Welcome to our new website!
May 7, 2022

PTSD, Things you may want to know

The reason I’m writing this is because I suffer from PTSD. I woke up this Morning 5/7/2022 feeling off and felt compelled to not only give information on this mental disorder but to tell my story (well not the whole story). I was diagnosed in 2016 with PTSD, I developed it from a very traumatic incident that happened in the summer that year. Folks, this is an everyday battle. You have your good days and you will have a lot of bad days. The one thing you need to remember is that you are not alone and we can’t let it win. I truly hope that not only will this help someone realize they aren’t alone but I hope it sheds some light on the disorder and sometimes things aren’t always in our control and not to hold that against them but rather give them the helping hand they need to get pulled from the fire so they can get back to some reality.

 

When you here the phrase PTSD people automatically think of our Vets and the turmoil they have endured while at war, but what if I was to tell you they are not the only ones that suffer from this condition.

So what causes PTSD? well lets dive into that:

Originally understood as the aftereffects of war on certain military veterans, we now know that post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that can affect anyone. PTSD is caused by exposure to a traumatic event or frightening experience such as sexual assault, war, natural disaster, accidents or the threat of death to oneself or a loved one. Post-traumatic stress disorder is a long-lasting consequence of incredibly traumatic events that overwhelm a person’s ability to cope.

Most people who have been exposed to traumatic events develop feelings of anger, shock, fear, guilt, and anxiety. These are completely normal reactions to an unnatural event and will fade over time. A person who has PTSD develops unusually strong feelings after such an event that they prevent an individual from living a purposeful life. Unfortunately, the symptoms of PTSD do not fade over time; these feelings intensify until the person is overwhelmed and unable to function.

Certain individuals exposed to a disturbing experience may develop symptoms directly after experiencing the event. This is called acute stress disorder. People who have acute stress disorder experience a varying presentation and duration of symptoms, but most recover within three months of the precipitating event. Some people who have acute stress disorder experience longer periods of symptoms that can be triggered by memories of the trauma.

So now that you have a better understanding of what PTSD is and how someone can develop it, let’s take a look at some statistics:

The following statistics are based on the U.S. population:

  • About 6 out of every 100 people (or 6% of the population) will have PTSD at some point in their lives.
  • About 12 million adults in the U.S. have PTSD during a given year. This is only a small portion of those who have gone through a trauma.
  • About 8 of every 100 women (or 8%) develop PTSD sometime in their lives compared with about 4 of every 100 men (or 4%)

Some pretty Staggering numbers if you think about it.

Now let’s dive into Signs and Symptoms:

There are a number of symptoms that can occur following exposure to a traumatic event. The symptoms will vary in severity based upon individual makeup, co-occurring mental disorders, and support system.

Persistent, Invasive, or Intrusive Symptoms – symptoms are connected to the precipitating trauma and begin after the event:

  • Intrusive, invasive, involuntary distressing memories of the events
  • Nightmares
  • Dissociative episodes (flashbacks) during which the individual feels they are re-experiencing the event
  • Prolonged emotional distress when faced with triggers of the trauma
  • Physiological reactions to triggers of the event

Avoidance Symptoms – these behaviors attempt to reduce the level of suffering of a person by avoiding triggers and memories of the event.

  • Avoidance (or attempts to avoid) people, places, activities, conversations, objections, and situations that may lead to disconcerting thoughts, feelings, or memories of the trauma
  • Efforts made to avoid anything that triggers distressing memories, feelings, or thoughts of the event

Negative Mood Symptoms – these symptoms begin with the event and worsen over time

  • Inability to remember parts of the traumatic event
  • Negative beliefs about oneself, others, or the world
  • Distorted thoughts about the trauma that lead to assigning blame for the event to themselves or another person
  • Constant negative mood state
  • Inability to feel pleasure
  • Feeling disconnected from others
  • Inability to feel positive emotions

Alterations in Arousal Symptoms:

  • Irritability
  • Angry outbursts without provocation
  • Recklessness
  • Self-destructive behavior
  • Self-harm
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Hyper-vigilance
  • Exaggerated startle response
  • Sleep problems

Other symptoms of PTSD may include:

  • Depersonalization: Feeling detached from your body, as though you’re looking down from above
  • De-realization: Feeling as if you’re walking on water, in a dream or alternate reality

You’re probably thinking, Holy Shit this is a lot to take in, but the more you know the better you can understand what one is going through.

Now let’s take a moment and go over the effects and very real risks of PTSD:

Effects of PTSD

The effects of PTSD touch every area of an individual’s life leaving virtually nothing unscathed. The longer that PTSD exists without treatment, the greater the effects of PTSD on a person’s life. The most common effects of post-traumatic stress disorder may include:

  • Pseudo-hallucinations
  • Eating disorders
  • Paranoia
  • Difficulty regulating emotions
  • Inability to maintain stable relationships
  • Dissociative symptoms
  • Depression
  • Anger
  • Nightmares
  • Difficulty feeling emotions
  • Guilt
  • Sleep problems
  • Substance abuse
  • Social phobia
  • Difficulty maintaining job
  • Agoraphobia
  • Self-harm; self-mutilation
  • Suicidal thoughts, attempts or completed suicide

 

It has been estimated that as many as 80% of individuals diagnosed with PTSD are also diagnosed with at least one other disorder. The most common disorders that co-occur with PTSD include:

  • Major depression
  • Dysthymia
  • Bipolar disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • Adjustment disorders
  • Substance use disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Alcoholism

Thank you for taking the time to read this, and remember there are people out there that will help you and are there when you need it.

Laoch