A Private War: Why PTSD Is Still Overlooked

Why PTSD is still overlooked: I came across a very interesting article in the New York Times that was published by Dani Blum, but was information from Van der Kolk and other very prominent researchers and experts. I wanted to address one of the comments by one of the expert that mention: “Some experts say this pervasiveness has diluted the meaning of PTSD. The disorder stems from severe trauma, said John Tully, a clinical associate professor in forensic psychiatry at the University of Nottingham in England. “We’re talking life-threatening or close,” he said. The term loses its meaning when people apply it too broadly, he said — and PTSD means more than wrestling with the aftermath of an upsetting event.” This comment struck me because in the beginning of the article it mentions that 70 percent of adults in the United States experience one traumatic event and about only 6 percent will develop PTSD the bulk being women. I feel a lot of PTSD in women can stem from childbirth as mentioned a women was diagnosed with PTSD after she delivered a stillborn baby, she expressed after leaving the hospital forgetting how to even get home and feeling like she had arrived from mars. I feel that not only is PTSD being overlooked but it is also being overlooked in women who have given birth. The rewarding opportunity to bring life into the world is such an honor as a mom but in that same sentence can be so difficult especially for new moms. An article from the The Atlantic expressed the misdiagnosis of postpartum depression with postpartum PTSD which differ in the since that postpartum depression is commonly associated with sadness, trouble concentrating, and having a hard time finding happiness in activities versus postpartum PTSD is associated with flashback and intrusive memories. For mothers this traumatic experience can come before or during pregnancy and can be associated with severe morning sickness, bad reactions to fertility etc or when your baby has medical problems during labor. 

Based on these articles and how much postpartum PTSD, I know of mothers who experienced things that these exact women experienced during giving birth and how it has had such a long term effect on them. At the time I did not consider their symptoms to be associated with PTSD but I know how it made them feel, even looking at some women who can’t produce milk for their children through their whole pregnancy and it makes them feel like a failure of a mother and as if they aren’t able to provide for their child. For some women this is such a traumatic event, especially as a mom. Which makes some women afraid to have more children because of some of the complication they experienced with their first kid.

Overall, my purpose of this article was to just to shed light on how PTSD is being overlooked in many different aspects. And so many people go without getting help because you have experts that make comments like the one above not wanting to dilute the word PTSD and neglecting the many that suffer. What may not be considered a life-threatening traumatic event to some” can seem like the end of the world to many.


Blum, D. (2022, April 4). A private war: Why PTSD is still overlooked. The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2022, from https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/04/well/mind/ptsd-trauma-symptoms.html

Strauss, I. E. (2015, October 2). The mothers who can’t escape the trauma of childbirth. The Atlantic. Retrieved May 1, 2022, from https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2015/10/the-mothers-who-cant-escape-the-trauma-of-childbirth/408589/


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