In World War 1, it was called ‘shell shock’. In World War 2 it was known as ‘battle fatigue’. Finally during Vietnam it got it’s current name, ‘post- traumatic stress disorder’.
What exactly is this?
Here’s the definition:
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
Sadly, the nervous system is stuck in a flight or fright mode that leaves people with PTSD in a chronic state of nervous ups and downs, which can be debilitating.
In January of 2017, I was told by my doctor that my brain injury had also given me PTSD secondary to the injury. It was a result of the changes going on in my skull as the cranial adjustments were being performed.
My brain’s amygdala sounded an alarm that flooded my body with stress hormones, resulting in quite a bit of emotional and physical distress.
It’s gotten better lately, the anxiety isn’t as much, nightmares are improving, and I’ve noticed as I get physically stronger, I’m able to work through it more efficiently.
Some experts believe PTSD is actually a psychological injury and not a mental health illness.
Living in a fallen world means that there will be times when our minds will be greatly effected by the current circumstances we experience. It’s part of being human and it’s part of life.
There are plenty of ways to help someone we love work through PTSD, but I do believe seeking a good counselor is key.
Here are six helps we can do for ourselves or someone we love with PTSD;
1) Listen to them. Don’t bring it up unless they first initiate the subject of the traumatic event(s) and want to talk about it. A recap may bring on full blown panic attack.
2) Don’t take their emotional ups and downs personally. If they are cranky or moody, give them grace–it should pass and they will feel more secure around you than if you lectured them or told them to “get over it.”
3) Gently encourage them to do the things they love, like art, peaceful exercise (walking, yoga, swimming), gardening, meditating upon scripture, reading a novel, or watching a favorite old film.
4) GET A PET!!! I truly believe this a must for everyone with PTSD. There have been days when all I could do was sit out on my deck with my grey tabby and let her purr as I rubbed her furry little head. My five-year-old Maltipoo ( heading photo) has also brought such comfort to me, never leaving my side. Medical studies have proven that pets reduce high blood pressure and calm anxiety in owners. Plus, they’re super cute!
She purrs away as we cuddle
5) Try some juniper berry essential oil before bed. Doterra is the best. In fact, even war veterans have been cured from night terrors and nightmares while using it, and it’s certainly helped me.
6) Lastly, the blessing of praise music. Please see my link Songs of Hope. These songs got me through the toughest days and nights of fear and anxiety. I highly recommend listening to them or quiet, restful piano music.
I hope you can find a small ray of encouragement through this little blog post knowing that you are not alone. I’m still learning how to cope most days and would LOVE to hear your ideas or input.
Have a wonderful day and remember, He is holding us. 🤗❤