The problem of violence

The problem with violence and violent acts connected with PTSD is it is filled with murky gray area.  PTSD is a reaction to violence in some form often with the threat of life involved for someone, usually the victim.  The DSM 5 list things such as aggressive and reckless behavior.  http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/PTSD-overview/dsm5_criteria_ptsd.asp This seems to imply the behavior may be unacceptable or possibly violent.  But it does not list violent as one of the symptoms.  Unfortunately, extreme reactions may be provoked.  One of my adult children found me sleeping on the couch.  She just came from a costume party and was still wearing a wig and makeup.  She thought it would be funny to startle me awake.  Please, understand my children were taught to never touch me to wake me up.  I don’t react well.  Her siblings warned her not to but she did it any way.  She was shocked when I hit her twice before I was fully awake.  By any standard, hitting someone when waking is considered violent.  In my sleep fogged brain, I was protecting myself.  When I was fully awake, I was ashamed and dismayed by my violent over reaction.  This is the gray area.  I apologized to my daughter.  I felt terrible.  Unfortunately, this is an example of why some people are claiming that PTSD caused them to beat someone, lose control, or the recent claim of murdering two people by shooting them in the back.  I believe that I am accountable for my actions at all times.  I believe that people act violently.  I believe that PTSD is a reaction to violent actions.  PTSD is not violent; it is an emotional response to violence.  I was raised violently.  My reaction was from how I was taught not because of PTSD.  I feel angry when people try to use the excuse, “I have PTSD so I acted like a violent jerk, therefor I should not be held accountable.”  The insanity plea when used to ‘try and get away with murder’ is wrong.  It also makes people distrust me more.  Not because I did anything wrong but by association.  That guy claims he committed murder because of PTSD, you have PTSD so you might be capable of murder…..uhhhh NO.  This is faulty thinking distorted and encouraged by movies and media.  I am not alone in my opinion that PTSD does not cause violence here is the link: http://www.ptsd.va.gov/professional/co-occurring/research_on_ptsd_and_violence.asp The US government quote studies that agree with me. PTSD is difficult to live with but not impossible.  I worked hard at maintaining and improving relationships.  I am responsible for my behavior.  I’ve seen enough violence to fill several life times I don’t need to add to it.  Please, do not buy into the lie that PTSD causes violence.

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