Six Common Misconceptions About PTSD

By Dr. Nicole Cain ND, MA
Jun 27, 2023
3:32 pm

Post-traumatic stress Disorder (PTSD) affects about 20% of people who have experienced a traumatic experience. While many strides have been made to understand the condition, many post-traumatic stress disorder myths still exist, causing people to feel shame about their condition and not seek out some vital resources that could help with their recovery.

If you think you might be experiencing traumatic stress symptoms, here are six myths you’ll want to know about for PTSD Awareness Month.

1. People With The Condition Are Hypochondriacs

One of the frustrating attitudes that people with traumatic stress disorder face is other people’s belief that their condition is all in their heads. Post-traumatic stress disorder isn’t just something that people imagine. Scientists and mental health professionals have been studying the phenomenon for a long time now.

It’s important to understand that they are not hypochondriacs making up symptoms for attention.

2. It Only Happens To People Who Have Gone To War

Originally, it was called “shell shock” because returning soldiers first reported symptoms. However, nowadays, it is understood that anyone who has experienced physical or psychological trauma can experience the condition. If you start to have any of the symptoms above and have experienced one or more traumatic events, you might be experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder.

3. People Who Get It Are Weak-Willed

It is a condition that anyone can experience and has nothing to do with being weak-willed or unwilling to overcome it. Traumatic experiences change the brain’s structure, contributing to the onset of the condition.

4. Symptoms Of Shell Shock Come On Quickly

While it is true that people can experience symptoms right after a triggering event, it’s also true that PTSD can happen anytime after the event, even years later. Conditions like complex PTSD may occur many years after the situation has passed.

5. People With PTSD Just Need To Get Over It

This is one of the most harmful myths. It isn’t something that people can think their way out of. Because it causes physiological changes in the brain and body, it requires specific therapies to bring the brain and the body back into equilibrium.

6. Post-Traumatic Stress Prevents You From Living A Productive Life

This isn’t the case. Once people get treatment, they go on to work, raise families, and pursue the goals they set for themselves. Getting help for PTSD can allow you to have a more normal, comfortable life.


This article is for educational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. Whenever considering changing your protocol whether it includes a change of medications, supplements, diet or lifestyle, always speak with your primary care physician first.

Dr. Nicole Cain is an advocate for empowering people around the world to help themselves via her educational free resources, online courses, and membership group. You can receive the tools you need to find the root cause of your symptoms and feel healthy again.