This is the era of the medical specialist. If you have a heart condition, you seek a cardiologist. If you have a bone or joint problem, you see an orthopedist.
Likewise if you've suffered overwhelming and soul-shredding stress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, it's reasonable to get professional help. However, some people seem to think that they must heal their hurts by themselves.
Many have been taught to admire the solitary, self-sufficient hero, from the Lone Ranger to Rambo. They strive to keep that stiff upper lip in the face of adversity.
However, the reality is that humans survived as a species by banding together. In times of adversity, we need to circle the wagons. That's where the mental health community comes in. They can provide guidance and support in times of uncertainty.
This message is particularly important if you're a soldier who's been exposed to armed conflicts or other traumatic events. You don't have to go it alone and suffer in silence. Seeking guidance from Veterans Affairs or from the civilian community is a logical step to healing.
Join the discussion at #Stress.June 21, 2011