Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] It’s Personal

 

For the month of April I am participating in the annual A-Z Blogging Challenge. The Challenge was started by author/blogger, Arlee Byrd. http://tossingitout.blogspot.com

A-Z-AMBASSADOR-2014-211x300

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Each day of the month (except Sundays) we will post something based on that days correlating letter. Some of us chose a theme and others are winging it. My theme is the A-to-Z’s of Mental Health, Raising Awareness. It is a topic that is very close to my heart. I hope you find the posts interesting and you will comment and share the posts everywhere. To see a list of all of the participants or for more information-click on the badge over there to the right>

Today’s letter is the letter P

A-Z Letter P

 

 

 

 

 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]

PTSD is a serious disorder that may develop after a person has experienced or witnessed a traumatic or horrifying event in which physical harm occurred or was threatened.

It is a lasting condition that causes intense fear, helplessness and horror.

Those with the highest risk of developing PTSD are victims of sexual assault or other violent crimes, the unexpected death of a loved one, an accident, war, natural disasters and abuse.

Family members of victims and first responders are also at risk of developing the disorder. It is normal for people that experience traumatic events to react with anger, shock, nervousness and even guilt. These feelings are common  and for most people they lessen and then go away over time.

For someone who has developed PTSD those feelings increase and intensify becoming so strong that they interfere with normal functioning.

Symptoms

Reliving the event:

You may feel like you are going through the trauma again.  You may have vivid nightmares and flashbacks. You may see, hear or smell something that triggers your memory of the event.

Avoiding People, places and things:

You may be avoiding life because you are afraid of your memories. You avoid crowds, driving, movies that may have earthquakes, accidents, war scenes etc… You may avoid getting help for fear of having to talk about the trauma.

Relationship changes:

You may have trouble loving or feeling loved. The loss of the ability to trust anyone.  Increasing issues you’re your memory.

Extreme Nervousness:

You may develop insomnia, have trouble concentrating, Become easily startled and have a great fear of anyone standing behind you. Your heart rate and/or blood pressure can increase. Your breathing can be affected and you may sweat.

 I have no idea

Symptoms usually begin shortly after the trauma but for some people it can be brought on after several months and sometimes a series of events. If your symptoms last longer than four-weeks, if  the feelings are disrupting your work or your home life, if your stress is increasing seek professional help.

Treatment

The good news is there are several promising new treatments on the horizon for PTSD.

Once diagnosed, your doctor will most likely suggest cognitive behavior therapy (talk therapy), support groups and for a short time, medications.

Early treatment can alleviate symptoms and increase the chances for a positive outcome.

More than two-million Americans have served in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At least twenty-percent of them are now experiencing PTSD.

While battle related deaths are down, we are now losing up to thirty of our veterans a day to suicide.

The VA has been struggling to keep up with and to recognize those military personal that are in great need of mental health services.

If you are a veteran in crisis or if you know of a veteran in crisis, please call 24/7:

 800-273-8255 and press 1 OR text 838255, also 24/7 for live help.

These services are free to active military, veterans and their families.

If you are not military and you or a loved one is experiencing symptoms of PTSD please call

The National Mental Health Association.

800-969-6642              

PTSD is a disorder I am personally familiar with. Fifteen-years-ago this month my younger brother was murdered in a random –road-rage attack. David had a young wife and a fifteen-month –old son. My kids were teenagers. I tried desperately to be strong for my family. The trial was brutal. Shortly after the trial was over a close family member was car-jacked and sexually assaulted. A few months after that, I became ill and required a life saving radical surgery. My recovery was nearly a year. I returned to work and a few weeks later on my way home, I was hit by a drunk driver.

The first time I remember thinking something was terribly wrong with me, I was in line at a bank. I had an over powering sense that there was someone dangerous behind me. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and my palms were sweating. I got the courage to turn around and look and it was a relative of one of the guys that killed my brother. I screamed and ran out of the bank. I was so scared I drove to my doctor’s office, thinking all of the killers were following me.

My doctor put me on medication (Zoloft) and insisted I get into therapy immediately.  I faithfully attended group therapy and individual counseling. After eleven-months I was able to go off the meds but continued therapy for another year. Today I am doing well. There are times when my symptoms seem to pop -up out of nowhere but I am able to manage them.   I could be in the supermarket and someone may be a bit too close behind me. A car may be following too close. Natural disasters are always a challenge but I am able to work through the fear.

There is NO SHAME in seeking help for a REAL problem like PTSD. It is possible to overcome the horror you are living with and to be able to live a happy and healthy life.

Doreen

I would love to hang out with you here too:

http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bristol-boyzStomp/113804488656243

http://www.twitter.com/doreenb8

 

                                                                                                                               

14 Responses to “Post Traumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD] It’s Personal”

  • Adding the personal makes it real and brings it back. You are very brave and very kind to share this with us. Thank you. PTSD is not a fun place to be inside of but with the right help it and support… my best wishes to you on your continued journey.

  • Diane Jortner:

    Sharing the personal story made your post much stronger, and possibly more useful. As others read it, they will see the strength you have gained through your recovery, and may start to make those needed steps themselves. I teach college, and over the past few years have seen an influx of vets coming back to school. Every one of them has told me they are suffering and being treated for PTSD’s.

    What the wars are doing to these young people, I don’t really want to think about. But I, and we, should. And we should help in any way we can.

    • Thank you so much Diane. I could not agree more about our veterans.
      My husband is a disabled veteran. Luckily he does not deal with PTSD
      but he does deal with a debilitating injury.

  • When people mention Post Traumatic Stress (PTS) they automatically think of our soldiers. While this is a HUGE problem for our military, and one my husband deals with daily, it can happen to anyone, at any time, in any situation. I commend you for speaking out. We need to eliminate the stigma around mental health. It’s not something that we should fear and sweep under the rung. It should be properly diagnosed and treated and supported. What’s bad is that there is something they are just now admitting called Secondary Post Traumatic Stress. This involves the caregiver/family members taking on the PTS symptoms that surround their loved one suffering from PTS. I now understand my emotions to be just that, after taking care of my husband and his symptoms for more than 10 years. You are strong for dealing with everything you’ve dealt with in all your situations. We just have to learn to adapt to our symptoms and not fear seeking help! 🙂

    Jamie Dement (LadyJai)
    My A to Z
    Caring for My Veteran

  • I feel for those who suffer after trauma, but I think we all have some of that in our lives and just need a listening ear and friendly encouragement sometimes. I often wonder if I’m suffering PTSD after publishing, but then I’m assured that mood swings go with the territory. *shrugs*

    True Heroes from A to Z

  • This is a very real condition and thanks for shedding a bright light on it.

  • Doreen , I felt goosebumps in my stomach while reading about your brother. Thanks for sharing.

  • Doreen, I am so sorry that all these awful tragedies have befallen you. As you so graphically illustrate, PTSD affects not only the person to whom it has happened, but it has its effects on family and friends too. Bravo for taking the necessary steps to overcome the fears – this takes courage.
    Garden of Eden Blog

Leave a Reply

Subscribe/Follow
Enter your Email:
Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz