Tag Archives: Post traumatic stress disorder

Experiencing Mild PTSD

Compassionate Love: Displaying Compassion for Those Who Struggle with Mental Illness or Abuse  (c)2019 Nancy Virden, Always The Fight Ministries

Yesterday I had an impassioned conversation with a bull-headed young man. For hours last week and for hours yesterday, I listened patiently to him rant because he is suffering  a terrible, tragic, and unjust loss. He is fragile.

As his friend I care about him deeply.

Yesterday afternoon he raised his voice and started to misjudge my motives. It didn’t matter what I said or even if I remained quiet. He grew louder and more disrespectful and rude. 

Accusations were simply untrue. I called him out on his manner of speaking to me and he suggested I should be quiet and listen.  He insinuated repeatedly he knew what was in my heart better than I do.

Suddenly, I heard myself yelling back, challenging his point of view.  He laughed at me. Standing, shaking, and beginning to cry, I threw him out of my house.  

After he left, my son came from another room and said he had overheard my friend’s loud voice. He was  tuning it out until he heard something unfamiliar.  “What? Is that mom yelling?”

There are triggers to mild PTSD.  I have much respect for people who live with far more complicated Post Traumatic Stress Disorder challenges. Nonetheless, mild PTSD is real.   

A person once said to me, “I would be angry too in [such] a situation.”  My PTSD is not reasonable anger. It is unadulterated fear that directly results from childhood and marital traumas.  I may have good reason for anger, but it is reactionary fear driving the show. 

I’m left tonight with a headache and unresolved agitation.  Fear disguises as anger which is why I can truly say I forgive my young friend and love him, yet do not want him around for a few days.  I have to recover. I’m shaken. My mind has driven to past threats. I’m jumpy at noises and trying to hide in my office in my own home. 

From his texts, it seems he thinks I was merely offended. I’d like to tell him the truth. There is little security that he will listen right now, so there is no sense of safety in trying. 

His PTSD and mine have collided into an unreasonable, tangled mess. I hope he is able to understand that I love him like a son, and cannot see him right now. 

Today’s Helpful Word  

Isaiah 41:10

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

**** COMMENTS ALWAYS WELCOME

NOTE:  I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental and behavioral health challenges.  In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. (for international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours.

 

 

 

So You Have a Diagnosis of Mental Disorder: What Does That Mean?

Compassionate Love Blog: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness    (c)2016  Nancy Virden, Always the Fight Ministry

photo-24714732-stressed-businessmanIt is said that students of psychology come away from classes believing they have the worst kind of mental illness – a condition I call IATMU or “I am totally messed up!” That is because each of us have traits of all kinds of personality and mental disorders.

As humans, we have a broad range of common needs including love, acceptance, validation and a sense of value. How we strive to get those needs met is also riddled with similarities. For example, we tend to connect with people who think like we do.  Might it be because when our ideas go unchallenged we feel more validated, accepted, etcetera? This appears normal.

Some personality, relational, behavioral, and thought process complexities stray from what mentally healthy people experience and cannot be so simply dismissed. These are often termed “disorders”, extreme and dysfunctional ways of coping with life.

Disorders tend to earn more specific labels for the sole purpose of identifying commonalities and thus guiding mental health professionals in assessment and treatment.  A diagnosis of eating disorder for instance, comes from observing accumulated symptoms including, but not limited to, abnormal behavior around food.

One young college student I met believed he had to be perfect. He had become obsessive, carried two majors and a minor, excelling in each. He had also attempted suicide a few times. His thinking and behavior negatively affected significant aspects of his life.  A diagnosis of Bipolar Disorder helped doctors understand how to help him, and he also learned how to help himself. 

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is most commonly aligned with veterans returning from war.  It has also been attributed to other traumas. Complex Post Traumatic Syndrome (C-PTSD) better explains a grouping of symptoms unique to children and adults who endure prolonged, repeated abuse. Yet  C-PTSD is not officially listed in the diagnostic manual of mental disorders. This example shows that labels cannot tell a complete story. 

Labels serve only as professional guidelines, not as identifying markers of a person’s value, potential, purpose, intelligence, or ability to overcome. No one is a diagnosis.

You are not a walking list of symptoms. You’ve been diagnosed with a mental disorder? Good. Now you know what may be wrong and can face the issues square in the eye. 

********

COMMENTS ARE ALWAYS WELCOME (see tab below)

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help is yours.

*I always recommend professional help in dealing with psychological difficulties of any kind.

Memorial Day and Living Sacrifices

Compassionate Love: Displaying compassion for those who struggle with mental illness   (c)2014 Nancy Virden  

On Memorial Day we rightfully remember those who died protecting our freedoms.

While most Americans no doubt are grateful for our veterans’ courage, sacrifice, and loyalty, we tend to not pay much attention to what surviving veterans continue to struggle against. Society in general does not accept or appreciate the mental price paid by so many. 

Some veterans  come home with what used to be called combat fatigue. Now it is known as Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD.  If society does not allow discussions about PTSD in polite company, veterans and others are shut-down from talking about their great challenge. 

Recently a man sued a public business for taking offense at his service dog. He has PTSD, and no one there respected that fact. “Just get over it,” I can imagine them saying. “Leave your dog outside.”

But his dog is what keeps him able to go out independently into public businesses in the first place.  He is better for having a trained working dog who senses his master’s rising anxiety and knows how to ground him and bring him back. If only we as citizens were as smart as that dog!

If we are truly grateful, we will learn. The internet makes it easy for us to read up on PTSD on reputable sites. New education will grow our insight. We can talk knowledgeably about PTSD, and expand society’s acceptance.

This Memorial Day and beyond, let’s grow in understanding the ongoing sacrifice many of our veterans pay.

********

NOTE: I am not a doctor or mental health professional. I speak only from personal experiences with and observations of mental illness. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental health care.

If you are struggling emotionally today or feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Hope and help can be yours.