Post Traumatic Stress Disorder- PTSD
Life wouldn’t be Life without challenges.
For most, these challenges are simply that, part of life. Life challenges usually include stress, sadness, grief, natural disasters, divorce, unemployment, illness, trauma etc – we’ve all experienced one or all of them.
Some people (myself included) develop PTSD due to trauma, don’t think for a second that it’s a 'veterans only' disorder. Sadly, it’s more prevalent than you’d imagine, and in Australia most PTSD diagnosis are due to car accidents.
PTSD can be bought about by a physical attack or threat (me), a serious car accident (me) or a life threatening event (me). It can occur hours, days, weeks, even months after the event – and let me tell you it’s very, very, real.
It’s simply where the mind is unable to process an event in the usual way that you’d process an ordinary, every day type of event. It’s almost like a brain misfire, whereby your physical (heart rate, sweating, adrenaline etc) act as if the traumatic event is still happening.
For me it initially appeared out of the blue (a few days after the second event) and showed itself with physical symptoms – a feeling of jumpiness, extreme nervousness, hyper vigilant – almost like I was about to be attacked. Y’know that fight or flight response….but your body is on the high end of flight for what seems like an eternity.
My PTSD arose following a widow maker heart attack in March of 2012 and then a serious car accident in July of 2012 – it seems it took 2 life threatening events to really hit home and present itself. I managed to get it under control initially with a month or so of cognitive behaviour therapy, but it was the practise of yoga that really controlled it over time....well at least that's what works for me.
That’s not saying that I didn’t still have panic/anxiety attacks – but they became more manageable when I was able to draw lessons learned in yoga and apply them either during a panic attack or prior to when I felt that it was inevitable, for me, it’s about being in the present, solely. It's about that grounding, the breathing techniques, blocking out all other thoughts.
The black cloud is always just out of range, but hangs around nonetheless and I can go for months, even years without having a full on attack if I stay focused. I have also found Hemp CBD (cannabidiol) exceptionally helpful in keeping it at bay, almost like a supplement for calm head space.
I’ve no doubt that some are perhaps more pre disposed to PTSD, as an empath I’m certainly a sensitive and intuitive person, but I think it’s more than that. Our eldest has a mental health problem, (which is truly hell for those that suffer, and also for their family). Sadly, I believe the genetic link is there (somewhere) and some are fortunate not to fall deep into the rabbit hole.
I’m not suggesting any of it is a choice, I’m just saying that choices of bad behaviour are still an individual choice and knowingly doing wrong is not part of a disorder, it’s a choice, and a bad one.
Late last year my PTSD came back with a vengeance (due to the above) – our families lives were threatened…seriously, police were called, we barricaded ourselves in our home, we all slept in the same room for many weeks and still 6 months later we continue to still have our doors locked at all times. You wouldn’t wish it on the worlds worst! Counselling, further education, back to yoga and I’m beginning to feel almost in control…but not resting on hopes, just need to keep working on it...daily.
If you or someone you know is possibly suffering from PTSD it’s appropriate to talk with a doctor or mental health professional. Early intervention can speed up recovery and certainly give you better ‘coping’ mechanisms. With treatment and ongoing self care it’s possible to recover and get on with your life. Help for loved ones and families supporting those with PTSD is also available.
Feel free to reach out should you have any questions for me or even it you'd like to just simply chat. Organically Yours, Jul x0