PTSD

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: A recurrent re-experiencing of the trauma in the form of memories of the incident, flashbacks, nightmares or the feeling of reliving the trauma. Avoidance of certain people and places that might remind the person of the actual trauma. Continual physical problems from hypervigilance such as anger, inability to concentrate, sleep problems and irritability.

In addition to the above the sufferer might experience:

  1. nightmares and other sleep disturbances
  2. "flashbacks" about the traumatic event
  3. inability to function normally in social events
  4. inability to function well at work, possibly loss of job/jobs
  5. problems with memory
  6. feelings of estrangement or detachment
  7. disruption in family life
  8. difficulty in parenting and/or marriage

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.

Is there hope?

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.

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.

Finding help

If you are a Christ-follower and in the Phoenix, Arizona area or can come to the area then I believe I can help you with your PTSD. You can reach me through the contact page on the navigation bar. I will contact you and we can talk about how you can be set free and healed in Christ. You do not have to live with this the rest of your life.


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