PTSD Matters

We hear PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) mentioned in the news on a regular basis. Often, we associate it with service people returning from war. But, PTSD can effect anyone exposed to traumatic events.

Victims of violent crime or abuse, even witnesses of traumatic events can develop PTSD. While I am not certified to treat PTSD clients, I possess more understanding of the disorder than I would truly wish to have.

My son developed PTSD, as a Junior in high school. His case was the result of being on the scene of a horrific motor vehicle accident. He was not involved in the accident, but was one of the first people on the scene. It was horrific and involved a gruesome fatality.

At the core of PTSD are triggers. Triggers are environmental things that cause a person to mentally "go back" to the traumatic event and bring up a high level of anxiety. Sights, sounds and smells can all be triggers that set a person off. For example, my son was bothered by the sound of diesel engines in parking lots. They reminded him of fire trucks and ambulances. "Road kill" animals along the roadside also bothered him.

Other Things that can go with PTSD:

Nightmares

Insomnia

Depression

In common language, a "short fuse." Folks with PTSD often react to everyday events with an excessive amount of anger.

Guilt & Obsession - This would include all the "if only . . ." scenarios that the get hung up on.

Also, people with PTSD are almost in an unfortunate "club." Their outlook is often: "You can't possibly understand how I feel. You weren't there." Other people who have made it through PTSD are often the only folks they will truly open up to.

In this brief post, I am not going to try to tell you "how" to deal with this.

I'm simply going to say, people with PTSD NEED professional help.

It's highly unlikely that a "suck it up and move on" approach will be effective.