PTSD awareness

June was PTSD awareness month and I didn’t even know.  I do know that a lot of people around me have it. I didn’t really know much another than the basics. Basics like, not everyone gets it, despite that it’s a normal response to trauma, it’s an anxiety disorder, and in the media it’s often ignored or people with it are made into murderers.

Here’s some general.

Post Traumatic Stress disorder is a treatable anxiety disorder cause by trauma.Not everyone gets it but those that do are not crazy. Women are more likely to get is than men. This is due to the increased likelihood of getting preyed on. Especially when it comes to sexual assault(10% of women report it as opposed to 4% of men)  Women in many cultures are also treated differently when attacked, killed or forced to marry their attacker.

Getting PTSD depends on a lot of factors. Listed below are some of them.

  • How intense the attack felt
  • How close you were to the incident
  • how in control you felt in the event
  • If you were able to get physical and emotional help after
  • previous history of mental illness

The basic symptoms are

  • reliving the event
  • avoiding reminders of the event
  • negative changes in beliefs and feelings(shame, guilt, ect)
  • always being on guard(hyper-arousal)

These symptoms can trigger other illnesses like depression, addiction, as well as cause relationship and employment issues. Possibly even suicide.

As I wrote, PTSD is treatable.

So far the most effective treatment appears to be CBT aka Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.  The idea of the therapy is to teach you how to call bullshit on the thoughts PTSD feeds off of and rearrange them into something positive. Types of CBT include CPT or Cognitive Processing therapy, which teaches you to understand the changes in your thoughts. PE or Prolonged Exposure Therapy has you go to safe places  that are triggers and talk about triggering subjects until they don’t bother you as much.  Another type of therapy is Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing Therapy. The idea is to teach how to focus on sounds or hand movements while talking about trauma.

Depending on severity, medications are also used. The idea here is to reduce the symptoms enough to learn how to manage the illness. Warning-Benzodiazepines(Benzos) and Atypical Anti-psychotics don’t treat the actual PTSD , just some of the other issues caused by it.

Other things that can help reduce symptoms are Active coping skills. Active coping skills are skills that can be used to prevent or stop symptoms in everyday life. In active coping as in life, Knowledge is power. Learning things about PTSD, positive coping skills, how to relax, healthy ways to distract yourself, and calling for backup when needed, can improve quality of live and make you a stronger person.

Before I end this post here are a couple reminders.

Recovery is a PROCESS, a lifestyle if you will.

Having memories is natural, they will, with use of healthy coping skills, will lessen

Panic attacks are not dangerous and are made worse than by the thoughts that come with them. They will pass.

Flashbacks are normal. try to keep your eyes open, move around, talk yourself down, talk to someone you trust and TELL YOUR DOCTOR or COUNSELOR.

When you have a nightmare try to remind yourself your having a dream, regroup, do something pleasant and calming, and tell your doctor or counselor.

If you have trouble sleeping try to keep a sleep schedule, only use your bed for sleeping and sex, don’t exercise drink caffeine or alcohol or use tobacco before bed. Don’t lay in bed thinking, get up and do something relaxing.

If Anger and irritability  is an issue, try to get out of the situation, do something relaxing, exercise daily, talk to family members and more importantly, your counselor about it. Let them know how you feel and what your doing about it. Learn how to manage it.

Staying angry increases stress

Concentration can can be an issue.  If you can try to slow down, write things down, break tasks up, talk to someone.

After trauma it is normal to have trouble expressing emotions.  Make yourself do things you enjoyed before the event.Do things to show loved ones you still care.

Resources:

(Most are American but there are resources in all countries. Please, if you have PTSD or know someone who does, get support.)

VetransCrisisLine 1-800-273-8255

InspiringOurHeroes

Joyful Heart Foundation

Sidran.org

NAMI

RAINN

Source:

the VA

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Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness month and I’m going to do some profiles. I’ll start with Alexander the Great. Obviously, his diagnosis can’t be proven, especially since there are no neutral sources as far as I know, on him.

alexander_the_great___pan_by_panaiotis-d817f97

Copy written to Il taccuino di PaN

Alexander was born in what is now Macedon, Greece, to King Phillip the II and one of his wives, Olympias. From birth, he may have been told that he was a demigod by his mother.He was highly intelligent and had the best tutors, He was just as athletic.  His Nurse and servents raised him and at 13 he was sent to boarding school. He hardly saw his dad, who was off fighting, or his mother.

When he was 16 Alexanders father left him in charge of Macedon. The boy then proceeded to conquer the Maedi, a Thracian tribe from somewhere in SW Europe. Here he founded his first city.A short time after Phillip was assassinated, a former lover his was held responsible and killed.

At 20 Alexander became the head om his father’s empire. After  which he put down the Greek rebellions and finished off the Balkans.That’s when he decided to take out the Persian empire, thus earning himself an arch nemesis.

Darius III.

Ironically many people Alexander’s army were Greek mercenaries Many of whom were Spartans.

Not that it worked.

Through cunning and the trust his men had in him, ALaxander took city after city of the Persians. Despite almost dying a couple times due to injuries from battle. Each place he won he founded a city, usually named after him and at least one named after his favorite horse, Bucephalus.

After a while, the Persians got tired of Darius and killed him themselves. This disappointed Alexander who ordered Darius be buried at the Persian capital with full honors. Alexander then hunted down and killed Darius’ usurper,Bessus.

The Persian empire was now his.

He didn’t stop  there though.

After Persia, Alexander decided to keep going, much to the exhaustion of his men. This is the time the signs of his possible mental illness became most noticeable.

Alexander’s second found  out the pointy way.  His name was Parmerio, and Alexander thought his kid was plotting to kill him.  Instead of just offing those believed to be involved, Alexander had Parmerio killed too.  He didn’t do it himself though, he made a man named Polydamus do it. By taking the man’s sons hostage.

Then their was Alexander’s friend, Cleitus.  Cleitus was peeved that Alexander was adopting the ways of the Persian.  So he told his king off. Later that, he and Alexander got drunk and killed his friend.  This triggered Alexander to go into a deep depression for three days.

After this Alexander kept making more bad decisions, like running his troops into the ground until they force him to stop his advance into Asia.  Attacking place, leading to unnecisary loss of men.

Before these murders he showed signs like achoholism, unstable temperment, reckless behavior in battle, to the point of ignoring serious wounds in battle, impulsivity, Delusions, more than usual paranoia, Detachment.depression.

 

Sources:

Livescience

Wikipedia