Why PTSD Is a Mental Injury, Not a Mental Illness

Psychology Today Posted Sep 23, 2019 Tracy S. Hutchinson, Ph.D. New research suggests that PTSD is a normal response to common life events.   According to the National Institute of Mental Health, 7.7 million adults suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Along with a surge of awareness regarding PTSD, there are also many misconceptions. For example, some believe it is only associated with war veterans, events such as 9/11, or natural disasters. Although this diagnosis has historically been associated with military veterans who undergo multiple deployments, there are many other events that can trigger symptoms of PTSD. For example, prolonged exposure to emotional and psychological abuse (e.g., verbally abusive relationships, alcoholism, or stressful childhoods) are risk factors for developing symptoms. Some of these lingering misconceptions may be due to the fact that development and recognition of the disorder is relatively recent and has really only blossomed in the last three decades. History In 1980, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) formally recognized PTSD as an actual mental health diagnosis. Historically, it had been formally recognized as “shell shock” and was thought only to occur in military war veterans. Further, PTSD had historically been thought of as something that someone “gets over” over time. This may be true for some, but it isn’t for others. Researchers continue to discover risk factors that can cause PTSD symptoms. This includes emerging research on the study of what happens in childhood and how it affects adults in their lifetime (van Der Kolk, 2014). For example, some of my clients […]

Read More →

Johnathon’s Story

RAINN “I’ve been told my entire life that it was impossible for this kind of thing to happen to me.”  Johnathon Cassidy was sexually assaulted by a stranger he met while at a local bar. The perpetrator put a date-rape drug in Johnathon’s drink, sexually assaulted him in a car, stole his personal belongings, and left him unconscious at a bus stop. “When I was raped I was 6’4” and 220 lbs. I truly believed that I could go anywhere I wanted and no one would bother me—I’m part Samoan, I’m hefty, I wear cowboy boots that make me even taller—I was the defender. Everyone always said ‘Go with Johnny, you’ll be safe with him.’ I’ve been told my entire life that it was impossible for this kind of thing to happen to me.” A week after the assault, Johnathon told his best friend at the time what had happened. He reacted in an unsupportive way, making it seem like the assault was an inconvenience because it happened at their favorite bar. He told Johnathon that he wanted to go back to the bar and pressured him into returning. “I was too ashamed to say I was afraid to go and I didn’t want to make my friend feel awkward. So I went back. It was a horrible experience, and to this day he doesn’t realize the impact his response had on me.” Meet Johnathon 5 words that describe me: Creative Adventurous Determined Sarcastic Optimistic […]

Read More →

Update from MaleSurvivor Board of Directors

Dear Friends, I want to thank you on behalf of MaleSurvivor, our Board of Directors, our staff, our members, and the thousands of survivors who visit our website and frequent our Discussion Forum and Chat Room. Your stalwart support as an Advisory Board member facilitates our ongoing efforts to remain the premier place of learning, sharing and healing for male survivors across the country and abroad. The Board of Directors […]

Read More →

1 in 6 Special Message From Anthony Edwards

Dear 1in6 Family, I wanted to take a moment and send a personal note to share a powerful and moving experience from this past week. On Wednesday, I had the incredible honor of joining an audience of survivors of sexual abuse, as well as others whose lives have been impacted, for a special screening of the two-part documentary “Leaving Neverland,” which will premiere this Sunday, March 3rd and Monday the 4th on HBO. The documentary introduces two incredible men, both survivors of sexual abuse, Wade Robson and James Safechuck. As a leading national organization helping male-identifying survivors of sexual abuse and assault, 1in6 both provided feedback to HBO on the effect of airing this powerful documentary, and recommended resources for survivors. Through this relationship, 1in6 was invited to participate in the taping of a television special, “Oprah Winfrey Presents: After Neverland,” immediately following the screening. As many television specials do, it all came together in a matter of days. Matthew Ennis, 1in6 President & Chief Executive Officer, reached out and asked if I would briefly share my story with Oprah and the audience. A short time later, Matthew and I joined over 150 fellow survivors and their guests in a theatre near New York’s Times Square for the taping. The cavernous room was filled with a positive energy I will not soon forget. Oprah, who has been a lifelong supporter of survivors and the complexities of their stories, brought us all together for an honest and probing discussion of abuse. […]

Read More →

Male Trauma Survivor’s

OF NOTE Facilitating Male Trauma Survivors’ Meaningful Involvement in Health Research   Sexual abuse is an international problem and an often overlooked public health issue for men and boys. Given the prevalence of trauma and its well-documented connection to mental and physical health disorders, the relevance of male survivor input and engagement in healthcare research is profound.   With funding […]

Read More →

Learn More about Building Hope & Resiliency Through DoD Safe Helpline

The program is overdue and my hope is the word gets out for people to use the services.  M RAINN.ORG Department of Defense Safe Helpline is excited to share that their program, Building Hope & Resiliency: Addressing the Effects of Sexual Assault has been redesigned. Building Hope & Resiliency: Addressing the Effects of Sexual Assault is a self-guided, online, anonymous, […]

Read More →

June is LGBTQ Pride Month

June is LGBTQ Pride Month, when lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning people and their allies celebrate diversity, progress, and pride. This month, Joyful Heart reaffirms our support for survivors of all sexual orientations and gender identities or expressions. Sexual and domestic violence can happen in all different relationships and to anyone. Respecting survivors’ diverse identities and experiences is essential. Many survivors face obstacles when it comes to disclosing their experiences or seeking help. However, these hurdles can be amplified for LGBTQ survivors who fear being “outed” to their friends and families, or who fear being discriminated against in the legal, medical, or criminal justice systems. Throughout the month, we will share resources, including our blog post: 5 Facts About Sexual and Domestic Violence in LGBTQ Communities. It takes courage for a survivor of sexual or domestic violence to share their story with anyone. Never underestimate your power to affect the course of a survivor’s healing journey. With hope, Sarah Haacke Byrd Managing Director Joyful Heart Foundation

Read More →

RAINN: Effects of Trauma on Mental Health

SEXUAL ASSAULT Effects of Trauma on Mental Health “Every survivor’s healing journey is unique and it’s crucial that we’re aware of the effects trauma can have on mental health,” said Keeli Sorensen, vice president of victim services at RAINN. “It’s time to start speaking openly about mental health concerns, and dismantle the environment of shame, fear, and silence that too often prevents […]

Read More →

RAINN: Danyol’s Story

RAPE, ABUSE, INCEST NATIONAL NETWORK 800.656.HOPE (4673) LIVE CHAT “I just want people to know that they don’t have to be afraid of their truth. Your truth is important, your truth is needed.”  Danyol Jaye was sexually abused and raped repeatedly by his older cousin between the ages of 7 and 10. The cousin enabled multiple perpetrator sexual assault when […]

Read More →

Male Child Sexual Abuse and Homosexual Confusion

Blogging started as a coping mechanism to grieve my Granny. Spending years writing about how my grandparents unconditional love saved me from myself. Before long my post centered more around my traumatic background, it was seamless not a conscious decision. I have learned everyone’s trauma is different, even when they appear the same. I knew nothing of men’s sexual abuse. Five years ago I met several male friends who were sexually assaulted as children and adults. None of my traumatic experiences prepared me for how different boy’s and men process sexual assault. To all the Men Survivors of Sexual Assault, please know you are loved and supported by those without understanding the pain and trauma inside. You are loved for who you are. I found this video on YouTube by Mark Sanford. I don’t know him and not endorsing in any way. I am acknowledging his trauma, the pain and deep emotional suffering he went thru. Honestly, I don’t know if the video will help anyone. Please know I’m committed to learning all I can about Male Sexual Assault because I care. I know the pain of dragging the self-hatred around for years. If the video is crap please tell me, I learn from feedback. Share what’s helpful, thought-provoking or out of left field. I’ve been asked to write for Men’s Movement, http://www.mensmovement.com  an organization supporting men’s mental health and personal development. Please check out their site. Soon to come a […]

Read More →