PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – Personal Story.
Over the years I have endured many traumatic events, including domestic violence, the death of close family members, a car accident, and other life-changing incidents.
I have written articles about grief and how I have coped over the years plus I have cited source information on proven ways to help with, depression, anxiety, and stress disorders.
I have moments that trigger memories of past events like the time a criminal investigation officer (CID in 2011) walked into my property with another officer without knocking, being threatening, and taking my 10 yr old daughter into the kitchen, by himself to get her version of events, whilst I had the other officer talking to me in the living room because I would not press charges against the person that assaulted me. I ended up reporting him to the Police Ombudsman and he was demoted as a consequence.
So for anyone that comes into my property unannounced I start to get panic attacks and feel nauseous (28/11/22).
People who do not know my history and have not walked in my shoes have not got a clue what I have gone through, hence I plan to write my autobiography in order for the world to know so that people stop judging me.
Yes, I get judged because of my disabilities but it is because of the trauma that I have endured is why I have the disabilities.
I suffer from cerebellar atrophy, (head trauma). I also suffer from anxiety, panic attacks, and intrusive thoughts. I have a bad knee from it being kicked seven times until it dislocated.
My therapy is to motivate and empower myself and learn about the mind. I am studying for a diploma in neuroplasticity and psychotherapy. I do not plan to change my career path, I just want to understand more about how the brain works and how I can re-wire my mind. This is just a personal goal.
I must admit I was shaken up today when I saw someone on the stairs but have got gradually over it by keeping myself busy as the day has progressed.
I tend to do a lot of research and writing so what happened a few hours ago is now in the past, although it was an unpleasant experience, which triggered my past memories, thus prompting me to write this article.
In hindsight, I should lock my flat door when I am inside but there is an outer door that a visitor must come through before opening my door. I am curious what would have happened if I was not home because obviously this entity must have had keys to get in or the flat below me let them in. However, if I was not home they would have needed keys to enter my flat.
“There should be a law that no one should enter the property without the tenant being present because what is to say that a contractor does not help themselves to valuables? You would have no proof they stole anything unless you had CCTV installed”. Yes, I may be accused of being distrusting, but over my lifetime I have been very trusting and people have abused my trust.
Overview – Post-traumatic stress disorder
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, frightening, or distressing past events.
Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Someone with PTSD often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks and may experience feelings of isolation, social disconnection, irritability, anger, and guilt. People often have trouble sleeping, such as insomnia, and find concentrating difficult. These symptoms are often severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on the person’s day-to-day life.
Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions
Patients are characterized by having:
- Anger issues, short tempers, jumpiness, and irritability
- Zero tolerance
- Short attention span, with no patience
- Panic attacks
- High blood pressure or hyperventilation
- Difficulty sleeping
- Muscle tension
- Nausea or diarrhea
Cognitive and mood symptoms
- The negative outlook on life, yourself, and others
- Loss of hope for the future
- Lapses in memory about the traumatic experience
- Self-blame and guilt
- Losing interest in previously enjoyable activities
- Detachment from family members
For a PTSD diagnosis, a person must experience one or more re-experiencing symptoms and one or more avoidance symptoms. Also, they will need to display two or more changes in physical and emotional reactions and two or more cognitive and mood symptoms.
Risk and Resilience Factors
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, stress, and substance abuse often accompany post-traumatic stress disorder. Additionally, there are risk factors that can increase the likelihood of experiencing symptoms of PTSD, such as:
- Childhood trauma
- A history of alcohol and drug abuse
- No support system or social interaction following traumatic events
- Experiencing prolonged trauma
- High levels of stress in everyday life
- Mental illness in oneself or relatives
- Careers that have a high risk of exposure to a traumatic event, for example, military servicemembers or first responders
- Gender: women are more likely to experience certain symptoms of PTSD
- A domino effect of consequences, such as grief from separation from a partner, not having anyone to turn to, and losing a job, following a traumatic experience
Resilience factors that reduce the risk of having PTSD following traumatic events include:
- Having a support group
- Seeking out therapy
- Keeping busy
- Having healthy personal relationships
- Being able to control reactions related to fear and anger
- Early intervention and PTS treatment, before it develops into a disorder
- Having social and emotional support from an early age
- Having positive coping mechanisms
Causes of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Any situation that a person finds traumatic can cause PTSD.
These can include:
- the sudden death of a loved one
- a breakup with a partner
- serious road accidents
- domestic violence, such as sexual assault, rape, mugging or robbery
- serious health problems
- childbirth experiences, miscarriages
PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a disturbing event. Sufferers of trauma may have symptoms of PTSD for many months or years.
PTSD is estimated to affect about 1 in every 3 people who have a traumatic experience, but it’s not clear exactly why some people develop the condition and others do not.
Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
People who experience multiple traumatic events in the course of their lifetime from situations such as severe neglect, abuse, or violence, may be diagnosed with complex PTSD. Complex PTSD can cause similar symptoms to PTSD and may not develop until years after the event. It’s often more severe if the trauma was experienced early in life, as this can affect a child’s development.
When to get medical advice
After you have experienced trauma you may feel life unbearable and very overwhelmed with the feeling the whole world is crashing down around you. You must seek professional help as quickly as possible to try and get your mental health under control. It’s normal to be very upset and confused.
The best thing you can do other than to see your doctor is to distract yourself and make yourself busy. Distractions could include, art therapy, going for a walk, meeting people, reading, and learning a new skill. Join support groups online if you feel you cannot interact physically.
You should speak with your GP first who can refer you to mental health specialists and advice you on all your different options for getting therapy.
I have in my time gone to psychiatrists and have also done CBT therapy but for me personally learning how to block out intrusive thoughts through accredited courses helps me to become an expert on how my mind works and what I can do to get better.
Learning is not for everyone, but as long as you write your thoughts down and release them to the universe you are one step closer to recovery.
How post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is treated
PTSD in many cases can be treated, even when it develops many years after a traumatic event.
A person suffering from anxiety and depression has to want to recover. It cannot be forced. It is a gradual process and it takes time. A person needs to take small steps, a day at a time.
Food for thought -This is more so for people who have done your wrong, abused, and hurt you. If you are a believer in God you may want to get the quote from Mathew 6 in the Bible that is to forgive the person that has done you wrong, thus God will forgive your sins and will take care of the rest. Who is more powerful than you to take revenge on the person that has hurt you, God of course…
Any of the following treatment options may be recommended:
- watchful waiting – monitoring your symptoms to see whether they improve or get worse without treatment
- antidepressants – such as paroxetine or sertraline
- psychological therapies – such as trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) or eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR)
Final Thoughts From The Editor
Do check out our useful links page and if you are suffering from depression please visit: 24/7 Depression Hotline | NationalDepressionHotline.org
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