The following is a collection of resources I have found through general searches or that have been recommended to me when I was first diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I hope to be a part of the movement to break the stigma that those who battle mental health issues face – including myself. I was ashamed and embarrassed by my emotional state for a very long time, and hiding it (or trying my hardest to hide it) only worsened the negative feelings I was experiencing.
PTSD – What is it?
PTSD is typically associated with men and women returning from active military duty, but anyone – man, woman, and child – can experience symptoms of PTSD after a variety of emotional or physical traumas occur. People experience PTSD after first-hand experience, witnessing an event, or just learning about a terrifying event. Events such as a near-death experience, witnessing a death or finding someone who has died, violent crime, or physical assault – just to name a few.
Experiencing PTSD is nothing to be ashamed of.
It took me six years to admit that to myself. It is an entirely natural reaction to an extremely abnormal experience. Seeking help is important. If you experience any of the following symptoms for an extended period, please find assistance. Implore anyone you know experiencing symptoms of PTSD to seek help as well. Even if you only open up to family or a close friend about your experience, it’s a start and will make a difference.
Four types of PTSD symptoms:
There is no set rhythm or timeline that these symptoms follow on a person’s road to recovery. A victim could experience symptoms right away or years later. The intensity of the reactions ebbs and flows as well. Triggers often solicit a response or symptom such as a news report of a sexual assault or a particular smell or sound. The Mayo Clinic lists the following as the most common symptoms experienced by PTSD sufferers.
1. Intrusive memories
- Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
- Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
- Upsetting dreams about the traumatic event
- Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the event
- Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
- Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event
3. Adverse changes in thinking or mood
- Negative feelings about yourself or other people
- Inability to experience positive emotions
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Hopelessness about the future
- Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
- Difficulty maintaining close relationships
4. Changes in emotional reactions
- Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
- Always being on guard for danger
- Overwhelming guilt or shame
- Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
- Trouble concentrating
- Trouble sleeping
- Being easily startled or frightened
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1 (800) 273-8255
Information on Mental Health + Addiction
AddictionCenter.com – Dual Diagnosis
DrugRehab.com – Co-occurring Disorders
Emotional First Aid: Healing Rejection, Guilt, Failure, and Other Everyday Hurts – by Guy Winch, PH.D
The information included on this page and throughout the blog is based on my personal thoughts, knowledge, and experiences. I only mention products or sites I use or that a counselor has recommended. Remember that I am not a mental health professional — just a woman who has been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and is working very hard to overcome it.
If you are experiencing symptoms of PTSD I urge you to seek the help of a specialist.