Post Traumatic Stress Disorder otherwise known as PTSD is a psychiatric disorder that can occur after a serious incident or traumatic event.
Rachel age 31 was diagnosed with PTSD just 3 years ago after a series of emotional and frightening events that she has experienced over the years.
Rachel kindly agreed to an interview with me.
An Interview With Rachel:
What is your name and age?
Rachel and I am 31
When were you diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Three years ago
What symptoms did you / do you have? Anxiety, Flashbacks, Nightmares, Depression, Insomnia, Outbursts of anger, Irritability
How was a diagnosis made?
Through Behavioural Therapy (Counseling)
How was this / is this treated? Sometimes it will be treated with meds (anti depressants).
For me I am blessed to be part of support group on line and I have friends and family that are very supportive.
How does this condition affect your daily life?
For some it means that they can’t work. They keep themselves shut up in their house.
It is their way of coping with it.
For me I try and keep myself busy.
I have hobbies that I do.
I love photography and being out in nature.
That seems to help me regain my thoughts.
At night for a long time I had to have a baby monitor so that I could hear my mom snoring.
It helped me when I had a nightmare to ground myself.
Then I got to the point that I was able to ground myself.
So, I turned the monitor off and had a small nightlight.
Now, I don’t have to have that.
I still have rough nights but I am able to remind myself that I am at home. Grounding means that I bring myself back to the present.
Remind myself that what happened is in the past.
That I am safe now.
For over half my life I lived in fear.
I developed PTSD when I was 5 years old. Life got worse for me.
My life was lived in fear and with PTSD.
Apart from medication(s) have you tried any alternative therapies?
I am not currently on meds.
I am trying herbal ways of dealing with things.
I went through two years of therapy.
My therapists gave me coping ideas to help me on the bad days.
What was the cause of your condition? The first cause was my Grandfather passing away.
Then for 13 years I went through physical abuse.
22 years of emotional abuse.
Then in early 2008 I was in a car accident and was also held against my will for two weeks.
In that time I was brutally raped, beaten, and tortured.
I got away from that and I got married later on that year.
That ended in divorce because of abuse and my husband raping me.
In 2009 I went through a rape and ended up pregnant.
In January my best friend walked out of my life and I lost my unborn child.
From the time that I was in middle school until May of 2010 I lived on the streets on and off. That was a great deal of stress and I believe that also contributed to my PTSD.
My biological parents are the ones that caused me all the pain that I am in today.
Do your friends/family understand your condition and support you?
My family that I have now are super supportive and have helped me through everything.
I have amazing friends who have seen me through some of the darkest times in my life.
They all support me no matter what.
What is your prognosis for the future in regards to your condition?
I also have other health problems that keep me from working.
What advice would you give others who have recently been diagnosed with PTSD?
Get in to counseling, they will give you things that will help you.
If you can, get in to groups.
Either ones that are specifically for PTSD or ones that have to do with what you have gone through.
Reach out, even though it is hard do it. You will make friends and have people that will be behind you.
People that understand your feelings because they have been through it.
Pick up a martial art.
It will help you regain some power in your life and help you work out frustrations, help you feel safer because you can protect yourself.
Pick up a hobby preferably one where you can get outside.
I do photography that puts me out in the middle of nature.
What additional information can you share with me?
These are web sites that I have found that have great information about PTSD.