PTSD Recovery: Accepting Your PTSD Diagnosis

December 20, 2015 Jami DeLoe

Finding out that you have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be something that is hard to deal with and accepting your PTSD diagnosis is hard, too. It may be, quite simply, a diagnosis that you don't want to hear. However, I have learned that accepting my PTSD diagnosis has made living with PTSD much easier. There is a freedom and a positive side to life after I accepted my PTSD diagnosis and even learned to embrace it.

Receiving a Diagnosis of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

When I found out that I had PTSD, I was in an inpatient treatment facility for alcoholism. I was devastated to admit that I had a drinking problem, and before seeking treatment for it, there was a time that I would have preferred for people to think that I was just crazy and not an alcoholic. But when my diagnosis came, I was scared to death to have a diagnosed mental illness. I worried a lot about what everyone in my life would think about me. I worried that people would feel like they had to walk on eggshells around me -- don't upset the crazy lady. It was, quite literally, a very hard pill to swallow. I wasn't in denial about my diagnosis, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to tell anyone about it.

Moving into Acceptance of My PTSD Diagnosis

I was very open about my alcoholism. Everyone who was close to me, and many that weren't, already knew that I had been in treatment. I used being open as a way to be held accountable and to help me to stay sober. What I found was that most people were accepting and supportive. I think that's what led me to decide to start sharing my PTSD Accepting your PTSD diagnosis, while hard, is the key to recovery. Learn some things to remember when acceptance is hard. Check this out.diagnosis. Of course, along with that came questions from friends: What happened that caused me to have PTSD? Would I ever be cured? Did I need to be treated differently? All of the questions that I had dreaded and worried about answering came.

The truth is, though, when I was open and honest about my PTSD, and I shared my feelings about it, my friends just accepted it. It was just another "thing" about me, like the fact that I am quiet in groups or that I have a sarcastic sense of humor. I'll admit, I have had some sad and shocked looks when I have told people about my mental illness, but the acceptance and support I have received far outweighs any negative reactions I have gotten (What Not To Say To Someone With A Mental Illness). The simple act of sharing my PTSD diagnosis helped me move into acceptance.

Some Things to Consider about Acceptance of a PTSD Diagnosis

There are certainly times that I need to remind myself that acceptance is the answer to my issues with my PTSD diagnosis. These are some of the things that I try to remember when those times come up:

  • I am not crazy. Because of the stigma attached to mental illness, it is easy to slip into the mindset that I'm just crazy. In reality, I have a condition. That's all. It is through no fault of my own that I have PTSD and remembering that helps me to understand that I am not crazy.
  • I am not weak. Having PTSD is not a sign of weakness. As a matter of fact, it is a sign that I am strong, After all, I have survived trauma that was serious enough to cause the PTSD in the first place.
  • I know what my triggers are and I know how to deal with them. It's pretty easy to feel like things are out of control when I'm triggered by something and my PTSD symptoms and anxiety flare up. When I remind myself that I know what it feels like to be triggered and to be anxious, and that I know what I need to do to make it through those times, it makes it so much easier to accept that triggers are going to happen.
  • I can help others. By being accepting of my PTSD and not trying to keep it a secret, I am able to offer support and understanding to others who have mental illnesses. By accepting my own mental illness, I have become much more compassionate and accepting of others who are in the same boat.
  • Having PTSD isn't a life sentence to be dreaded. I live a happy, fulfilled life despite having PSTD. It isn't a handicap. It just is what it is, a part of me that I have to be proactive in managing.

Once I learned to accept my PTSD diagnosis, and to not be embarrassed or ashamed of it, I was better able to manage my PTSD symptoms. Simply put, acceptance is the key to my PTSD recovery, and it can be to yours as well.

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APA Reference
DeLoe, J. (2015, December 20). PTSD Recovery: Accepting Your PTSD Diagnosis, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 13 from

Author: Jami DeLoe

Jami DeLoe is a freelance writer and addiction blogger. She is an advocate for mental health awareness and addiction recovery and is a recovering alcoholic herself. Find Jami DeLoe on her blog, Sober GraceTwitter, and Facebook.

Shaun Getson
October, 28 2019 at 1:04 am

I need post traumatic stress disorder counselling. grew up in a alcoholic home, and never was allowed to discuss my problemsl

December, 20 2015 at 8:30 pm

Very timely and informative. Just conversed with a veteran today who regrets that more VA help is not forthcoming for PTSD.

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