PTSD is best described by its name “post-traumatic stress disorder.” It is a disorder that happens after a person experiences or witnesses a very traumatic and terrifying incident. Not everyone develops PTSD after the trauma but between 10 and 30% will. Combat, rape, the 9/11 attack, natural catastrophes, severe auto accidents, any kind of very traumatic incident can bring on PTSD.
Post traumatic stress disorder is not a sign of weakness of character, but a reaction that is physical, emotional, and mental that continues long after the danger is past.
How is it diagnosed and what are the symptoms?
In order for a diagnosis of PTSD to occur the sufferer must experience these three things:
- A recurrent re-
experiencing of the trauma in the form of memories of the incident, flashbacks, nightmares, or the feeling of reliving the trauma.
- Avoidance of certain people and places that might remind the person of the actual trauma.
- Continual physical problems from hypervigilance such as anger, inability to concentrate, sleep problems, and irritability.
In addition to the above the sufferer might experience:
How does it effect life?
People in pain find that all of life is affected. Post traumatic stress disorder sufferers will tell you that their lives are indeed painful. Not only did the trauma occur they find that it continues to damage their lives. Marriage and parenting, work, and friends are all affected. The PTSD victim is different, and those around him/her are unable to understand why they seem stuck in this trauma and cannot break free from it.
Unfortunately, some give up hope. They may turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. They may give in to fits of rage or violence. Some even commit suicide. The memories seem too overwhelming and the pain constant.
Is there hope?
Yes, there absolutely is hope. We have a God of restoration, healing, and freedom. As a counselor I have seen many people completely healed and able to find freedom from trauma. Our God is good AND He is able.
If you have Christ in your life then you can be set free. You can regain your life.
If you are a Christ-
You might want to consider counseling intensive to get you through this quickly.
You do not have to live with this for the rest of your life.