* for those without PTSD
** NOTE! May be triggering
- Don’t ask why they have PTSD!! It’s invasive and inappropriate, no matter what your relationship is to that person, and it’s likely that even thinking about the trauma at all (let alone describing it aloud) can be catastrophic.
- If they want to tell you why they have PTSD, listen. Don’t judge them or act like they need to justify why something was traumatic. Don’t ask questions unless they say you can. Realize that their trauma is immensely hard to talk about and that it’s highly confidential (ie. don’t tell other people.)
- Don’t ask them if they were professionally diagnosed. For so many reasons, this is not “proof” that they “really” have PTSD. Psychiatry is not accessible to everyone, nor is it equal in its treatment of everyone; for example PTSD resulting from oppression is not formally acknowledged, and Black women are dx’ed with PTSD at lower rates which does not mean they suffer from PTSD at lower rates.
- Don’t make their illness about you. Realize that you crying in response to their experiences could be offensive to them and if you can’t control it, apologize and be clear that you don’t need to be comforted.
- Don’t try to relate by telling them about something bad that happened to you once. It is insulting.
- If they ask to pause the conversation for a minute, an hour, a day, please respect that. Trigger responses can make it excruciatingly difficult to articulate thoughts and feelings. And since silencing is so often a part of trauma for people with PTSD, not affording them space can further compound, invalidate, and shame. (from tiburongata)
- Don’t assume that PTSD is from one isolated incident. PTSD can also be from long-term abuse, multiple traumas, etc.
- Abuse doesn’t necessarily look like abuse to outsiders. It’s not necessarily physical. It’s not always obvious. It’s often very complicated. Do NOT act like an abuse victim needs to justify/explain their abuse to you. (from kvteghost)
- Do not blame or question them if they stay with their abusers or otherwise have a relationship with a person who traumatized them.
- Do not encourage them to forgive a person who traumatized them.
- Realize that not everyone reacts the same way to trauma. Some people do not develop PTSD and some people do. This has nothing to do with “strength”.
- Know that not every survivor has the same experience. For example, my PTSD at its worst consisted of hallucinations, delusional paranoia, nightmares, an eating disorder, loss of identity, chronic fatigue and physical pain, among other things, many of which I didn’t realize were from the PTSD… in part because of stereotypical ideas about what PTSD is.
- Do not judge them for taking, or not taking, medication.
- Don’t assume you know anything about what PTSD is like. Remember that they are the only expert on their own life. Being close with a survivor of trauma or reading books in no way makes it okay to act like you know more than they do.
- That being said, it’s appreciated if you do some research on your own if you want to try to understand what they are going through. It shows that you care.
- Don’t assume you know what being triggered looks or feels like, because it can vary greatly from person to person. A person may be triggered and you wouldn’t necessarily even realize it. It does not always result in a panic attack. It can lead to obsessive and invasive thoughts, self harm, and a lot of other things.
- Don’t ever call their triggers irrational. It’s not something they can control.
- Ask for permission before you share their triggers with anyone else; you may think it’s in their best interest, but triggers are sensitive information that can be misused to seriously hurt the person.
- Do NOT expose them to their triggers intentionally in the vein of “exposure therapy.” It’s incredibly dangerous and, in general, makes you a shitty person. This form of therapy is supposed to be done by a professional and isn’t appropriate for everyone. You are NOT their therapist.
- Do not take advantage of them if they’re easily startled (by scaring them). It’s not funny. In my experience, people do this a lot and I have laughed it off more than you can imagine but it doesn’t mean I condone it.
- Realize that a survivor likely feels unsafe all the time, or a lot of the time. You don’t need to empathize with this in order to respect it and how it manifests in their behavior.
- PTSD can change a person’s personality, and/or cause a disruption, instability, or total loss of one’s identity. PTSD can last for over a decade and can affect a person’s life for a very long time. Don’t expect them to be “cured” and to ever become the person they were prior to PTSD, if applicable.
- Realize that PTSD is an illness that can cause structural and chemical changes to the brain. They may act in ways that confuse you.
- However: don’t pathologize everything that they do. PTSD is stigmatized enough as it is.
- Don’t treat them like a research project.
- Don’t use them as inspiration porn; it’s objectifying and dehumanizing. Be wary of making comments like, “I admire how strong/brave you are” or “I don’t know how you do it.” Remember that they don’t exist to inspire you. (from kvteghost)
- Be careful how you treat them, but don’t infantilize them. Similarly, don’t expect them to simply take any “minor” bullshit because they’re “tough.” Appearing tough can be a defense mechanism. They are still a human being, and they can still be hurt.
- Don’t give unsolicited advice to a survivor on how to cope. Talking to you about their experiences doesn’t mean they want to be judged, and it doesn’t mean they’re asking for solutions. Recovery looks different for everybody and sometimes it includes behaviors that appear to be unhealthy. But you are not their psychiatrist; remember this.
- Ask them what, if anything, they need from you.
- If they say they don’t need anything, don’t assume they are lying. They may not want or need your help. They may want to be treated exactly the same as always. Respect that.
- When they’re distressed, don’t disappear; most people do. Be a friend. (See above) Being alone can be very very difficult and painful for some survivors, so don’t abandon them.
- PTSD can cause severe trust issues so it’s extremely important to respect their wishes, no matter how trivial you think they are. Similarly, do not make promises you can’t keep. Rebuilding trust is an important part of recovery.
- Related: Don’t be insulted if they want to be alone, or if they act suspicious of your intentions, or if they seem to not trust you. It’s not necessarily personal.
- If you do fuck up, apologize, make sure you don’t do it again, and then shut up about it. Don’t dwell on it. Don’t demand a detailed explanation of how you wronged them. Don’t act like you’re the one who ultimately needs consolation.
- Don’t assume that they know you love/like/appreciate/care about them. They may need this explicitly affirmed on a regular basis. PTSD can lead to major abandonment fears. Don’t call them “needy.”
- Finally: Realize that every person with PTSD is a unique individual with their own needs. They are not JUST their illness. This list is mostly based on my own experiences; it might not be accurate for everyone. If you are becoming close to someone with PTSD or want to be a better friend to them, it’s best to talk to them directly about it, albeit carefully.
Estou há um tempo tentando encontrar a melhor tradução para o termo em inglês “ableism”, que significa discriminação contra pessoas com deficiência. E por deficiência entendam física ou mental (inclusive transtornos), síndromes e determinadas doenças. Há preconceitos com tudo. E pessoas que não têm deficiência alguma se consideram “normais”, “capazes”, como se as com deficiência não fossem seres humanos ou tivessem os mesmos direitos. Ou seja, quando a nossa visão de mundo parte deste ponto, somos “ableists”.
Mas quem não fala inglês e/ou não faz a menor ideia do que isso significa não tem acesso direto a essa informação. E é um assunto que precisa de atenção sempre, pois é um preconceito estrutural.
Então depois de um bocado de pesquisa, percebi que existe uma tradução de “ableism” e “ableist” para o espanhol. Pesquisando um pouco mais, encontrei uma portuguesa que escreveu uma dissertação sobre isso e ela usa a mesma tradução: capacitismo e capacitista.
O nome dela é Ana Maria Baila Albergaria Pereira e a dissertação esta disponível em pdf aqui. O trecho em que explica o porquê de ter escolhido esses termos é este:
Que seja do meu conhecimento, este não teve até à data tradução para Português. Ele é no entanto absolutamente fundamental para abordar a questão da opressão sofrida pelas pessoas com deficiência, tal como os termos sexismo, racismo ou homofobia em outros contextos de opressão. Os termos “ableism” e “disablism” são de significado idêntico e referem-se a comportamentos discriminatórios, opressivos ou abusivos originados pela crença de que as pessoas com deficiências são inferiores a outras. Proponho por isso aqui a tradução portuguesa destes termos por “capacitismo” e “capacitista”, a discriminação com base na deficiência e a tirania das pessoas que se julgam capazes. Estes termos referem-se tanto à discriminação sofrida pelas pessoas com deficiência de forma ativa (por exemplo, através de insultos e considerações negativas ou arquitetura não acessível), como de forma passiva (por exemplo, quando se tem um discurso sobre as pessoas com deficiência que as considera merecedoras de pena e caridade, em vez de as ver como pessoas de plenos direitos). Este termo é fundamental em qualquer discussão da deficiência que parta do ponto de vista emancipatório de que as pessoas com deficiência são socialmente oprimidas […].
É exatamente isso. Só lembrando, de novo, que os termos não se referem somente à discriminação contra pessoas com deficiência física. Se chamamos de burra uma pessoa que tem dificuldade de aprendizagem, somos capacitistas. Se rimos de alguém com disfunção na fala, somos capacitistas. Se consideramos “retardado” um xingamento, é por puro capacitismo.
Muita atenção com nossas atitudes. Esse tipo de pensamento precisa mudar.
Just calm down, everything will be fine. There is nothing to be worried about. Stop freaking out all the time.
Stop being sad all the time. People out there have it worse off than you. Cheer up nothing is wrong.
It's just a phase. How can you know you are____ unless you had sexual experience.
It's just mood swings, everyone has them.
Stop seeking attention. Stop trying to kill yourself.
Just eat. Stop being so picky.
Report who hurt you.
Stop being so cowardly.
You shouldn't have dressed like that. We were drunk, but you still said yes. You never outright said no.
Multiple Personality Disorder:
You are making it up. There is no such thing. They are just your imaginary friends.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder:
It happened in the past, stop obsessing over it. Get over it.
Please never say any of these things to someone who deals with these isues. If you hear someone say something like this to you or someone else, please say something.