The name has changed over the years. At first it was dismissed, thought by many as not valid. It is still dismissed today. By those that think that is not possible, and by the people suffering.
So, perhaps you have seen these letters, or know what they are short for.
I have done some posts on self image, self schema and self esteem. How this/they are shaped and how it is something that builds and grows with you. Other things of course will have effects on “self”, rather quickly.
This is one.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
For soldiers in the 1800’s that suffered from this it was referered to as soldier’s heart.
Later in the early 1900’s it was combat fatigue, later it was changed to gross stress reaction. Name changes continued, and many didn’t take much stock in it. It wasn’t until recently that it has been recognized as an illness, a disorder. Very recently.
So what is it?
It doesn’t just effect soldiers, but many of them suffer from it. War is terrible, things are done and seen that tear someone up, from the inside out.
It is an anxiety disorder, developing from exposure to a terrible experience/event.
I have debated on this post for a while, I feel it is time. I hope it doesn’t trigger responses in anyone, but rather enlightens.
So, not just soldiers. I mentioned this a bit before, it could be firefighters, police officers, they see a lot of things.
It isn’t just what you see though. Sometimes it is more. Actually the number of women that develop PTSD is twice that of men.
It can also be something terrible that happens to you. An accident. Losing a loved one suddenly, Or something else. The hurricane Sandy that just ripped up the coast. There will be some events from that terrible storm, that will bother people for a long time. I would suspect there will be cases of PTSD that arise from it.
Children. Up to 60% of children who have survived some disasters have PTSD, which could include neglect or abuse. But almost 100% of children who have endured sexual assault tend to develop PTSD. This is so sad.
So, it is not so uncommon. And not the fault of the child. It is so not the fault of the child. But the child has to contend now, with this.
So, again, What do they contend with? *sighs*
Memory problems, possible borderline personality disorder, nightmares.. reoccurring, flashbacks, insomnia, fugue or a dislocative feeling, depression, irritably, health issues, anxiety, Hearing or seeing things that aren’t there, panic attacks, OCD, increased heart rate, suicidal thoughts, self harm, reactions to situations that remind you of the event… and more.
Now, just in case someone is reading this and a gasp is starting, it is treatable. Meds and therapy. Sometimes one or the other, sometimes both.
Ok, so lets brush over symptoms. Just to see what they may be.
Flashbacks, this could be repeated nightmares or thoughts during the day. Reliving the event.
Or perhaps a revulsion to situations that remind you of the event.
Memory loss or finding a gap, the event or details of it are blocked from you.
Memory loss, short term memory, in general, a difficultly concentrating.
Avoiding… people, the future, things look bleak, you feel numb, disinterested.
Perhaps you startle easily, jumpy, or are hyper-aware of things that may hurt you.
Physical things too, rapid heart beats, a fugue, dizzy, headaches, maybe fainting spells.
Depression. Guilt. Suicidal feelings, self harm. Hallucinations.
Now many will feel some of those things at times, perhaps not the same way, or for long periods.
This can lead to other disorders, OCD, BPD (borderline personality disorder) Bipolar disorder. ADHD too is common.
So lets touch on a few. Sleep. Perhaps you don’t want to sleep, because of the nightmares/terrors you experience. Or you don’t sleep, can’t sleep, every little noise wakes you. When you are finally exhausted enough, sleep takes you.. but only for an hour or two. Lack of sleep complicates life, it leads to breakdowns, the body needs sleep. A lack of sleep complicates everything.
Depression/worry/anxiety… they sort of go along. But in a bigger way. Tears are almost always there, they are on the edge, you can’t often hold them back. Anger too, it is lurking, and worry, worrying about those you feel you may lose because of this. Because of the strong depression you feel numb, you don’t care.
Feelings of intense guilt may arise, a survivors guilt.
Feelings or thoughts of suicide, perhaps self harm. These feelings can be strong, a low self esteem or worth.
Paranoia. Fear about anything that may remind you of the event in any way. Avoiding situations that will remind you too. You may feel alone, that you don’t fit in, or belong. Panic attacks.
Often there is an event, something traumatic, you know it was bad… but you don’t feel the connection to how you feel now, those four letters don’t apply to you.
So… it is a disorder.
Treatment is required. This can include counselling, therapy, meds. There is nothing wrong in seeking help, it festers like many disorders and grows in strength. Seeking help, again, as I keep saying, is nothing to fear, or feel shame in. I will keep saying that.
Depression, sometimes is not just a phase or an unbalance of chemicals. Sometimes it is brought upon by other things. Things you can’t control, and because of this, depression can’t be merely be shaken. So seeking help is the answer. You wan’t to feel better, to return to what you once were. And you should.
follow up … Treatment.