I was sitting in my therapist's office at the UCLA Medical Center in Santa Monica, California. The doctor had just explained to me that my anxiety, panic attacks, and fear of sudden movements were all the result of post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD.
I had been sexually assaulted by a stranger—which is unfortunately very common in today's society—and I had no idea what kind of impact this event had actually had on me. By the time I was diagnosed with PTSD, I was barely able to get out of bed most days. I was unable to remember if I had eaten throughout the day, and was startled by the smallest things. A door closing was enough to set me off. Even driving was a hazard, as I was having frequent blackouts throughout the day.