11 things people suffering from PTSD want you to know
Are you aware that in order to cope with the effects of PTSD, some people turn to substances to numb the pain they are feeling?
Not a lot of people are aware of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, much less that it is debilitating and can affect a lot of people during their life.
Its effects may be naked to the invisible eye — at least at first glance — but it is a serious disorder than needs to be addressed and understood.
In her Family Share article, Chelsea Rutter explains the ten things that people who suffer from PTSD wants you to know.
1. It doesn’t just happen to the people in the military
Yes, daily life in the field may be traumatic and distressing. Yes, it subjects people to the horrific realities of war, but PTSD can also happen to normal people, people who have witnessed a particularly painful experience. Abuse, sexual assault, accidents, and even dental procedure can also cause PTSD.
2. It isn’t something that goes away on its own and can be willed away
“The reason we have flashbacks, nightmares, extreme sadness, numbness or any of the numerous other symptoms is because our brains have not properly processed the traumatic event yet,” Chelsea says.
Similar to depression, PTSD is a recurring affliction that takes time and professional help to cure. It isn’t a state of mind or a conscious choice.
3. People suffering from PTSD have the same symptoms
Not all traumatic events are the same, and not every person is created equally; for this reason, each has a different way of experiencing PTSD. Others may experience nightmares and crippling anxiety, while for others it may be severe depression or social isolation.
4. We see the world differently than we did before the trauma
“PTSD is not caused by worrying about what might happen to us, but by being unable to move past things that have already happened,” Chelsea explains. “We'll see things differently because the world has shown us things we never wanted to see.”
5. We don't want you to "understand"
Because “understanding” means going through the same terrible experiences, and people who suffer from PTSD don’t wish anyone to suffer the way they do.
6. PTSD has no time limit
It is unlike the flu or the common cold that goes away on its own. Some people may experience PTSD for moths or years, while there are those who will live with it for the rest of their lives.
7. We won't be strong every day
There will be days when they are strong enough to deal with their affliction, while some days it is harder for the to do even the simplest things.
8. We can become symptomatic at any time
“There is usually a trigger, but we can't always identify what it is,” Chelsea says. “We can go from perfectly calm to angry screaming in minutes with no visible cause other than our brains digging out memories we don't know how to process.”
9. People with PTSD will do everything they can to make it go away
In order to cope with the effects of PTSD, some people turn to substances to numb the pain they are feeling. While for others, they find comfort in self-harm. These people will do anything just escape the grip of PTSD.
10. We'll probably be distant, but we still want to be loved
After having experienced severe trauma in their life, it is understandable that they’re less open and accommodating. It just takes them more time to ascertain whether or not they’re in a safe environment, an instinct that had learned to develop to protect themselves.
11. We’re still us
“We're still the people you loved before trauma happened.” says Chelsea. “We might have different fears.
“We might dislike some of the things we used to love.
“We might not be able to express ourselves the way we used to.
“But we're still the people you share memories with.”
Republished with permission from: theAsianparent Philippines