You, Me, and PTSD

in #stemgeeks9 months ago

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) describes a state of the mind that forces someone to always be on the alert without end. Those afflicted could also act in a manner that relives the past of a traumatic event or behave in a way that avoids the stresses of something experienced. Ultimately, the individual suffering lives a life on the edge. You're on the defense or the attack until the danger passes. Can we do anything about this disorder?

Within the mind, echoes of past,
Shattered fragments, remnants will last.
Visions unbidden, nightmares invade,
Like thunderous cannons, peace they raid.

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Yale News - Bill Hathaway

What happens if we do nothing? What consequences could occur if the person afflicted is unguided in their attempts to endure or overcome their problem?

Some years ago, I was diagnosed with PTSD. My wife and I were having marital troubles and felt going to a marriage counselor would help us communicate better. Over time, the therapist told us we were both suffering from PTSD. According to the therapist, we would both need to work on addressing the condition if we raise our hopes of staying together.

I can recall some things that would have contributed to my positive diagnosis.

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Endurance

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Image by David Mark from Pixabay

In my experience, the United States military is not the best at treating mental health disorders. They are, however, quite adept at causing them. The military places you into a state of alert from the moment you surrender your body and mind to them. In the beginning, you might not be aware of that fact. You're in it only as long as you can stand it. Looking back, it becomes all too clear. Hindsight is always 20/20.

Working on a submarine for years keeps you in a state of alert. Constant drills, ridiculous timelines, and standards are impossible to achieve. While at sea, the ship's principal staff manages all your time. You move at someone's whim, from bathroom breaks to when you can sleep. Once you leave the military, the transition period could vary from a few days to years before adjusting to everyday life. You make it work, or you do not.

I still don't sleep normally, but what if this is a new normal for me? My long waking hours seem to benefit me, especially in my career.

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Domestic Abuse?

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Image by Mar from Pixabay

You don't know how to deal with your trauma. Without guidance, your stress levels can reach a point that forces a release of your anger in an unhealthy manner. Anyone can be diagnosed with PTSD. It's not only limited to men or adults, for that matter. It's important to remember this fact, as sometimes things can get out of hand, especially when you're in a relationship and get into an argument.

Tempers flare, people say trigger words, and the next thing you know, a bottle gets cracked over your face. Decades of conditioning force the pain aside and the clarity back in your mind in seconds. You can't believe what just happened. My right eye got cut and bruised. Maybe some blood. Nothing else is damaged. The car isn't moving. Everyone else is safe. Get everyone home. No questions.

When the situation is calm, reality sinks into what occurred. How did we get here? What could we have done to prevent what happened? You and your partner quickly realize that things need to be addressed from here on out if the relationship will survive. Recognize that you don't have the answer to every problem you face. You can work to resolve things unless it's too late.

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Pain

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Image by JL G from Pixabay

Pain distracts you. You're supposed to ignore it when other things are a priority. At least, this is what people taught me. Time passes before you know it, and pain suppression becomes a priority. Correcting it never enters your mind until a nuisance becomes agonizing. This is about how I can describe the pain I felt in my spine before surgery.

After surgery, the pain disappeared, and the destructive behaviors that became a part of my daily life disappeared almost the moment I woke. It was amazing and terrifying. Once the pain was gone, I knew my ignorance led to my predicament.

The things I learned growing up and in the military weren't token ways of life that we must follow. You should take the time to question everything along the way. In this manner, you'll know much more quickly than I if a path you've been taking is correct for YOU.

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Treatment

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Image by Sam Williams from Pixabay

It helps to know there is something wrong with getting treated. If you feel something is off, never hesitate to do your research and ask the question to someone you trust or someone you can pay to depend. Be sure to realize something is wrong.

Therapy

Various forms of treatment are available to try and reduce the impact of PTSD on your life. In my experience, this amount to first talking with someone so they can get enough data about you. Afterward, you would perform various tasks or exercises with the counselor to see if you could change your outlook and reduce the impact of your PTSD upon your life.

Medicinal

The FDA approves medications like Sertraline and Paroxetine for treating PTSD. Both drugs increase or maintain serotonin's influence on the human brain.

  • Sertraline acts to raise the levels of serotonin within your brain. The idea is that if serotonin levels rise, then the impact of depression lowers.
  • Paroxetine acts to maintain the level of serotonin within the brain.

From my perspective, medications are a last resort. Please try to get therapy first before attempting to manage your condition chemically.

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The Psyber X Multiverse

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The Dogs of War - A Psyber X Ultimatum - Scholaris

Talking about Psyber X, their goals, development, and progress have piqued interest about Hive in my household. My wife even started reading some of the stories I've written for them. Baby steps, I guess. I'm glad for our conversations about the game and the blockchain. It's kept us with something new to speak about as the topic of internet technologies only sometimes comes up.

For everyone else at Hive looking for something to do when you have a spare moment, check out @PsyberX's discord. There's ample information about the PsyberX play-to-earn game or the new Discord game Serfdom & Sorcery. Both games are available to play now and for free!

Join the @psyberx community today! Invest in their development or hop on to their discord to learn more about the initiative today!

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In Closing

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Thank you for reading and following on throughout my Hive journey. If you like this article, please consider reblogging, upvoting, and following @scholaris!

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Reading your post, I imagined how difficult it must have been for you, but strangely enough, I could relate because even though I've never served in the armed forces, I'm investigating a possible diagnosis of borderline personality disorder. The brain of a person with borderline functions differently, just like that of a person with post-traumatic stress disorder. In the case of someone with borderline, it's the prefrontal cortex that doesn't function as it should, causing the person to always be on alert, fearful, and stressed. It's very difficult to control something like that and to come to terms with the fact that it's physiological and completely takes away your self-control. I've always seen life from a very intense perspective and believed it was the right way to see things, that I was always right. Today, I know that I can't fully trust my own perspective, and therapy has helped me with that. However, I'm still only at the beginning of the journey.

I don’t know that our conditions are are bad or wrong. I know now it’s different than the norm. That’s it. I hope that your journey takes you to a better place. I imagine that I’ll definitely get there for myself and my family despite any hiccups along the way.

Thank you very much for your kind words. You deserve the best in life and health.

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Good lord that's a lot of upvotes.

Awesome work @scholaris. Looking forward to you reaching your new target 😅

I am with you my veteran brother. PTS is something I have as well and was exasperated by other neuro challenges, or so the neurologist says. Thankfully medication and good therapy and positive living has helped a gret deal since starting my mental break a couple years back. You are on the money about the always on the alert lifestyle for most of us in the military service and not being able to turn that switch off after leaving it. I still struggle with that and have been retired from the service since 2011.

I'm really sorry you have to go through that problem. I left the navy in 2007. I wasn't looking at retirement. My marriage brought a host of responsibilities I didn't anticipate, but I didn't complain about them as it was my responsibility to address it as a husband.

So, what then? I couldn't work on sleep. Sleeplessness became an advantage and it's what I use now for my family time, work, and training. I try and catch up to sleep on the weekends. My kids are only 4/5 years old. Weekend naptimes are awesome.

Given my challenges with diabetes, the last thing I wanted was to be on meds for PTSD. I had to deal. My wife, on the other hand, is open to medicines for her. However, she is also diabetic and has opted to deal, but with assistance via therapy.

It's a struggle for stability that keeps me moving forward. My kids don't need to see my hardships. It's something I'll explain to them when they're older. The goal is to reduce the stress enough to manage normally as best as possible.

Best hopes to you for a continued safe and healthy present and future.

I do hope the best for you, your wife and family as you move forward in your battle with it. You got this and sounds like your winning so far. But just remember you don;t have to struggle alone.

Thank you very much. I do appreciate it. We've had some wins and losses, but overall, yeah like you said, I think we're mostly winning. Struggling alone is, and will continue to be, a challenge. I'm learning to keep that weakness ahead of me though to make sure I don't forget that fact.

I'm glad you got help in time, sounds like you had a few close calls :( ...

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