Every night before going to sleep, my husband says to me “i’m here if you need me”. i have PTSD and get nightmares and night terrors, so every night he reminds me that it is OK to wake him up for cuddles. and when i do wake him, he is never grumpy that i did.

When a woman in Taupo, New Zealand, wrote about the love and support of her husband during her night terrors and dark days of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), she didn’t expect the huge reaction that followed.

Christine Welten, who posted on Reddit about how much she appreciated her husband telling her it was OK to wake him up for cuddles, said: “I actually initially created my post more to highlight my husband’s amazing nature, than my battle with PTSD.”

But it soon became apparent that she had touched a lot of people also struggling with the disorder, people who were inspired to share their stories. Her post received more than 25,000 upvotes in 10 days.

Christine Welten
Christine shares her experience of PTSD at public events as well as on social media

“It was humbling for both my husband and I to see the love and community that came out of one simple post,” she said.

As an author and public speaker on mental health matters, Christine is quite accustomed to starting discussions on social media, but said she found it much harder to speak openly about the issues behind her PTSD.

“Even when it is uncomfortable, I try to be as open as I can,” she said and praised all those who shared their own experiences of PTSD as “so brave”.

“It restored my faith in humanity hearing so many people say they want to support and love their partners the best they can.”

One comment included advice on getting through a panic attack by counting down and naming five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell and one thing you can taste.

“This has literally never failed me during a panic attack,” Reddit user renderdoodles wrote.

“Sometimes I panic so much I can’t focus to just do it in my head and I’ll force myself to mutter it aloud under my breath. I’ve yet to make it all the way to the end without becoming less anxious.”

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