** Trigger warning – This post contains information on Mental Health and may trigger some unwanted emotions. **
June is PTSD awareness month, the 27th in particular is dedicated solely to PTSD world wide. I decided to write this post to help others understand and beat the stigma behind PTSD after being diagnosed with it myself last year.
Throughout this post, I will talk about what PTSD actually is and give you a bit of insight into what I personally go through. Now I have no medical degree, but A LOT of experience and want to share that with you. I WON’T be talking about why I actually have PTSD in this post. If it’s something you may be interested in then do let me know as that will be something I’m willing to write about.
What Is PTSD
PTSD is a mental health illness that people can suffer from after experiencing traumatic events in their life. It is widely and mostly known as something military veterans have after coming home from war. But what people don’t realize is that ANYONE can have it. Whether it’s from a personal trauma or seeing someone else going through something traumatic, it can greatly affect us at any point in time after the event.
- Mood Swings
- Severe Anxiety
- The Feeling Of Always Being On Edge
- Night Terrors
- Panic Attacks
- Easily Startled
- Trembling Thinking Of The Event
These are just SOME of the symptoms of PTSD.
My Story With PTSD
When I was around 11/12 I started feeling down a lot, I remember having this feeling of a hole in the pit of my stomach and the thought of dread everywhere I turned grew bigger by the day. By age 13 my night terrors were getting worse, I’d often wake up screaming, shaking, covered in sweat in a panic afraid to go back to sleep. Not long after the anger outburst’s started and I was labeled a ‘troubled child’ an ‘ungrateful child’ a ‘moody teenager’. I started self-harming, cutting myself on my wrists, ankles, hips, anywhere I could hide the marks. This was my escape from my head, a moment to think and feel something else, to stop the voice in my head reminding me of how pathetic I was, of how everyone must hate me, flashing image’s like a video on repeat of thing’s I didn’t want to remember.
At 16 I was told I had depression and given antidepressants and sent on my way to get on with it. Councilors gave up on me, said I wasn’t in enough of a state to qualify for help. That’s right, you have to QUALIFY to need help. I guess telling them I didn’t want to be alive anymore and cutting myself daily wasn’t enough.
Fast forward years of screaming, frustration, tears, scars on top of scars, hating myself feeling like I didn’t deserve to be here, or feeling lost inside my own head, I started to feel lost in the world. Nobody could help me I just had to try and get on with it. Until last year.
I finally met a Dr who wanted to help me, a psychiatrist that that had the time to actually listen to me. Within minute’s she diagnosed me with PTSD and EDD’s (You can read my post’s on EDD’s here) from the trauma’s Id been through in my childhood in the hospital, but that’s a story for another blog post!!
It’s been 11 months since my diagnosis, I’m on the right medication, I’ve completed a trauma therapy course and learned new tools to help me on my bad days. I’m not self-harming anymore and I’m starting to feel like I do deserve to be happy. I still have a lot of bad days as I’m still coming to terms with everything, but just knowing I’m not just ‘depressed’ or ‘mental’ as I’ve been called in the past has lifted a great weight off my shoulders!!
Every single day is a battle, you don’t know if you’re going to wake up and feel ok or if that voice in your head is going to be full of energy reminding you of all the bad stuff. Having PTSD can be a very lonely place that nobody can change except yourself with the help of a good DR and the right medication, oh, and years of therapy!!
Did you know that 70% of adults experience at least one traumatic event in their lifetime? 20% of people who experience a traumatic event will develop PTSD. About 8 million people have PTSD in a given year. 1 in 13 people will develop PTSD at some point in their life. Most of these people will be misdiagnosed with depression or anxiety. People with PTSD have a higher rate of committing suicide, we need to raise more awareness to get more help for people suffering. If I hadn’t got the right help when I did I fear where my life would have led to further down the road as I really was at my breaking point. Don’t mistake this for being unhappy as I have the most amazing parents, husband, and children I could ask for, but when you battle with your own mental demons it can be a lonely place!!
I hope this has given you a good insight to what PTSD actually is. It’s not just about war or violence. For me, it was a life-saving treatment that in the mind of a child was ALOT different from what was happening. As I said above, if this is something you would like to read let me know. Sometime’s seeing thing’s from a different perspective can really help shed some light.
Much Love – Mrs Slee-Jones xx
For anyone suffering or feeling lonely, I am always willing to listen and support you, that’s why I started this blog, to help other’s not feel alone. You can reach me on my Contact Page, I read every single comment and email so feel free to get in touch!!
You May Also Be Interested In Reading –
Managing Pain Without Meds
The Physical Side Of Mental Health
I’m Not Ignorant I Have Anxiety
Helping A Child With Anxiety/Depression
What Is E.D.D