I am continuing down the list of things that I wished people knew about PTSD:
I recommend following the link to the original post which shares their ideas on each one.
- Some symptoms do seem to go away on their own.
Yes and no. The body has an incredible ability to heal from horrific things. Some things do heal on their own. Other things require active participation in the healing process. Before counseling, I started learning ways to heal my body without knowing I had PTSD. I worked hard at trying to heal my body and my soul. I prayed often. I sought understanding. This healing accelerated when I went to counseling and worked more effectively. Much like training for the Olympics, you can get a long way on your own but to maximize performance a coach is needed to give suggestions on how to improve.
- I didn’t develop PTSD because I’m weak.
I was blessed with a counselor that understood PTSD. He explained to me that as a child I did not have any coping skills to draw from for the situations I experienced. PTSD gave me unique skills that helped me survive the hell I was living in. What child understands the insanity of starving so that someone else can have seconds. Or watching food go bad in the refrigerator or punished for eating the rotting food. My counselor explained that survival through PTSD made it possible for me to live in an impossible situation. He praised me for my creativity and intelligence. Not what I heard growing up. Wasn’t the view I had of myself. Took many years of counseling before I believed that I did anything special by simply surviving.
- PTSD is an injury that may lead to an illness.
People with PTSD do not agree on this. My opinion is that PTSD is an extreme response to extreme injury, physical, emotional, spiritual injuries all count. In the truest sense of disease….meaning dis-ease not at ease with one self. Sadly, people are getting caught up in the feeling of shame of having something labeled as a mental illness. My perspective is my emotions and mind were twisted beyond reason and I feel ill from the treatment. A child that is beaten is considered ill from the injuries. A child that is emotionally beaten is ill from the injuries. I’m OK with being called mentally ill, crazy, bat shit crazy, whatever I’m called, I am an ultimate survivor. I survived when others did not. I am a survivor.
- PTSD is generally a huge struggle. I have to be strong every day.
Yup, if I ever get a little big headed and think it is over, silly me, PTSD will slap me down hard. Then I sigh heavily and remind myself that people with diabetes, MS, cancer, and a host of other difficult illnesses are an every day, all day struggle. Welcome to the elite survivors. Sometimes I curl up in a ball and let the world march on without me….I’ll be strong tomorrow.
- Self-intervention is a necessary part of integrating after trauma.
I am in charge of my continued recovery. A counselor helped me learn techniques to improve healthy living but I am responsible for me. I know when I am spiraling down. I know when a trigger is present. I know what I need to do when I hit a trigger. I know I need to make a plan to cope with known triggers that I will be exposed to. I set my routines. I develop a plan for difficult situations. I am no different than a diabetic needing to watch what they eat and check their blood sugar levels and take their medication. I am thankful to the counselor that taught me how to take care of myself since I am the only one with me all the time and understand most of my issues. Yes, I still get surprised from time to time but I can adapt my coping techniques to new issues as they come up. I am responsible for me. I wasn’t taught to take care of myself but I am teachable and willing to learn. The first thing I needed to learn for this is self-care is not selfish.