Hello, hello, hello lovelies – I hope you are well. Welcome back to my page, or if you’re new here, hi and thank you for coming to have a read ♥
As a lot of you know, I’m extremely passionate about mental health and always like to be as open as possible when talking about it. Anxiety and PTSD are somethings I have dealt with since an extremely young age. However, I like to use my own experiences with what I’ve gone through and still do, to help people experiencing similar situations. If you have me on social media, or regularly read my blogs; you will know since June I’ve had a massive relapse in my mental state. I’ve been off work since the start of June as my doctors wanted to nip things in the bud, but things took a turn for the worse and things got really bad. It has taken me quite some time to figure out what has been going on and why I have been suffering with crippling anxiety, depression and the pure feeling of sadness, utter loss and confusion, again. I’ve figured it has all been down to my PTSD – Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
So, today’s blog is all about PTSD.
What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder? – & the causes:
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder caused by very stressful, distressing and frightening events. Someone with PTSD often relives the event through nightmares, flashbacks and zone-outs or something completely different – dependent on the situation. It can leave you feeling isolated, scared, guilty and so, so much more. Someone with PTSD may also have trouble sleeping, eating, concentrating and just going about their day-to-day life. These symptoms are often so severe and persistent enough to have a significant impact on living life, daily.
Any situation that a person finds traumatic can cause PTSD, there is no right or wrong situation in which PTSD is defined by. PTSD can develop immediately after someone experiences a disturbing event, or it can occur weeks, months or even years later.
PTSD is estimated to affect about 1 in every 3 people who have a traumatic experience, but it’s not clear exactly why some people develop the condition and others do not.
How PTSD started for me:
For as long as I remember, I grew up with a father who was always unwell. I don’t speak about my dad and what I went through and nor do I plan too (yet, anyway) but my PTSD is caused by my dad being so poorly throughout my life. But, regardless to how unwell my dad was and not having the daddy-daughter moments most people have; I still had the most incredible and loving dad. My dad had a heart attack when I was 7 years old, but he had this heart attack whilst driving our car home from our week in Devon and passed out several times whilst driving. I, with my mum and dad were taken in a blue-lighted ambulance to the closest hospital and I was put into a playroom, alone with a nurse whilst nurses and doctors were desperately trying to work on him, everything from here on, is a complete blur – except the part of my dad passing out whilst driving and having a heart attack. I relive it every.single.day.
Few weeks past, my dad is now in Bristol hospital waiting to undergo a massive operation, still really poorly. I had missed weeks of school, back and forth to see him everyday and being told several times that I had to prepare to say goodbye to my daddy aged 7… for my granddad to pass away. “Daddy might have to go somewhere where he’s not in pain, he might need to go see Bobby and look after him up there for us.” (Our dog). “Chloe, granddad has gone to see and look after Bobby for us, he’s not in pain anymore.” – I relive it every.single.day.
There were many other events from when this all started to my dad’s death, 5-1/2yrs ago that has led to my PTSD. I watched the man I loved, become someone I didn’t even recognise anymore, his illness took his life in every way. My dad’s death in itself, was extremely traumatic and his funeral for me was devastating. I watched my dad die and it’s a day that I never go a day without thinking about. We had my dad cremated and still now, I have nightmares of him being alive in the coffin going through the fire. I still picture as clear as day – paramedics trying to help him and all of my family surrounding him in the hospital bed. I remember screaming resuscitation room down as he passed away and being carried out. I remember seeing him in the family room when his body was completely still and breathless. I relive it every.single.day.
Not long after my dad passed away, I got into a relationship with someone who I thought I could trust with my life. The relationship to begin with, was great… it soon turned out to be mentally, physically and emotionally abusive. I was beaten regularly, black and blue most times, emotionally and mentally drained, cheated on but I couldn’t leave because I was far too scared of what may happen and soooooo much more. I relive it every.single.day.
My PTSD is a bit more complex and in fact, I have ‘Complex PTSD’. Complex PTSD is thought to be more severe if:
- the traumatic events happened early in life
- the trauma was caused by a parent or carer
- the person experienced the trauma for a long time
- the person was alone during the trauma
- there’s still contact with the person responsible for the trauma
4/5 of these bullet points relates to me. Symptoms are a little different but the ones I get are: shame and guilt, difficulty controlling my emotions, dissociation, headaches, chest pains, dizziness and stomach aches, cutting myself off, destructive behaviour and suicidal thoughts.
I have been struggling for the past couple of months from my PTSD again, but working out the triggers have been near-impossible and I still don’t know why, suddenly things are hard again. That is a very important thing to remember – there doesn’t always have to be a trigger or a reason why for something happening again; it simply just can. My main cause, I believe was stress and the feeling of overwhelm. Things got too much for me and it took me back to a time when I was smaller, when everything going on then; was too much.
I am very fortunate in, I have a huge support system around me that has enabled me to recognise the signs early on, rather than too late. I want to end this post, by thanking you for reading. If anyone reads this post and can relate to any of the above, please reach out. Lots of people suffer in silence because they don’t even realise they have PTSD, go to your doctors and discuss how you feel, or even someone you feel close enough to, too confide in. Remember that you are loved, important and everything is and will be ok and admitting/asking for help, is NOT a sign of weakness, but a sign of a step in the right direction. No event that may have occurred in your life, is too small to of caused such distress and you’re entitled to feel the way you do and seek help if needed.
If anyone has any questions, or would like to discuss anything you might be going through, please pop me a message. My inboxes are always open!
Take care guys, see you soon!
Love Chloe x