Normal responses to abnormal events…..PTSD

PTSD

PTSD stands for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  It is an anxiety/depression disorder caused by an extremely stressful, frightening and distressing event.  We relate it a lot to military combat but can also be brought on by the following events:-

  • Severe attacks
  • Road collisions and incidents
  • Rape
  • Terrorist attacks
  • Natural disasters
  • Mugging or robbing
  • Sexual, mental or emotional abuse

There are of course many more incidents that can trigger PTSD but these are the most common talked about ones.  PTSD can happen almost immediately after the event or weeks later, months or years.  If it does come on in later life, its possible it has been triggered by a smell, sudden noise or a dream.  Whatever the weather, it isn’t nice.  In fact its awful.

PTSD doesn’t discriminate, it can happen to anyone, of any size, shape, ethnic origin, gay, straight you name it! What is baffling, two people can suffer exactly the same event and one may develop PTSD and the other may not.  If you do develop it, it’s not a sign of weakness.  Not at all. so don’t be so hard on yourselves peep’s.  Research show’s that if you have suffered with any mental health conditions before such as depression or anxiety then you are more likely to get PTSD than others that haven’t suffered before.  1 in 3 people are suffering with it right now, so you guessed it, you are bound to know someone that is suffering. Talk to them, tell them about this blog, write to me, open up, seek help and begin to go through the painful process of what happened.  It needs to get out.

This week I have spoke to a few people that have been good enough to share a few of their struggle’s with me and what happens to them on a daily basis, and the people that I spoke with all had the same reoccurring conditions.  Such as:

  • Constant flash backs on a daily basis
  • Nightmares and night sweats
  • struggling to get to sleep
  • Heavily drinking to numb the pain and ignore the issues.
  • Sex with a number of people to feel a positive emotion which is just blocking a negative emotion that does need to come out.

The list is endless.

And if we don’t continue to talk then more and more lives will be taken by yet another mental health condition.

” Normal responses to abnormal experiences”  You will be OK,  you just need to talk.

After a period of time all of these feelings, emotions and behaviors will pass but if you have PTSD they don’t pass.  They just stay and possibly get worse.  The only way they go is if you deal with it.  This means talking about the event and jumping in at the deep end.  No more avoidance or distractions.

About two years ago I was having counselling,  I went with my intense anxiety or health and developing a sickness bug.  But what came out was something completely different and my reasons as to why I worry about getting sick or being sick.  When my son was 4 he was playing in the playground, crawling around pretending to be cats and dogs with his friends! when all of a sudden another boy of his age came over and kicked Fred with extreme force and then jumped on him.  He was left with internal bleeding and a broken femur, (the strongest bone in the human body)  I was at home at the time with my hubby having a cuppa, we got a phone call and where told we had to get to school immediately.  When we arrived Fred had been moved and was passing in and out of consciousness on the school sofa in reception and no ambulance had been phoned.

When the paramedics arrived Fred was put straight in the ambulance, pants cut and rushed straight to hospital where a trauma team was waiting for him.  The poor boys screams will stay with me forever, the fear in his face and not being able to hold him or hug him.  As parents we where utterly helpless.  They gave him an epidural to numb him and began to straighten his leg and put into a metal splint, they also needed to hang weights on the end to keep the leg stretched.  A lot for a little boy, and not just any little boy. Our little boy.  I wasn’t coping very well, but luckily I have an amazing hubby who held Freddy’s head the whole time whilst they where fitting that. He had hourly checks, had to be rolled over to be cleaned and checked, sometimes they had to change the splint which meant more pain.  He was totally bed-ridden for 2 months and had to lie completely flat, a hard task when you’re only 4. After all of this he went into a wheel chair, and we had to teach him how to walk all over again.  It was a really tough time and extremely scary.  On his last night in hospital, we where all so excited to come home.  The hospital staff where popping in with gifts and cards and cup’s of tea! that final night I started with a horrible vomiting bug.  I tried to fight it but I had no other choice but to come home.  I  left Freddy on the most important day, coming home in the ambulance.  I wanted to decorate the house with balloons but I couldn’t do anything apart from be there at the other end.  The guilt sat with me for ages.  And since then I have been terrified of getting ill or being anywhere near someone that may have been ill recently.  Because If I get ill that means I can’t be a mum.

I have dealt with my issues now, and with all my training I can pull myself out of it.  Its hard but I can do it! Apparently I was suffering with PTSD.

Everyone has experienced something in their live’s.  Don’t feel ashamed to talk about it, cry about it or get angry about it.  They are normal responses to abnormal situations.

Lots of love…….

Kate

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