Read Part 1 of Karen’s series on PTSD here.
Does anyone else out there feel like they have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)? I had a scary experience last week that left me shaking. I got still and wrote down my thoughts. Then I traced some of those thoughts back. I was looking for the connection between how I felt today and what happened to “trigger” those feelings. Here’s the story: I couldn’t remember my computer password. After doing a reset, I wrote the new one down. Then my granddaughter came over to work on my computer and we couldn’t log in. I got embarrassed and flustered because hepatic encephalopathy makes me do koo koo things sometimes. I wonder if it could be some PTSD. Signs You Might Have PTSD:
The slightest noise can cause you to jump out of your seat! Everyone knows not to come up from behind and touch you without warning. They get accidentally backhanded when your hands fly up.
When a minor problem comes up – your mind starts to scan past, present, and future. Self-doubt creates a lot of questions. Why did I do that certain thing? Where can I find help? How do I keep myself safe in the future? Will I always have the same problems over and over again?
Dark feelings come. You are flooded with waves of regret. You look back with sadness at how your life used to work well. You feel the weight of having to find ways around physical and mental limitations.
When it becomes too much work to try and pretend you’ve got it all together, it is easier to stay home. It’s also easier to refuse to let people in. All by yourself, you can pretty much have a calm day. Loneliness can set in.
So now you’re all cozy in your house and life is dull. You’re in a place where no one can see that you’ve got some damage from your physical, mental, and emotional pain. Yawn. What’s so fun about that?
You begin to pace the floor looking for something to do… anything but just sit in front of the television screen. You may overeat or smoke too much. You might call or text everyone you know. You may get online and read social media for hours.
If you are reacting to stress for days on end, you may even work yourself up into a tizzy. That molehill in your life becomes a mountain. Worrying about paying a medical bill long enough can lead you down a scary mental path. You may begin to envision how you will live in a cardboard box under a bridge.
If you are experiencing any of the physical, mental, or emotional symptoms listed above, it could be PTSD. This is a serious medical concern and deserves your full attention. Your medical provider can help with diagnosis and treatment. There are many different strategies to help you overcome and live the life you dream of.
Check back for more from Karen on PTSD.