Signs of PTSD

August 2, 2011

Anyone living with someone who may have PTSD will recognize some of the symptoms much before the actual sufferer does.  Water flows downstream or, in other words, the PTSD spouse gets the abuse from above and has to make sense of it.  This may continue down to the children, as well, so be careful not to hold your own suffering inside.

Someone with PTSD feels normal for a while and is startled by his/her own reactions since they are in their own skin. It is all they know.  This will change as time goes on but the quicker help can be gotten the better the chances of the effects being mitigated.  I will say from personal experience that one needs to work on this for a long time, if not forever, so be prepared for a long battle, but it does get easier.

PTSD anger and irritability head the list.  The hypersensitivity to ones surroundings leads to possible violent outbursts.  Striking out can be done verbally, emotionally and in some cases physically. 

Guilt, shame or self-blame follows closely after the abuse to start the victim in this downward spiral.  Knowing that this is not one’s normal behavior adds an additional burden to the person with PTSD.  When one can’t trust him or herself with their own spouse or children, it can be very depressing.  One solution is to avoid contact for fear of hurting ones own family members.  This then leads to being alienated and alone. 

Depression follows and, in some cases, mistrust of the mate or projection of their imagined or real betrayal surfaces since the spouse is trying to avoid these PTSD behaviors too.  Some PTSD victims report physical aches and pains and in extreme cases suicidal thoughts or even actions.  All these symptoms can be heightened by the use of alcohol or drugs, in an attempt to relieve the sufferings.

There is nothing worse than seeing no relief.  When each day seems to melt into the last and hope for recovery or even an incremental improvement seems impossible.  Talk therapy like this journaling can help.  It doesn’t matter what you say or how often you say it, you need to start to try and sort out what you are feeling. I am the poster child for the success of this journaling. I have been diagnosed by the VA as 100% disabled with PTSD. I function now though and I feel I can mange my illness. You can get here too.

We are open 24 hours a day and we want to hear from you.  Spouses children, families and friends are all welcome to participate.