Let’s take a look at word choice by revisiting President Obama’s comments last week about PTSD and mental illness and contrasting it with Trump’s comments yesterday when he characterized veterans struggling with PTSD and suicide as people who “can’t handle it”.
“ If, as a consequence of the extraordinary stress and pain that you are witnessing, typically, [on] a battlefield, something inside you feels like it’s wounded, it’s just like a physical injury. You’ve got to go get help. There’s nothing weak about asking for help.”
“When you talk about the mental health problems, when people come back from war and combat — and they see things that maybe a lot of the folks in this room have seen many times over and you’re strong and you can handle it, but a lot of people can’t handle it.”
Now the Trump campaign is saying Trump’s words are being misinterpreted and the media is creating yet another controversy. No, whether intentional or accidental words really matter when you’re President or running for President. Trump should own it and apologize – or perhaps he’s just not strong enough and can’t handle ever admitting a mistake?
Words also really, really, really matter when you are battling mental illness or are suicidal.
Whether it’s PTSD, OCD, or depression – anyone facing mental illness challenges needs support and encouragement.
It seems just about everybody that I meet with in group or one-on-one therapy has at least one horror story about the health system failing them. They’ve fallen through the cracks, languished on wait lists, told they couldn’t be helped, misdiagnosed, given the wrong medication, and even ridiculed. They felt helpless with nowhere to go.
Does this sound familiar to you?
Let me share just one of these stories with you:
I have spent over 6 years seeing over 12 ‘doctors’ who have done nothing for me. One doctor actually didn’t know what OCD stood for and I had to explain it and he said ‘oh, that’s the washing thing’. I said no and walked out. I went to the hospital downtown and after 4 hours of waiting, taking my blood and for some reason insisting I have a CT scan of my brain (I had not even seen a doctor, only a nurse), I was told that I could either wait for a psychiatrist on call or go to my family doctor. I said I need help right now. They said again, these are the only options. I left. I felt like crying and just left as a mess.
If this story sounds familiar to you – let us know by sharing your story with us.
Don’t give up! There are many false-starts as you strive to get help and support in managing your OCD. OCD Canada understands what you are going through. Join us at our monthly self-help support group get-togethers to share, or you can set up a one-on-one appointment with a therapist who has OCD.