- Mental Health
Understanding the Constructs of PTSD
Diagnosed with PTSD
Honestly, when I first heard it- I cannot bring myself to believe that I am actually diagnosed with PTSD. Back then, the term PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, was simply a technical form of depression. Based on my research on mental health as a student, I understood that PTSD was a situation that individuals who have been through war or specific conditions that challenged their safety.
While my personal understanding of the matter was close to its technical definition, it was not clear to me how true its essence was especially in determining a person's emotional and mental situation as this condition is being endured by a sufferer.
As I was diagnosed with this condition by my psychiatrist, I began to feel the pressure of running away from it and the possible condition that it shall present to me. I was afraid while also being adamant in accepting that I really am going through this situation. I viewed myself weak and I immediately searched for a way out. I tried to help out others, extended my capacity to reach out to those I saw were suffering the way that I did. Little did I know that all I was doing was masking out my own pain and this resolution could only help for a short span of time. I was in denial- and I did not want to accept that I already am the way I am.
Why Sufferers Deny
Denial is often the first stage of realization. I have been through a lot in my life, but surviving was 'sort of' my thing. I thought that this was an easy phase of survival. Nevertheless, being diagnosed with PTSD is somewhat a serious case. With seizure attacks being part of the whole picture, PTSD made my condition even worse. While I was denying the situation, its symptoms were real. Flashbacks, nightmares and long nights [and sometimes even days] of no sleep at all caused me to lose my mental capacities.
Yes, the symptoms were real- yet It was hard for me to accept that all these were happening to me for one reason- it simply cannot happen to me.
I had too many responsibilities on my shoulder. I have to work for a living to support my children's welfare and there is no way I would let this condition take over me. But then again, the reality is, it is already taking over my whole being. PTSD is the condition that compromises my capabilities, at the same time, it is also causing further depression that comes from the fact that I cannot accomplish things that I used to complete successfully in the past.
It seems like there is no place for me to entertain such problem- I needed to get up again. However, the more I denied it, the more it caused more trouble on my part.
As my psychiatrist mentioned to me that I am still in denial of this situation, I remember telling her that I was able to tell the story to those whom I trust and I know it happened-so how could I be in denial?
What she said stuck into my head- knowing that it happened to you is quite different from accepting that it did happen to you. Knowing what happened is just a mere process of retelling yourself what occurred. Accepting it requires that a person understands the fact that it was possible for such situation to happen to him. While the stories are easy to tell- accepting its meaning and the changes it has made on a person is hard to realize fully.
Come to think of it, this was what I was going through. It was hard to understand how such an account in my past could actually affect my present and my future harshly as it already is.
The dark routes of PTSD causes mental pain and stress
Passing through the Stage of Denial
Accordingly, my psychiatrist insisted that I get past through the stage of denial first.
As easy as it may seem, this stage is defined by psychiatrists as the ones at its longest strand. Relatively, denial could only be survived as one tries to accept fully what is happening and adjusts to it accordingly. PTSD is not a simple mental issue, and the sufferer must be able to understand this fact.
The past catching up with the present and how it might even overtake the future is indeed weakening. Sufferers ought to be given proper assistance to get through this. Nevertheless, with all the assistance coming from others, the sufferer himself must be able to find ways in order to come to a point of realization that sometimes, bad things do happen and at some point, they could actually make a mark on one's thoughts- coping with these mental conditions take time. Pressuring one's self on this process would only worsen things.
Take your time, be patient on yourself and try to recover step by step by accepting reality instead of running away from it. Slowly convince yourself that there is still a good life that awaits you- you just have to work on it. Know too that you need help- and that there are those who are willing to help.