to get to know someone really well, so you need to be patient and listen to what your partner has to say. PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder, meaning that it can occur for anyone that has experienced or witnessed some type of traumatic event. Common events that lead to PTSD are natural disasters, war, serious accidents, rape, or assault. However, this condition is not limited to only those specific events because it could really be caused by any type of event that was traumatic to that individual.