Post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD) is a psychiatric disorder that causes anxiety, fear, depression, and often times disturbing flashbacks as a result of a stressful or traumatic event. People with PTSD cannot fully heal until they find internal resolution by coming to terms with the events in their past that seem to be causing the disorder.
Post-traumatic stress disorder is one of the most severe psychiatric disorders to grapple with in terms of symptoms and recovery. It causes anxiety, fear, depression, painful flashbacks, and memories that intrude upon their everyday lives. These memories and flashbacks come as the result of past stress or trauma, which has not found resolution in the mind. It is most common in those who have dealt with traumatic events without proper counseling or mental health care afterward.
I was diagnosed with PTSD and have had it since I was a toddler. For children with PTSD, it often goes undiagnosed and the child’s brain rewires itself to protect itself from future harm. The longer it’s left untreated, the worse it gets.
The most common causes of post-traumatic stress disorder include:
- Sexual abuse
- Childhood abuse (sexual and physical)
- Military combat
- Physical assault or other acts of violence(school shootings, kidnapping)
- Natural disasters(fire, car wrecks)
Most issues that lead to post-traumatic stress are those where the victim feels helpful or out of control. For instance, most cases of sexual assault or abuse involve a perpetrator forcefully attacking their victim, or taking advantage of the victim while he or she is sleeping or otherwise unable to defend themselves.
For women, sexual abuse is among the top cause for PTSD. Combat and other war related horrors are commonly reported in men. Vietnam veterans are especially prone to PTSD, and up to 80% of those who seek help for the condition also seek help for substance abuse.
Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Each person will experience post-traumatic stress a little differently, but common symptoms include:
- Severe anxiety
- Flashbacks of the event
- Fear or avoidance of places or things that remind them of the event
- Anger and aggressive behaviors
- Severe mood swings
What can You Do to Cope With PTSD?
PTSD can be caused by any stressful or traumatic event in a person’s life. Sadly, most of the time now when you go to a doctor’s office, they’ll prescribe you medication. I know that when I was first trying to find out what I had, the doctors put me on so many different medications. Zoloft, Wellburtin, Cymbalta and more. I only got angrier and more depressed. Finally, my husband and the in-laws found a therapist for me to try and we started the process of rewiring my brain. These are just some natural ways that you can cope with PTSD and other mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.
- Therapy(with the RIGHT person)
- Talk Therapy
More importantly, know that ptsd doesn’t define you. Your mental illness doesn’t define you. You are so much MORE than this. Keep smiling my lovelies. I believe in you!!