THE BLOG
05/20/2016 11:53 am ET Updated May 21, 2017

#FacesOfPTSD Is Working to Change the Landscape of Google.

Not all wars take place on the battlefield, and for women -- a population twice as likely as men to be diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) -- the primary scene of combat is most likely within their own comfort zones.

"The authors reviewed 290 studies conducted between 1980 and 2005 to determine who is more at risk for potentially traumatic events (PTE) and PTSD - males or females? The results of the meta-analysis found that while males have a higher risk for traumatic events, women suffer from higher PTSD rates."
~American Psychological Association


Five women, scattered from Upstate NY all the way to British Columbia Canada, whom have never met, have joined forces to combat the false belief that only men in uniform live with PTSD. Now, women from America, Canada, Africa, India, Australia, the UK and everywhere in between have begun sharing their pictures, and their stories, all over social media. Each one hoping to change the landscape of online search engines, to more accurately represent the #FacesOfPTSD.

The belief that PTSD is a disorder that exists only within combat veterans creates a barrier in recovery for women suffering with the disorder. Some may suffer in silence. Some may not even be aware there is a name and plan of action for recovery from what they are experiencing.

"As someone who works in the trenches of the mental health system, I see how often people's traumas are ignored, meaning they are left with inaccurate diagnoses and band aids placed over their problems. The connection between what a person has experienced and the psychiatric and medical symptoms they present with as adults is neglected. Because of that, I believe most women that suffer with PTSD symptoms aren't even aware the diagnosis may apply to them. That is why the #FacesOfPTSD campaign is so important. I hope even one woman will see the images, hear the stories and then start asking her primary care doctor or psychiatrist about whether or not PTSD is playing a role in her struggles." ~Dawn Daum Co-Editor of Trigger Points: Childhood Abuse Survivors Experiences of Parenting

The movement is making waves. The story has been covered by The Mighty and The Revelist. Support is coming from not only individuals, but supportive online communities and non-for-profit organizations as well.

The campaign will continue through out the month of May, to help raise awareness during Mental Health Awareness Month.

Get Involved.

If you identify with having PTSD, share a photo of yourself on any or all social media outlets, with the hashtag #FacesOfPTSD. Add the byline 'not all wars take place on the battlefield' to help bring the message home. If you are not comfortable posting a picture of yourself, feel free to share any image included in this article, including the video.

It's time to defy shame, honor our battles and introduce the real #FacesofPTSD.

******If you are unsure whether or not PTSD is a condition that applies to you, complete this short screening tool. Then, talk to your doctor about the results. Learning to manage the symptoms of PTSD is key in living the life you want...and deserve!