PTSD comes about after a single traumatic event or prolonged exposure to a traumatic environment. You can end up with PTSD even if the traumatic event didn’t happen to you and you just witnessed it. Some common examples of a single traumatic event are car accidents, rape, childbirth, or seeing another person being traumatized. Prolonged exposure can come from an abusive marriage or childhood, ongoing bullying, or a job where you are exposed to other people’s trauma repeatedly.
Some symptoms of PTSD are panic attacks, a sense of hypervigilance, changes in behavior, anxiety, flashbacks, or mood swings. It can also, unfortunately, end up in substance abuse and reckless behavior.
Fortunately, there is help for PTSD. And a 5 step recovery outline that lets you know exactly where you are in your journey of overcoming PTSD.
Step 1. The initial trauma with shock and fight or flight response.
Step 2. Denial. This is where you try to minimize what happened to you and push the thoughts and feelings associated with it away.
Step 3. Acceptance and initial treatment. This is the immediate step that puts your foot on the path to recovery. Realizing you need help and making that call.
Step 4. Long-term treatment and recovery. PTSD isn’t something you can overcome over a weekend. The feelings and responses are deeply ingrained in your psyche and you need time to heal.
If you think about it, PTSD was probably a valuable tool for our ancient ancestors. It kept them vigilant, alive and kept them from repeating mistakes that almost got them hurt or killed and kept their genes alive to be passed down to the next generation.
There is no shame in PTSD, it is as old as humanity itself. In ancient Rome, PTSD was called “battle fatigue”. More recent generations have called it “shell shock”. The good thing about our current world is that there is help, and we understand PTSD can stretch far beyond the battlefield.
Contact us here at Cornerstone to put that foot on the road to recovery. Remember, you matter.