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PTSD: Not All Injuries Are Physical with Manya Chylinski and Elena Breese

Manya Chylinski and Elena Breese were both in the finish line grandstands for the 2013 Boston Marathon. Both of these women were dramatically impacted when two bombs exploded, one at the finish line and another 210 yards away. Not all injuries are physical and the struggle with PTSD can have a devastating impact on a survivor. These two brave women are committed to spreading the message that not all injuries are physical but with work you can heal.

Manya’s life was violently altered, along with the lives of hundreds of others, while a spectator at the finish line of the Boston Marathon on April 15, 2013. Without physical injuries, she returned to her daily life where she began to struggle with fear and anxiety. It took recognizing that she was not merely a witness but also a victim for her to get real help. Although invisible in the media, witnesses of violence commonly suffer mental health injuries, particularly when they are unprepared for the violence and powerless to prevent it.
How do you help the invisible victims of mass violence like the Boston Marathon bombing? As a speaker and a writer, Manya’s mission is to spread the word about how some survivors of mass violence appear unharmed but actually experience very real mental health injuries.
website: manyachyli Twitter: @ManyaChylinski

Elena is a Boston Marathon bombing survivor and lives with post-traumatic stress disorder. Through her website, Still Blooming Me, Elena shares how she learned to embrace her trauma and mental challenges, advocate for herself, and grow from her experience. She is passionate about bringing awareness about PTSD and sharing resources that have helped her heal. Elena has contributed to various blogs, podcasts, and speaks publicly.
Elena is a dedicated wife and mother. Her family lives in Phoenix, Arizona.
Instagram: @stillbloomingme

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