Major events happen throughout our lives, leaving their mark and forever changing our path and outlook on life. Traumatic events can cause serious ongoing issues, further complicating confusing or difficult situations, and causing people to treat us differently. There are many mental health issues that may have lead you to The Game, or kept you there for far longer than you were expecting. You may live with some of these symptoms for a long time, and others may start to surface even six months to a year or more after you've gotten away from the situation. The following information is not meant to diagnose, but rather to explain some of the common mental health obstacles others who have left The Game have worked hard to overcome while healing from the trauma.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) - following a traumatic event (such as a sexual assault, car accident or witnessing a violent or deadly crime), the person experiences flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety. As a result, the person may be easily agitated, have trouble sleeping, and become disinterested in everyday activities.
Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD) - occurs when an individual experiences ongoing trauma (such as being kidnapped, being in an abusive relationship, or experiencing ongoing sexual or physical abuse), the person may have excessive or unexpected mood swings, have problems with their memory, be obsessively focused on their abuser, feel shame or guilt for what happened, and isolate themselves from others.
Depression - a brain disorder that can occur due to a combination of biological, psychological or social circumstances. The person has a general disinterest in regular activities, may withdraw from those around them, feel overwhelmingly sad, have trouble sleeping and a loss of appetite.
Anxiety - a disorder that can cause an individual to experience unreasonably high levels of stress that are out of proportion. A person may have panic attacks, worry obsessively, suffer from compulsive behaviors and have racing thoughts.
Mental health care is a part of your overall well-being. You never know how proper diagnosis and treatment may improve your quality of life. Most mental health care issues are treated with various types of counseling and therapy, and when appropriate, medication. There are things you can do to improve your mental health which include learning tools for having health relationships, improving your diet and exercise routines, and practicing self-care.