Monday, 15 August 2011

What is PTSD

Boker Tov:

Now, before anyone accuses me of cutting and pasting, the following is indeed from various sources that I have taken notes from as I research PTSD. Others are things I already knew.
For you see,  long before I even Mark, I was treated for PTSD.
And in my case, it was far worse.
So what is PTSD?
PTSD or Post-traumatic stress disorder has been around for years, but getting more headlines in recent years to the nearly ten years this naton has been at war.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a disorder that can develop following a traumatic event that threatens one's safety and/ or makes ones feel helpless. That one could not protect oneself, one's loved ones and/or those one had charge of.

Most people associate PTSD with battle–scarred soldiers–and military combat is the most common cause in men–but any overwhelming life experience can trigger PTSD, especially if the event feels unpredictable and uncontrollable. Examples of this would be a car accident, flood, fire or home breakin.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can affect those who personally experience the catastrophe, those who witness it, and those who pick up the pieces afterwards, including emergency workers and law enforcement officers. It can even occur in the friends or family members of those who went through the actual trauma. Example: one couldn't stop the child from being hit, one stop couldn''t the person from jumping or one couldn't stop the eviction.
PTSD develops differently from person to person. While the symptoms of PTSD most commonly develop in the hours or days following the traumatic event, it can sometimes take weeks, months, or even years before they appear.
Such events include:
Natural disasters
Car or plane crashes
Terrorist attacks
Sudden death of a loved one
Sexual or physical abuse
Childhood neglect
Childhood bullyingThe difference between PTSD and a normal response to trauma

The traumatic events that lead to post-traumatic stress disorder are usually so overwhelming and frightening that they would upset anyone. Following a traumatic event, almost all of us will experiences at least some of the symptoms of PTSD. When one's sense of safety and trust are shattered, it’s normal to feel crazy, disconnected,  numb. It is also common to have nightmares, to  feel fearful, to be numb, to find it impossiable to stop thinking about what happened.
Most people find these symptoms  short-lived. They may last for several days or even weeks, but they gradually lift.
 But with  (PTSD), the symptoms don’t decrease, but they get worse.
A normal response to trauma becomes PTSD when you become stuck in the moment.

After a traumatic experience, the mind and the body are in shock. But as one make sense of what happened and process one's emotions, one works through the emotions and finds once again a place of calm, of normal.
This is not the case with PTSD. 
One remain in psychological shock. One's memory of what happened and feelings about it are disconnected. One still sees, feels, tastes, ears and smells the event. It is as real at that moment as it was when the event first took place. In order to move on, it’s important to face and feel the memories and emotions.

The symptoms  PTSD can come out of the blue or gradually, or come and go over time. Often  they are triggered by something that reminds one of the original traumatic event, such as a noise, an image, certain words, or a smell.
I found this list on list. Whileeveryone experiences PTSD differently, there are three main types of symptoms most have in common:
Re-experiencing the traumatic event
Avoiding reminders of the trauma
Increased anxiety and emotional arousal
Symptoms of PTSD: Re-experiencing the traumatic event
Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event
Flashbacks (acting or feeling like the event is happening again)
Nightmares (either of the event or of other frightening things)
Feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma
Intense physical reactions to reminders of the event (e.g. pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension, sweating)
Symptoms of PTSD: Avoidance and numbing
Avoiding activities, places, thoughts, or feelings that remind you of the trauma
Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma
Loss of interest in activities and life in general
Feeling detached from others and emotionally numb
Sense of a limited future (you don’t expect to live a normal life span, get married, have a career)
Symptoms of PTSD: Increased anxiety and emotional arousal
Difficulty falling or staying asleep
Irritability or outbursts of anger
Difficulty concentrating
Hypervigilance (on constant “red alert”)
Feeling jumpy and easily startled
Other common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder
Anger and irritability
Guilt, shame, or self-blame
Substance abuse
Feelings of mistrust and betrayal
Depression and hopelessness
Suicidal thoughts and feelings
Feeling alienated and alone
Physical aches and pains
Again, all of us can experience a few, some or all these symptoms because of an dramatic event. It is when the symptoms increase in time that there is a problem that needs to be adressed.
However, there is indeed hope and treatment for PTSD.
I am livning proof of that.
More later.

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