Sunday, 7 October 2012

PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

A lot of people associate PTSD with serving in the military and what happens after being in a warzone and the trauma of facing the reality of being involved in such conflicts.

PTSD is not just about the military - as defined by the PTSD Center in the US -

Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can occur after you have been through a traumatic event. A traumatic event is something terrible and scary that you see, hear about, or that happens to you

During a traumatic event, you think that your life or others' lives are in danger. You may feel afraid or feel that you have no control over what is happening around you. Most people have some stress-related reactions after a traumatic event; but, not everyone gets PTSD. If your reactions don't go away over time and they disrupt your life, you may have PTSD.

How does PTSD develop?

Most people who go through a trauma have some symptoms at the beginning. Only some will develop PTSD over time. It isn't clear why some people develop PTSD and others don't.
Whether or not you get PTSD depends on many things:
  • How intense the trauma was or how long it lasted
  • If you were injured or lost someone important to you
  • How close you were to the event
  • How strong your reaction was
  • How much you felt in control of events
  • How much help and support you got after the event

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

PTSD symptoms usually start soon after the traumatic event, but they may not appear until months or years later. They also may come and go over many years. If the symptoms last longer than 4 weeks, cause you great distress, or interfere with your work or home life, you might have PTSD.
There are four types of symptoms of PTSD:
  1. Reliving the event (also called re-experiencing symptoms)
  2. You may have bad memories or nightmares. You even may feel like you're going through the event again. This is called a flashback.
  3. Avoiding situations that remind you of the event
  4. You may try to avoid situations or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. You may even avoid talking or thinking about the event.
  5. Feeling numb
  6. You may find it hard to express your feelings. Or, you may not be interested in activities you used to enjoy. This is another way to avoid memories.
  7. Feeling keyed up (also called hyperarousal)
  8. You may be jittery, or always alert and on the lookout for danger. This is known as hyperarousal.

What other problems do people with PTSD experience?

People with PTSD may also have other problems. These include:
  • Feelings of hopelessness, shame, or despair
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Drinking or drug problems
  • Physical symptoms or chronic pain
  • Employment problems
  • Relationship problems, including divorce
In many cases, treatments for PTSD will also help these other problems, because they are often related. The coping skills you learn in treatment can work for PTSD and these related problems.

I never imagined that I would ever experience anything like this but I have and I only have to thank my exN for it.

Because of how a Narcissist/Sociopath/Psychopath completely drowns their victims with emotions there is a good possibility that a person bombed by a Narcissist will not know what hit them.

Personally I had no idea that my exN wasn't normal - I just thought I had met someone that was caught up in how he felt and wanted me more then anything - I thought it was refreshing to have someone so open and honest with their feelings that it never occurred to me that moving quickly was a bad thing. Well it was.

At first I wasn't sure what was wrong with me. I was out of the horror that was the relationship and though he left me almost emotionally and monetarily bankrupt I was free of the lies, accusations, insults and comments. So why every night did I relive it all in my mind? Over and over again.

Then there was going to places we had been. I had chosen to move closer to my exN because I needed to move to a cheaper place but I also wanted to help out my partner as he kept complaining about how much the petrol cost to come see me as I did not have a car. The cost to come to him by train wasn't cheap either but I never complained. I moved to the same town he lived in and for the almost 2 years we were together we spent a lot of time there. After he D&D'd me I found it hard to walk into town. I would get nauseous and shake. I was constantly looking around thinking he would be there and I would have to see him. Once I was actually physically ill.

Part of what was happening was because in my relationship with my exN I was never in control. The entirety of our relationship roller coaster was under his control. We did what he wanted when he wanted only when he wanted to do whatever it was. If we saw each other it was up to him - if we went out it was because we went places we could only go to by car - he controlled the entire ebb and flow of our time together. I never intended to give up any of that control but somehow it happened.

There are so many little things, and big things, that happened but the most important thing was seeing a professional and surrounding myself with the people that supported me through it all and believed that just because I didn't have bruises and broken bones that I still was a victim of abuse.

Taking the steps forward and finding a mental health professional that understands your symptoms and what you have been through is so important. If you meet with someone that doesn't understand Narcissistic Personality Disorder/Sociopathy then leave and find that professional that does know how to give you the tools you need to become the strong confident person you were before and can be again.

It's all about looking the past in the eye and understanding what happened, working through what remains and taking back the strength and control you had before and can have again.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing. Not to many people in your position are so gracious. Your article was very poignant and understandable. It helped me to understand very clearly. Thank you for your help.

Anonymous said...

great points altogether, you just gained a new reader. What would you suggest in regards to your post that you made some days ago? Any positive?

EnglishDragon said...

Can I ask which post you are referring to? Happy to respond.