Although you’ve probably heard about veterans returning from war being diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), there are other ways of developing this condition. I’m one of those who were diagnosed with PTSD for another reason.
In 2001, I was diagnosed with MS after having given birth to my daughter. At that time, I was living with my now ex-boyfriend. We’d been having problems for quite a while but now that I had a daughter and illness things became considerably worse. Some of the issues were due to financial issues, as he refused to work. However, all of this suddenly compounded.
At this time, things just continually spiraled downwards. He suddenly became verbally and emotionally abusive to the point that I can recall to this day when my daughter started crawling, and he whacked her upside the head because she wouldn’t stop getting into everything. She suffered whiplash from it. In fact, she’s now 13-years-old and suffers from headaches and neck pain still. So, yes, it was very bad.
Eventually, there was a series of circumstances that led me to check myself into the psychiatric ward at my local hospital. That was the point at which I decided I had to get my daughter and myself away from him. It was then that I was diagnosed with PTSD and looking back at my life at that point I also realized that my parents were part of the problem too.
While my parents had always been very strict, causing me to have a high level of stress throughout school, I didn’t realize that it went much further than this. They also have a tendency to be quite controlling. To this day, they still treat me like a child, and I’m close to 40-years-old now. Furthermore, while I have documentation of all my illnesses (MS, PTSD, Diabetes, a failing endocrine system and pancreas problems), they don’t believe that I’m ill. My Dad actually tells me to shut up because I can’t be that bad off. Unfortunately, I can’t break away from them though as I need their help, although they always make it seem as though they’re going the golden mile to help me.
Once I was diagnosed with PTSD, it all started adding up. I noticed that I have a lot of symptoms that I had been covering up. Today, I’ve learned to cope with these symptoms, which include:
– Overall anxiety, as well as social anxiety
– Relationship problems (I have become quite a loner whereas before I never wanted to be alone.)
– Nightmares (I used to be so tense I couldn’t sleep until my doctor put me on medication.)
– I was also hard to live with because I was so moody, getting easily stressed and extremely angry over nothing. (Medication has helped with this as well.)
Now that you know that there is a variety of ways in which to develop PTSD, are you surprised? Do you or someone you know possibly have PTSD without ever having gone to war?
Written by: Maria Hoffman (read more about me here)