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PTSD is best described by its name "post traumatic stress disorder." It is a disorder that happens after a person experiences or witnesses a very traumatic and terrifying incident. Not everyone develops ptsd after a trauma but between 10 and 30% will. Combat, rape, the 9/11 attack, natural catastrophies, severe auto accidents, any kind of very traumatic incident can bring on ptsd.
PTSD is not a sign of weakness of character, but a reaction that is physical, emotional and mental that continues long after the danger is past.
How is it diagnosed and what are the symptoms?
In order for a diagnosis of PTSD to occur the sufferer must experience these three things:
In addition to the above the sufferer might experience:
How does it effect life?
People in pain find that all of life is effected. PTSD sufferers will tell you that their lives are indeed painful. Not only did the trauma occur they find that it continues to damage their lives. Marriage and parenting, work and friends are all affected. The ptsd victim is different and those around him/her are unable to understand why they seem stuck in this trauma and cannot break free from it.
Unfortunately, some give up hope. They may turn to drugs and alcohol to numb the pain. They may give in to fits of rage or violence. Some even commit suicide. The memories seem to overwhelming and the pain constant.
Yes, there absolutely is hope. We have a God of restoration, healing, and freedom. As a counselor I have seen many people completely healed and able to find freedom from trauma. Our God is good AND He is able.
If you have Christ in your life then you can be set free. You can regain your life.
If you are a Christ-
Healed in a weekend?
For 20 years after the kidnap and rape I was not okay. I was terrified of the dark. I always felt as if someone was coming up behind me. I had nightmares and flashbacks. I would see someone who looked like my attacker and feel rising panic.
I felt different, damaged, trapped by the incident into a life defined by it. I never thought I would be free. How do you explain the irrational fear that comes up in a safe situation? You can't talk yourself out of it and nothing seems to help. This was my life and I felt crazy and hopeless
Today, I am healed, free and rarely even think of the event. The Lord has completely set me free. I sleep soundly in a dark room, am no longer hypervigilant or have flashbacks.
Only Christ heals so deeply and gives such peace. No one has to live with ptsd when Christ promises healing.
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