Hi everyone! In this video I will be discussing post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a condition in which an individual witnesses or experiences a traumatic event that continues to stay with them long after the incident. We’re talking months or years later, the individual continues to be greatly affected by the event as it continues to play out in their mind. It is interesting that not everyone that experiences severe trauma develops PTSD or related illnesses. Though, I unfortunately have suffered greatly with this.
It can happen at any age. Though severe childhood trauma can cause many other mental health issues as well, including what I will discuss in my next video, dissociative identity disorder. [Dissociative Identity Disorder]
A little background on the trauma I have been through. I don’t remember the trauma from childhood. All I know is that I was severely abused in all types of ways. It was so bad that I have completely blocked it out. So, I have no recollection of what happened. That’s all I can really tell ya. I’ve been told some things about my past that others know, and it really startles me. [My Past]
I am at a crossroads about my decision to know the truth about my past. On one hand, I want to know what happened, in its entirety. Though, I believe if I knew the truth, I would be in denial about what happened, and it may make matters even worse. On the other hand, I don’t wish to know for the same reason, to shield myself from the truth.
Some trauma I have even brought upon myself. I would have such severe regret about my past decisions, and it would make me so depressed. I would keep asking myself, “Why did I do this? It has ruined my life.” But, more importantly, I know I have caused issues in other people’s lives as well due to my reckless decision making in the past. And, that really disturbs me that I was like this in the past.
In middle school and high school I was bullied all the time which contributed greatly to my already existing trauma. All of this, on top of my gender identity issues, and other mental problems made it a hundred times worse. It was so difficult to function back then, so I repressed everything, which made it even worse since I cannot address the issues that are weighing me down. I wish I could be open and discuss all the traumatic events I have been through, but since I have blocked most of them out, it’s difficult.
People have told me, “Just let it go,” which is impossible to do really. I wish I could tell others that have wronged me how badly they hurt me, but it’s hard for me to do because I feel they would continue to hurt me.
I have endured so many traumas in my lifetime that it has really affected situations I encounter now. It can be such a small thing that ends up causing me so much distress. Most of my trauma is from my childhood and teenage years, which I don’t remember. But, there is current trauma as well. I did discuss a recent incident that happened in 2012 on an online dating site if anyone is interested in hearing about that. [Dating Site Catastrophe] That was the most recent major trauma I have encountered, and I hope nothing like that ever happens again because it terrifies me to this day, making me feel threatened.
But anyway, for an abuser, a bully, to be so self-centered that they don’t think of the consequences of their actions and how their abuse will haunt the other person’s life and cause serious issues, is…I don’t have words because psychological trauma is the worst thing ever that just stays with you for what feels like an eternity. It makes me so angry with the abusers and bullies that get pleasure out of torturing other people’s psyche. I just don’t get why it is so fun to mess with other people’s heads and emotions. It just, it really upsets me.
Anyway, I’m going to go over some of the symptoms of PTSD and how they relate to me.
So, the first symptom is reliving the event. This can be having flashbacks, nightmares, and seeing or hearing something that reminds you of the event. I cannot say that I really have any nightmares about specific events, but I do have a lot of flashbacks and things that remind me of certain events. I could be thinking about an unrelated topic and something comes to my attention and makes me think of something very bad that happened in the past. I then begin to obsess over this which is very bad, but I just can’t get it out of my mind. With more recent traumas that are still fresh in my mind, I don’t forget a single detail and am reminded of it almost everywhere I go. And, those feeling and emotions can really begin to haunt me and make me so depressed. It should be addressed, but I end up repressing it even more.
The next symptom is avoiding situations that remind you of the event. Such as avoiding talking about the incident, or avoiding anything related to it. As a basic example, if someone was severely bullied in school, they may avoid going back to the school. Or in severe cases, even avoid going anywhere near the school, and the people that went there. For me, there are definitely incidents that I cannot talk about, but I do believe talking about the incident can help one overcome them, so I am being a hypocrite. Anyway, I also avoid a great deal of places that remind me of certain events. The thought of going back to those locations would bring back very bad memories that would greatly affect me.
And the next symptom is fight-or-flight response. This can be a symptom of almost anything really. Things like irritability, guilt and shame, being easily startled or frightened, always on guard. There can also be paranoia associated with this as well. I am a very paranoid person, though I mostly blame this on the schizophrenia. I startle very easily, I am always on edge, tense, unable to relax, keeping my guard up just in case. People terrify me in my own house when I don’t hear them coming up the stairs, for example. Usually, when I’m out, I will be walking very fast, looking all around me constantly. This is so I can see everything going on around me, so I am prepared in case something were to happen. It’s especially bad when I keep looking behind me since I feel like people can see how anxious I am.
In conclusion, it can be very difficult to overcome traumatic events. Avoiding and repressing them can make matters even worse. But, that is generally the normal response. While I cannot currently be open about all the trauma I have experienced, one day I know I will be able to and overcome them. And, you can too. It will take time, but it is possible to move on. You have to believe in yourself and try as hard as you can to not let past events get you down. Get help, talk about them, and finally move on from them. Look at the positive, instead of the negative. Look at what you learned from the events that shaped you into the person you are today. See how strong of a person you are that you have dealt with those incidents, and have acknowledged them and are taking the steps to overcome them. It takes a very strong and courageous person to do this, and you can do it. You just have to believe in yourself, despite how difficult it can be at times.
So, I hope you enjoyed this video and it was informative. Thanks for watching!