The disorders of the mind that leave a lasting impression on others can be horrific at best. When you have spent an amount of time with a psychopath, a sociopath, an antisocial disorganized mind, a Cluster B personality, or any of these types of personality disorders, learning about how their minds work, how they see their worlds, their interpretations of their worlds are so conversely different than the average so-named normal person, you walk away with a new-found awareness for your own surroundings and interactions with people.
I have two distinctly different absolute thoughts on what happens to a person after their intimate relationships with these people. The first thought is that you can bury your memories, forget what has happened and go on living as if you never knew that person. The human brain is an amazing organ. It will protect you in times of trauma. Knowing a person such as this, and if they have hurt you in a devastating way, the brain can protect you and tuck those horrible memories away. Never to speak of them again, the memories sit in a dark corner in the recesses of your mind, waiting to leap out should a trigger appear that clicks to awaken them.
Do not be fooled that they have gone away. They are still there. Is it best to let them out? To talk about them? To journal them? Perhaps for some, maybe not for others. Each person has their own agenda.
For others, the memories lie fresh in their mind as clear as the day they happened. No matter how much effort they put into attempting to forget, the thoughts come back to haunt them through nightmares that they don’t remember, through unclear thoughts that they can’t quite place or unsettling thoughts that appear in panic attacks out of nowhere.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is common for survivors of traumas and this does include survivors of domestic abuse situations, violent situations, psychological abuse situations and emotional abuse situations. For more information on PTSD, see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_traumatic_stress_disorder.
The US National Library of Medicine published an abstract entitled “Symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder in abused women in a primary care setting allowing for the idea that women also suffer from this disorder. See: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/9356977.
A California study, completed in 2000, about “Women, Domestic Violence and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder” can be seen here: http://www.csus.edu/calst/government_affairs/reports/ffp32.pdf.
The point of studies to anyone is that there is enough concern that someone is interested in learning about the subject. This is what should be important. At one point, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was not recognized, altho it was included in the DSM-III in 1980. When it was finally discovered to be an affliction of our soldiers returning home, many people wondered about the disorder but accepted it as a casualty of war. They simply looked at these men who would cower at the backfire of a car and nod at each other as if they knew and understood what PTSD was about suddenly. Some accepted PTSD in veterans. Some people still didn’t. They looked at these people that had been diagnosed and felt they could “get over” their problems easily or they simply felt they were acting out and being dramatic.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder then became a broader diagnosis for more people. Not only reserved for veterans of war, it became a disorder that afflicted anyone that had sustained traumas as a child, a victim of violence, a victim of brutality, a victim of some horrendous psychological abuse that afflicted the person in an adverse way that was ongoing to the person and could not be resolved in a timely manner.
Changed in the diagnostic criteria through the years since 1980 has created much debate amongst the psychiatric community. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder has been chronicled in many different forms for centuries. The diagnosis now included children that had been molested repeatedly, bombing victims and victims of 911.
A comprehensive abstract detailing the history of opinions can be read here: http://ajp.psychiatryonline.org/article.aspx?articleid=100457. This abstract works through the thoughts and opinions of psychiatric models and their relation to PTSD. As you read through the abstracts, and it is long but interesting, remember, it is an abstract. There are still thoughts in the psychiatric field today that believe PTSD is not real. There are others that make it appear one needs to jump through psychiatric hoops of tests to arrive at their decision before they rule out other factors to determine that a person is suffering from PTSD. Some points are valid.
I’ve been through a lot of emotional and mental upheaval with the Smith family. All that I’ve written about in this blog is factual. Nothing has been glamorized, or made to seem prettier or gorier, or given more allegorical strength to keep a reader’s interest. I am attempting to recreate what has happened to me during the years I spent with Daniel and his mother Sandra. As I do this, I tell my readers about psychiatric illness, strength, about survival and about hope.
I weave both my story and facts about mental illness so readers have an understanding of both the cause and effect. I want readers to understand the hows, the whys, the whats in as easy an interpretation as I can present to them. There are far too many women and I am positive men also, that haven’t told their story but need to feel validated, need to know they aren’t alone. Unfortunately, fear looms too large for them to seek help outwardly. Just as my story is very real, there are many more that could be told but never will be. For those that have written to me, I thank you for sharing. Your thoughts have touched my heart.
I began talking about PTSD for a reason today. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is very real. It is a real disorder to victims of continued abuse. It is a trained eye that can see these signs in a victim more easily, that can interpret the physical signs that a Survivor of traumas exhibits at times. We can be hyper-vigilant, we can appear stressed, we can seem intense. If the other person could only open our minds to view what we are seeing on our own movie reels, they would be horrified and mortified. Some would wonder how we get through each day. I wonder the same question. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a movie that would be classified under the horror genre.
Next, Part 2 of Dead Kittens In The Freezer and PTSD.
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