Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

“Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a normal reaction to an abnormal event.”

This one piece of information was one of the most helpful in my recovery from PTSD. Knowing that what I went through was something that none should have to go through & that my body was reacting the same as anyone else would if they’d experienced the same as me really helped to normalise my symptoms & over come them.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder caused by a frightening or disturbing experience.

Experiences that can cause PTSD include:

  • serious accidents
  • assult
  • abuse
  • natural disaseter
  • military combat
  • terrorist attack
  • being held hostge

Symptoms include:

  • flashbacks
  • panic attacks
  • nightmares
  • concentration difficulties
  • problems sleeping
  • sweating
  • trembling
  • avoiding certain situations
  • emotional numbness
  • hyperarousal (feeling ‘on edge’)
  • headaches
  • stomach pain
  • misses of drugs &/or alcohol in an attempt to ‘cope’ with life

Treatments include Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), eye movement desensitisation and reprocessing (EMDR) & the use of anti-depressants. I had CBT with a number of different therapists. The two who were knowledgable about PTSD were very helpful, the others much less so. One of the good therapists suggested EMDR, but because of my photosensitivity, we decided that therapy might aggravate my Basilar Type Migraine so didn’t pursue it.

I am pleased to say that for the most part I am now free from PTSD symptoms. It is something that will always be with me & could be triggered at any time. I guess you could say I’m in remission. The hormonal changes in pregnancy can trigger a PTSD relapse, so it’s something I need to be aware of going forward in my bid to have a baby.

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Useful resources –

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Health A-Z. http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/Post-traumatic-stress-disorder/Pages/Introduction.aspx. NSH. Last reviewed September 2013.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Types Of Mental Health Problems. http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-ptsd/#.VaPbqc64nR0. Copyright Mind. 2013.

There’s also a book my psychologist recommended that I found really helpful, but can’t remember the details of it – only way the front cover looks like. I know that’s not helpful but if I find out I’ll add the details.

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