Mental health: Trauma, genocide and my invisible illness

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This is the first time that I am describing my issue, which is deeply personal and has remained hidden from many of my friends and colleagues for years.

But the truth is that for much of my life I did not know that I had the condition or what it was called.

Now I recognise that after having lived through the genocide as a child growing up in Rwanda as well as other troubling events, I have post-traumatic stress disorder, also known as PTSD.

It triggers panic attacks that can come at any time and which leave me struggling to breathe. I am usually covered in a thin layer of cold sweat when they subside, as I fight to get back to my “normal” self.

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