I believe one of the difficult things about PTSD is it gets muddled and mashed up into a terrible mess. I lived with PTSD over 40 years not knowing I had it. It was disguised as over active imagination, aka nightmares, depression, hormones, being a girl, moody, and a host of other things. Psychcentral shared an article of the other conditions or problems all mixed up with PTSD. I was in the group of people that went to medical doctors trying to track some ‘phantom’ illness. It was staring me right in the face but I never put the pieces together. My counselor kindly explained, “You don’t know, what you don’t know.” My counselor gave me a name to my pain and information that helped me live better, improve relationships and generally taught me about life. If the medical doctors don’t have answer it may be time to see a counselor. It made a big difference in my life.
In particular, major depression and substance abuse are common in people with PTSD. There may also be an increased risk of panic disorder, agoraphobia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social phobia and somatization disorder. Scientists are not sure to what extent these co-occurring disorders are present before — or come after the traumatic event and the development of PTSD.
Too easily discussions about PTSD dissolve into philosophical debates that sound like the argument about which came first the chicken or the egg. I appreciated my counselors point of view, what does it matter which came first, it is all here, let’s sort out this mess.