“I could have been that girl,” author and friend June Alexander wrote to me regarding the recent news coverage about a woman in her twenties who was allowed to choose physician-assisted suicide for what the Dutch Euthanasia Commission deemed ‘incurable’ posttraumatic stress disorder, PTSD. Tragically, like June, this woman had been sexually abused as a child. And, also like June, she had developed anorexia nervosa, depression, and PTSD.
I, too, have battled anorexia, depression, and PTSD. While my eating disorder recovery is well documented in several books, my PTSD and its accompanying depression, which developed as a result of being raped in my late twenties, are lesser known. I haven’t written about this experience until now, because, for so long, I didn’t even know I suffered from trauma, nor PTSD. Later, in the midst of my struggle to get better, I too, believed the treacherous illness to be incurable. At one point, I had tried over fifteen medications without progress. Further, before I found appropriate care, therapy didn’t seem to be helping either. I didn’t want to speak out about the illness until I had at least some hope that the devastating symptoms, including flashbacks, nightmares, and plain and simply, utter despair, could actually improve.
I am sharing this today because I now know, after lots of falling down and getting back up again, that PTSD is not a life-sentence.
To continue reading, please click here for the original blog entry on The Huffington Post.