PTSD Awareness: More Than A Day On The Calendar

I’m conflicted about Awareness Days. You know, days that appear on a calendar that are aimed at helping us all understand something better.

Improving understanding is always a good thing, I like that aspect, but true understanding takes more than a day on the calendar.

That’s why Randall and I have always shared openly about his diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from the very beginning.

Tricia & Randall in the park
Tricia Velthuizen & Randall Smith – Churchill Education co-founders

PTSD Awareness Day

But when the team here at Churchill asked us if we wanted to share something to support PTSD Awareness Day (June 27), it still caught me off guard.

You see, I realised it has been 20 years of Randall living with PTSD.

So many days.

When Randall was first diagnosed, there were low days, numb days, stuck days, who was he going to be now days?

Better days came.

And worse days.

Remission days. Ordinary days. Great days. Relapsed days. Well days.

Let’s forget PTSD was ever mentioned days.

Normal, rinse and repeat days until here we are, 20 years on.

That’s what is important to understand about PTSD.

It is here for the long haul, not just in Randall and my lives, but in your life too.

Understanding PTSD

Odds are high that you know someone who lives with PTSD.

The last national study in 2022 recorded that about 11% of Australians will experience PTSD in their lifetime. 

It’s the second most common mental health condition in Australia.

And whilst symptoms may look different from one person to the next, when PTSD is hitting hardest it often powers down people’s ability and desire to connect to and communicate with others around them.

Connection, something we all need in order to thrive, is the very thing someone living with PTSD can find the hardest to do.

Finding ways to reconnect takes courage and persistence. And days, lots of days.

That’s where I think we can help with this awareness part: by understanding that living with PTSD is never just for a day, nor is it the sum of each and every day.

There are going to be low days, numb days, stuck days, better days, worse days, remission days, ordinary days, great days, relapsed days, well days,  let’s forget PTSD was ever mentioned days, normal, rinse and repeat days.

Getting through those days, well, that’s where genuine connection and respectful, caring communication can make all the difference to all of us.

One day at a time.

Take care,

T.

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