Push-Up Challenge … 1 Year On

[cs_content][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]Some of you will remember the 22 Push-Up Challenge that did the rounds last summer, raising awareness of PTSD. Like a lot of people, I was nominated by a couple of friends.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]I remember wondering if there was any point to it – would filming myself doing 22 push-ups really make any difference to PTSD sufferers out there? I anticipated doing a few days, and then probably letting it fizzle out as life got in the way … but after I posted my second video, a friend messaged me to say he had been quietly battling PTSD, and to thank me for making the effort. I decided at that point to do all 22 days, and to try and make my videos at least a little bit entertaining. At the end of the 22 days, I thought I’d made a little contribution to the cause.[/cs_text][/cs_column][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/2″ style=”padding: 0px;”][x_video_player type=”16:9″ src=”https://joeredston.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Day-22-of-22.mp4″ hide_controls=”false” autoplay=”false” no_container=”false” preload=”metadata” advanced_controls=”true” muted=”false” loop=”false” poster=””][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]I recently found out that another friend of mine has been diagnosed with PTSD. We were both part of a group that hiked up Scafell Pike on a day when the weather made things pretty challenging. My friend runs her own company, managing a team of around 900 people, and has a reputation as a strong, capable woman – someone you can turn to when you need help. But that day, the stress and physical exertion caused her to have a PTSD episode in front of me. She started behaving very strangely … talking nonsense … seeming like she didn’t know who I was … hyper-ventilating … and then shaking uncontrollably. Seeing her like this completely threw me. Initially, I actually found myself getting angry, thinking that she was playing some sort of weird game that I didn’t know the rules to, although I quickly realised that something serious was happening.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]With that realisation came the insight that I had no idea what to do. I felt utterly helpless.

It was only later that she explained to me that it had been a PTSD episode, and that she experiences them a couple of times a week. At that point I had to admit to myself that despite doing the Push-Up Challenge last year, I still knew next to nothing about PTSD, or what I might have been able to do to help her – or, indeed, what I might have been doing this last year to help my other friend.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]Raising awareness is important, I don’t think there’s much doubt about that. It’s a useful first step that can help break stigmas around controversial subjects (putting a rainbow overlay on your Facebook profile picture for example), or just make people realise that a particular issue is a bigger deal than perhaps they thought, which was the intention with the Push-Up Challenge … But awareness alone isn’t really enough – there needs to be some information, and then perhaps some action in there, too.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]Realising that, this week I have spent some time finding out a bit more about PTSD, and what I might be able to do to help my friends. Perhaps next time someone encourages us to do something to ‘raise awareness’ for causes we care about, as well as sharing a post, doing some push-ups, tipping some ice over our heads, or whatever, perhaps we could think about taking some action, too?[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 0px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]PS I also emailed Combat Stress to see whether the Push-Up Challenge had any immediate impact. It did. The campaign raised £315,000, and resulted in over 2000 referrals, which is obviously brilliant. More info here.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][cs_section bg_color=”hsl(60, 18%, 96%)” parallax=”false” separator_top_type=”none” separator_top_height=”50px” separator_top_angle_point=”50″ separator_bottom_type=”none” separator_bottom_height=”50px” separator_bottom_angle_point=”50″ style=”margin: 0px;padding: 20px 0px 0px;border-style: groove;border-width: 1px;”][cs_row inner_container=”true” marginless_columns=”false” style=”margin: 0px auto;padding: 0px;”][cs_column fade=”false” fade_animation=”in” fade_animation_offset=”45px” fade_duration=”750″ type=”1/1″ style=”padding: 0px;”][cs_text]Let’s go do it …
Information first:

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening or distressing events
  • PTSD affects 1 in 3 people who suffer a traumatic experience
  • Symptoms include flashbacks, nightmares, insomnia, behaviour changes, and a host of others (details here)

What that means is, if you know someone who has had a traumatic experience, there’s a good chance they are struggling with PTSD right now, and the best thing you can do is try to help them. Advice on that.
While researching PTSD, I learned a lot about other mental health issues
And if you’re feeling like taking some action, here are some ways you can get involved.[/cs_text][/cs_column][/cs_row][/cs_section][/cs_content]

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