This last week of delving into my disorders with greater depth focuses on PTSD, with an emphasis on untreated PTSD and the consequences of that. Hopefully it might encourage a few people to go and talk to a medical or mental health professional if they’ve suffered from a trauma or series of traumas and find themselves experiencing symptoms of PTSD.
Onset is usually within six months of the event or events (so it can occur in the midst of ongoing trauma if it lasts a long time). Symptoms present as:
Reliving or re-experiencing the event/events as flashbacks, bodily memories, fear response memories etc – these can be physical.
Avoidance and emotional/psychological numbing – so numbing down your feelings and avoiding people/places that remind you of your trauma/s. Some sufferers will avoid in other ways, such as becoming very busy to block thoughts of trauma.
Hyperarousal or Hypervigilance – feeling very on edge and constantly checking or wary of danger. Can present as irritability/outbursts of temper/inability to sleep/difficulty concentrating.
PTSD sufferers may also experience anxiety, depression and phobias. A dependency on drugs or alcohol may occur. Physical symptoms such as headaches/dizziness and nausea may also be present.
PTSD is often something you keep very private, and it can become very scary, with night terrors and flashbacks and the hypervigilance that comes from fear and needing to be sure everywhere you go is safe. Your best course of action if you think you might be suffering is to approach a medical professional and seek treatment. You may be diagnosed first or you may be observed to see if your symptoms become PTSD or in fact are PTSD.
Have patience with the process, a great deal of diagnosis when it comes to MH issues is being observed and compiling detailed evidence of symptoms. This is to be sure the correct disorder is diagnosed and that treatment can be found that will actually be effective. This too may take time. Again, patience, the road to wellness may be long but it is infinitely preferable to remaining ill.
Below the embedded vlog I’ve popped the usual resources. Also feel free to comment, I will respond to everyone (as long as comments remain polite – I don’t want to see any ‘MH issues aren’t real’ nonsense here – thank you).