Editorial: Let’s never fall so far

PTSD and other mental health issues not going away, so we need to learn to help each other

Post traumatic stress disorder is not going away.

There is no magic cure. There is no preventative measure. Each and every human being is susceptible to it, given enough exposure to stressful, life-endangering moments. It’s part of what makes us human.

The only way to prevent PTSD would be to isolate ourselves completely. To never place ourselves at risk. To never visit war-torn countries. To never face death, and then survive. An impossible task, to say the least.

What we need to do is arm ourselves with knowledge, and temper ourselves with acceptance. We need to know the signs of PTSD, and other mental health disorders, and be able to identify them in our friends, family, and neighbours, even if we can’t pinpoint them in ourselves.

We need to look out for each in ways that are somewhat new to us. In the First World War, soldiers were killed by their countrymen for what was seen as a deficiency in character. It was less than 20 years ago when that crime was finally repaired, at least on paper. In those days, it was thought that having a psychiatrist close to the front lines would encourage men to be soft.

It seems unlikely we should ever fall so far again, but we are still lifting ourselves up.

Let’s keep on that same course.

If you or someone you know is struggling with a mental health issue, speak up and ask for help.

Talk to your doctor, or visit www.mentalhealthcanada.com.