MYTH: Strong people can deal with trauma on their own and don’t need help.

FACT: PTSD and other trauma reactions have nothing to do with mental strength, character or background.

This myth ties in to the stigma that surrounds many mental health conditions, and it is rooted in old ways of thinking that prevailed before society began to understand how the brain works. The truth is that ANYONE can experience a trauma reaction after a terrifying incident because the human brain has set ways of understanding and responding to threats.

Factors that may impact a person’s reaction to trauma include:

– The severity of the trauma and the level of stress associated with the incident

– Genetic brain wiring, structure and neurotransmitter levels that were inherited from parents

– How often the trauma was experienced, or how long the trauma lasted

– The person’s personal history of trauma and if he or she experienced childhood trauma

– The individual’s support system at the time of the incident.



Kathryn Taylor Millán, M.A., LPC/MHSP

Hartgrove Behavioral Health System

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