Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) has been described as a “soul wound.” It has been estimated that at least 50 percent of the people in the United States, at some point in their life, have a traumatic experience. Shocking painful events can traumatize the mind and wound the soul.
Naturally some people that are traumatized by a “triggering event” decide that it is just a part of the human condition, and they prefer to forget about what happened to them. When a survivor denies the trauma and doesn’t process the experience and the grief, it is not healthy. Denial and a characteristic “numbness” regarding the injury done to their mind and soul often is the first stage of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).
Not everyone that survives traumatic events suffers from PTSD. It should be recognized, however that everyone who suffers from PTSD has had a soul injuring trauma.
Each person may react differently to the ordeal. Some people seem to bounce back or process the “soul injury” naturally. Others suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, which was first recognized as a very specific quality of life threatening syndrome in 1980.
PTSD can continue many years after the traumatic event has taken place. The most effective cures (depending on the severity of the symptoms) are usually medical and psychological treatments.
These are the 4 warning signs that you or someone you care about may have PTSD.
1) There was a traumatic event.
PTSD is the direct result of a situation where the threat of death or injury is felt. The person felt helpless to stop the situation, horror at what they witnessed and extreme fear for their lives.
Whether it’s sexual abuse, a natural disaster (fire, hurricanes, and earthquakes), contact with violence, the terrible familiarity of war or terrorism, there is always a triggering event or series of events.
2) A myriad of disorders and behaviors often have their roots in PTSD.
Flashbacks to the triggering event(s), eating disorders, sleeping disorders, depression, suicidal impulses, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and addiction are all separate symptoms that may have grown over time from the original PTSD. Early recognition and treatment may prevent some of the more extreme symptoms from getting more serious.
3) Symptoms have lasted more than 30 days.
In most cases, the symptoms have persisted for months and even years. A child that is abused may suffer from PTSD decades later. A soldier returning from war may still feel like he or she is experiencing battle on a daily basis.
4) Symptoms are so severe that the sufferer has trouble functioning.
PTSD affects you at work, in school, and in all your relationships with partners, families and friends.
The human spirit and psyche both have a remarkable strength and capacity to recover and grow from the damage of traumatic experiences. Recognition of what is going on is the first and most vital step to getting help.
Handbook of Forensic Psychology: Resource for Mental Health and Legal Professionals Assessment of post-traumatic stress disorder (2003).
“Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder” by Amira, Retrieved from http://www.storymakeovers.com/post/51394499954/post-traumatic-stress-disorder