When people think about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ('PTSD') they are probably picturing a war veteran or someone who has suffered something horrific and is a quivering wreck; this is a misconception.
PTSD is defined by the NHS website as an anxiety disorder caused by "very stressful, frightening or distressing events". The website goes on to say that the types of life events that can cause PTSD are serious road accidents, violent personal assaults, such as sexual assault, mugging or robbery, prolonged sexual abuse, violence or severe neglect, witnessing violent deaths, military combat, being held hostage, terrorist attacks and natural disasters, such as severe floods, earthquakes or tsunamis.
While all of that is true, there are a vast number of other events that people will experience throughout their lives that can cause them to suffer trauma, which subsequently affects how they view the world. Harsh words being spoken by a parent for example, or peers at school being unkind, feelings of shame or embarrassment - all of these can negatively affect a person and that trauma can have a lasting effect on them, and when triggered can cause them to react in fear, although it may be expressed in varying ways.
Someone with PTSD may experience feelings of isolation, depression, anger, irritability, guilt and may even relive the event over and over again in their mind. Insomnia is also a common effect, as is finding it difficult to concentrate.
Not only are there adverse psychological effects but physiologically, PTSD ravages the adrenal system, leading to fatigue.
In this article, I am not going to address the ways to treat the physical body but I am going to offer you a means to healing your beautiful, complex mind, which in turn will help to heal your body indirectly. In a separate article I will provide information on supplements that you can take to help to directly heal your body.
Think of your mind as a wonderfully powerful computer; it processes everything you experience and stores it away. Memories are recalled and acted upon, to form habits - the more we remember a particular behaviour the more we a are likely to repeat it. Similarly, the more bad experiences we have had (trauma), the more negative our world view becomes.
You can re-wire your brain in about 3 to 4 months.
All you need to do, is to create more positive reference points - more good memories to draw upon and form your revised world view and banish PTSD.
Start a journal and make a point of writing down all you are grateful for each day. Do as many pleasurable activities as you can each day and write about them afterwards, such as going for a walk and describing what you saw, what you heard, how you felt. Drawing, singing, dancing, listening to music - these are all simple but powerful activities to replace the memories of trauma and bring you out of PTSD. It is like weeding out all of the rubbish and replacing it with flowers.
So go ahead, tend that garden that is your mind and see what beautiful flowers you can grow there.