The human brain acts as a doctor, a storyteller, and a trickster. It sometimes heals itself, it often fools itself, and it can even distract itself from the more harmful episodes of the past.
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a psychological condition brought on by a violent or emotional occurrence in one’s life. PTSD is most closely associated with veterans who have experienced the horrors of the battlefield, but it can also be incited by sexual assault, childhood abuse, or intense loss like the death of a loved one.
The mind is prone to protect itself from trauma. That is why PTSD manifests itself differently in every individual’s mind. For example, wartime trauma may recur in the form of literal flashbacks that immerse a veteran in the memory that haunts them most. They feel like they are reliving the moment over and over.
However, PTSD flashbacks take on many different forms in people wrestling with trauma from their early years. A child’s mind may not be able to process the extreme nature of their abuse, so their brain creates defense mechanisms to protect their sanity. Years later, the traumatic feelings may flood back, but they are translated into new locations, scenarios, and language that register in their adult minds.
In short, we process trauma as thoroughly as we can, but we may never “get over” it. Instead, we must work together to break down the stigma of PTSD and conquer its demons. Though it sounds frightening, the phenomenon is surprisingly common. An estimated 7-8% of the population will experience PTSD in their lifetimes. Women are more likely than men to develop the condition, but trauma does not discriminate by gender, age, nationality, or race.
Your mental wellness is unique. You may work hard to appear strong and resilient, but PTSD is impossible to ignore forever. Before the strain of trauma overcomes you, take a closer look at your psychological status. If you are willing to be honest with yourself, then improvement may be just around the corner. Answer the following questionnaire as thoughtfully as you can, and pay attention to the pattern that emerges.
PTSD may manifest itself in various ways; some people develop substance use issues to medicate or mask their pain, others may block out the instigating traumatic event(s) from their consciousness altogether, and still, others lash out at seemingly random intervals to express their simmering rage.
Trauma is as individual as our psychological landscape. It lurks in our memories and prompts a vast array of behaviors, mannerisms, and internal responses. If you answered “Constantly” to any of the questions above, then your trauma may be holding you prisoner. You deserve a break from the ongoing hardship that your past has ushered into your present tense.
Trauma does not need to define your future.
Mental health is a celebration of how we think and who we are. Your mind is vibrant, complex, and challenging. When psychological distress clouds your consciousness, it can hinder your social interactions, your productivity, and even your physical health. Confronting mental health issues is scary, but the alternative is worse. PTSD can linger in our thoughts and dreams for a lifetime. The sooner you confront it, the faster you can liberate yourself from the heartache of history.
To make things easier, we have digitized the application process. Click here and begin your journey towards a happier, healthier you. See you on the road to wellness!