When I look at this, I immediately think about the stigma that exists in our society with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. I grew up in a blue collar neighborhood in Brooklyn, served in the military before and after 9/11, and understand that as a civil servant and a Soldier, there is a certain bravado that comes with serving.
Throughout my conversations with firemen, police officers, first responders, and my time in the military, I experienced the stigma that goes along with asking for help or talking about the pain that such folks might feel. A lot of the time when someone would speak out and talk to others about the pain that we all felt, they would be ostracized and marginalized for talking about such pain, which in many circles is viewed as weakness. This is not the case.
If we’d spend the time actually confronting the issues that we are dealing with and talking with each other, instead of belittling each other, we would be able to share the burden, and be able to move towards removing the stigma associated with Post Traumatic Stress. I’m ready to talk about this as I know many others are. Let’s be leaders and take that first step in connecting with each other, so we can pave the way for the masses to deal with PTSD.