“You have PTSD,” the doctor told me in the hospital.

“How can I have PTSD when I never served in the military?” I asked.

“You don’t have to be in the military to have PTSD,” the doctor said. “You have PTSD from your trauma that you had when you were a child.”

I wanted to know more about my PTSD, and how to overcome it — if it was even possible, so I looked it up on the internet.

When children experience trauma — physical, sexual or emotional — they often end up with PTSD.

The CDC states that there is treatment when diagnosed with PTSD. Those affected should first talk to your healthcare provider and then go to therapy.

The CDC also says that it’s normal for children and adults to experience PTSD and that asking for help is the first step in recovery.

You don’t need to battle this alone. Know that there’s always help, as long as you ask.

You are not weak for reaching out and getting the right treatment when it comes to your health.

Learn more on the CDC website.

I often cope with my PTSD through an emotional support animal — my cat. When I have a hard time, my cat helps me to be in the present. She helps de-stress me when I’m having an episode. She knows when I’m struggling and comes over to relax me.

Find ways that help you. Find a hobby that benefits your health. Talk to a therapist.