What I wish people knew, too

I found an article that I’m going to add my perspective.  It is fairly long so I plan to break it up over a couple of days.  Here’s the link to the original:

http://medprecautions.com/23-things-i-wish-people-understood-about-ptsd/

I didn’t find the author’s name.  But I will add my perspective to each part.

 

  • PTSD is as real as any physical wound.

The wound may not be visible to the eye or may have healed over long ago, the main point is it is as real as a broken arm.  Extreme psychological, emotional, and/or physical trauma occurred and the body reacted as it would to a physical wound.  Sadly, a few fake it to get benefits they don’t deserve, even sadder that is a small minority making it that much harder for those with PTSD to be treated with the respect they deserve.  Just because you can’t see the wound doesn’t make it less real.  No one could see my cancer but they didn’t doubt its existence or the need for medical attention.  I am not treated the same way with PTSD.

  • I can’t just let it go.

Nightmares attack me, not the other way around. I would be thrilled to ‘let go’ of my nightmares. They come back, night after night, uninvited. I would gladly let go of my cancer but the doctor had to cut that out. I can’t cut out of my mind that damage caused by the repeated trauma I experienced.  I believe PTSD is a bit more like diabetes.  It is in me, someone else can’t see it, however, I can learn skills that teach me how to manage the symptoms better.  One trigger at an unexpected moment reminds me forcibly that PTSD doesn’t let me go.

  • I’m deeply exhausted all the time.

My first counselor explained to me that I was carrying a lot of extra baggage. He helped me unpack many of the burdens I carried on my heart.  But I was loaded down with so much, I carried it for so long, I’m tired of being tired.  I start to get some sleep, feel a little rested, then I get slammed with another round of nightmares.  I am so tired doctors don’t recognize the symptoms of complete exhaustion.  Chronic fatigue feels like a step up from where I have been.  After counseling, I improved my sleeping.  I go back to sleep after a nightmare instead of staying up all night.  Trying to get enough rest seems like a constant battle.  Times I felt if I could just sleep for 12 hours uninterrupted I might feel rested….in my sweetest dreams.  So far, not happening.

Tomorrow I will add some more from the list and my comments.

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4 thoughts on “What I wish people knew, too

  1. For the record, sleeping 12 hours once does not make you feel rested. It does give the body extra time to heal. It takes a whole lot more than sleep to pull out of severe sleep deprivation.

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