Is PTSD Contagious?

It seems counterintuitive that those who spend their time attending to the mentally ill end up with a mental illness of their own as a result of this work. Although mental illness can appear in all sorts of shapes and sizes, especially one such as PTSD, a common idea that we may all visualize for someone with PTSD is a veteran from a war. Despite the fact that not every person with PTSD is a war veteran, war veterans remain the face of PTSD survivors. With this knowledge that not everyone can get PTSD from a war, a question arises: Can someone with PTSD give someone else PTSD?

The way that a person would think about contagiousness would be that of a communicable disease such as a cold or strep throat. Post traumatic stress disorder, however, is a mental illness as a result of trauma. This disorder would not be spread like a cold or strep throat, but through someone with PTSD causing trauma in another person. This experience is especially common in the families of veterans, as some results of a PTSD trigger can result in a scary experience- yelling, screaming fits, breaking objects, or other violent behavior. Sometimes the affected will not even remember these spells, resulting in further confusion of the reactions that others may have to these episodes.

However, despite the fact that PTSD is a very serious disease, a very common notion of some families of war veterans is that despite how difficult life may be with this disorder, war veterans, or anyone else with the disorder for that matter, still are and will continue to be people who deserve love and appreciation. Mental illness in media and daily life in general tends to deviate from what we perceive as the “norm”, hence why some may believe that those that act like “crazy people” are subhuman. However, as those who may experience having loved ones with PTSD or any mental illness for that matter may agree upon, people with mental disorders are still, in the end, people who deserve the same rights as any other person.


Man Ends His Own Life to Donate Organs


It seems counterintuitive that someone would end their life to give life to someone else. After all, it is only human to desire to live on and survive. However, as assisted suicide was legalized in several countries including Belgium, some chose to donate their organs after death to ensure someone else could live even in these people’s deaths. A common notion that people have is “survival of the fittest” or “every man for himself”, so why would people want to die in order to save someone else?

Euthanasia is generally reserved for those that are either terminally ill or for those that will have to live a life of suffering with some sort of painful disease. However, assisted suicide for those that are not terminally ill is especially rare, and generally unaccepted. Despite this, most people that eventually die from euthanasia attempt to end their lives much before their predicted deaths. Most people have a will to survive and live on, but these patients make these moral decisions as their learn about their diseases as a result of not wanting to survive through intense pain and suffering. “This isn’t life,” one woman says in an interview. “It’s hell.”

Thus, knowing that these patients choose to end their lives while they still had the agency to, euthanasia is a very sad yet important part of life that must not be illegal or ignored. It is human to be sensitive to human suffering and want others to live on. However, as others may have said, it is not truly living to live every day wanting to die.


Prozac and Race


It seems counterintuitive that people may connect race with prescription of medication, especially since most people may say that “mental illness doesn’t discriminate”. Why, then, are the rates of those on medication for people who are white higher than those who are black or Hispanic?

Although no two people have the same conditions, depression is a common factor within several different walks of life, communities, and cultures. However, according to a study from 1992-2008 in Washington, 11% of white patients with depression were being treated with medication, while a very little amount of about 4% of black or Hispanic patients with depression were being treated with medication. There could be many reasons why this occurs, but to actually find the root of the issue would not be easy. Some may suggest that the media’s idea of mental illness suggest that it is an issue of white people, and as such people who are not white believe that they do not need the medication for this reason. Others may suggest that psychiatrists that prescribe medication tend to have a bias on whether or not white patients need medication over patients of color, which may be for the same or a similar reason.

Despite what some may think, however, depression is a universal illness that can be a result of a multitude of conditions, or even simply genetics. Although some may not experience depression in the same way, that does not change the fact that anyone could have it. Depression, and most mental illnesses for that matter, is not cut and paste, nor is it the same for every person that has it.

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