The 2016 presidential debate caused much consternation between supporters of both parties. One individual found Donald Trump’s debate performance so disturbing that she claimed that women suffered from “true PTSD” from the words of the Republican presidential candidate. Anne Helen Petersen, a senior writer for Buzzfeed News, tweeted out the following during Monday’s debate in reference to Trump interrupting Hillary Clinton.
“It’s hard for some to understand why this debate is so hard for women to watch,” Petersen said. “True PTSD from every time a man has spoken over us.”
The tweet was later deleted.
She did not mention anything about moderator Lester Holt interrupting Trump 41 times compared to seven times for Clinton.
There are 5.2 million Americans who will have some form of PTSD this year. That number includes 27% of women and 11% of men who have been harmed by sexual or physical violence, or by stalking by an intimate partner at some point in their lives. This also includes an estimated 150,000 police officers who have symptoms of PTSD. There are an estimated 460,000 war veterans who served in Afghanistan and Iraq believed to have post-traumatic stress disorder, diagnosed and undiagnosed. There were 2,709,918 Americans who served in uniform in Vietnam and it is estimated that at the very least, 30.9% of veterans suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder at some point. On average, 20 veterans a day committed suicide in 2014.
While I was looking for photos of actual people who have suffered real post-traumatic stress disorder, I coincidently found an article on BuzzFeed that featured the brilliant and gripping work of photographer Devin Mitchell.
The heartbreaking photography is part of the Veteran Vision Project, Mitchell traveled around the United States documenting the lives of veterans with his camera. The photographer attempted to show what it’s really like to live with the real-life nightmare that is PTSD.
I must warn you, some of the following photos are extremely graphic and may be unsettling for many.
Equating one presidential candidate interrupting another presidential candidate during a debate to the millions of men and women who are haunted every single day by chilling and horrific memories seems offensive and grossly irresponsible.
If you are suffering from PTSD and are having suicidal thought call the Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255.
If you are a veteran and having any kind of mental anguish call the Veterans Crisis Line 1-800-273-8255, press 1 (text 838255).
If you are a victim of domestic violence call the National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-787-3224.
If you are a victim of a sexual assault call the National Sexual Assault Hotline 1-800-656-4673.
If you are a victim of child abuse call the National Child Abuse Hotline 1-800-422-4453.
For the families of those who are dealing with PTSD you can visit the SIDRAN Institute website or call 1-410-825-8888. This nonprofit organization helps people understand, recover from, and treat traumatic stress and offers a referral list of therapists for PTSD.
You can also visit the National Alliance on Mental Illness website or call 1-800-950-6264. NAMI, which is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization, is dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.