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Understanding that trauma happens to everyone and that anyone can develop PTSD, post-traumatic stress disorder, is a relatively new understanding. Our initial concept of PTSD comes from veterans of war, soldiers returning home who collectively displayed certain symptoms and a demonstrated disability in adjusting back to civilian life. We know today that an average of 22 veterans commit suicide every day and many are struggling from severe developments of PTSD. If you are struggling with thoughts of suicide, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255.

The many years it took for professionals to understand trauma and understand PTSD saw the condition being called different things. We apply labels to create understanding. At the time, trauma and the responses to the trauma of war were difficult for anyone who wasn’t a combat veteran to understand. Science Daily reports on a study conducted by researchers at Yale which did a complex analysis on 14 million newspaper articles published between the year 1900 and 2016 about trauma related topics. Symptoms were discussed in many articles, including:

FlashbacksSleeping difficultiesAnxiety

The terms used to describe the phenomena of trauma included:

Shell shockWar neurosisBattle fatigueGross stress reactionIrritable heartSoldier’s heart

Interestingly, “gross stress reaction” was included in the very first edition of the DSM, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders in 1952, the article points out, but was omitted in 1968 due to the Vietnam War, during which PTSD was transforming once again.

What matters is not the history of changing terminology but the drastic length of time it took for trauma to be understood. Trauma responses were not regarded as PTSD until the 1980s. As the article poignantly states, “…the lack of clear terminology may have slowed professional understanding, knowledge, and research into PTSD.”

As survivors of trauma, we can call our responses to trauma many different things and label ourselves in many different ways as a result. We become addicts, alcoholics, people with eating disorders, we self-harm, we binge, we are depressed, we are anxious, we have mood disorders, we have personality disorders, we are codependent, we are antisocial, and the list goes on. Until we understand that trauma is the root of our issues, we never understand that we are traumatized, we are survivors, we are strong. Most importantly, the label of PTSD or trauma helps us understand: we are capable of recovering. We can heal. We can change.

The Guest House Ocala offers residential programs for the treatment of trauma, addiction, and related mental health issues. Each client receives a custom plan of care, designed with concierge style attention to meet their specific and unique needs. Call us today for information on life at our private estate and how you can start the journey of recovery today: 1-855-483-7800