This week at Stepping Stones we’ve been hugely inspired by Lady Gaga, who has published a very personal account about her experiences of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), following a sexual assault. You can find the full article here, on the ‘Born this Way Foundation‘ website.
PTSD isn’t visible. Unlike a broken leg, or a burnt finger, others can’t see the pain it’s causing, or sometimes even know there is a problem.
PTSD can be difficult to talk about. Stigma and stereotypes still exist.
When you think of PTSD, what do you think of?
Awareness of PTSD following military conflict has increased over recent years, but it can also be triggered by a much wider set of disturbing events, include rape, sexual assault and abuse.
Gaga’s account reminds us that what you see on the surface doesn’t necessarily tell the whole story. People who are strong, confident and seemingly have the world at their feet, can be living with and dealing with pain that outsiders just can’t see.
Lady Gaga’s story mentions the Doctors and specialist treatment she is receiving. But we were particularly struck by what she feels is the best medicine in the world:
‘Kind words… positive words… words that help people who feel ashamed of an invisible illness to overcome their shame and feel free…. Secrets keep you sick. And I don’t want to keep this secret anymore’
So today on day 14 of #16days of action to end violence against women and girls, we wanted to share Lady Gaga’s words of inspiration with you, in the hope that we can all be a little kinder; remembering that we what we see on the surface does not always tell the whole story.
If you’re struggling with similar issues, there is lots of help available locally.
If you’re in immediate danger please contact the Police on 999. Bedfordshire Police now has a specially trained Emerald team who provided dedicated support to victims of domestic and serious sexual offences. You can find out more about the new team and how Bedfordshire Police support victims of rape ad sexual assault here.
Across the county, the Emerald Centre provides comprehensive services to victims of sexual offences, whether or not you decide to report it to the Police. They can be contacted on 01234 897052 or via www.emeraldcentre.org.
Stepping Stones provides support to women who have been affected by abuse and run a number of services to help women understand and recover from trauma. Click here to read brief information about the services we provide. To have a confidential discussion about whether our services might be right for you, or to get some advice on services in your area of Bedfordshire, please give us a ring on 01582 457114 or contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org .