Self Improvement Non-Fiction posted July 15, 2008 Chapters: -Prologue- 1... 

This work has reached the exceptional level
About PTSD and how it affects a person.

A chapter in the book PTSD By Proxy

Prologue - What is PTSD?

by earthlybeing

If you or someone you love has ever been through combat duty or another traumatic event in their life, you may have experienced some of the effects or symptoms of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Have you ever wondered what the aftermath of such a life changing experience is for the victim or family and friends? I will take you there in this book. It is the story of my experience with this disease and the effect it has on my family. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is defined as - an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat. The person who develops PTSD may have been the one who was harmed, the harm may have happened to a loved one, or the person may have witnessed a harmful event that happened to loved ones or strangers.

PTSD was first brought to public attention in relation to war veterans, but it can result from a variety of traumatic incidents, such as mugging, rape, torture, being kidnapped or held captive, child abuse, car accidents, train wrecks, plane crashes, bombings, or natural disasters such as floods or earthquakes.

People with PTSD may startle easily, become emotionally numb (especially in relation to people with whom they used to be close), lose interest in things they used to enjoy, have trouble feeling affectionate, be irritable, or become more aggressive or become violent. They avoid situations that remind them of the original incident, and anniversaries of the incident are often very difficult. PTSD symptoms seem to be worse if the event that triggered them was deliberately initiated by another person, as in a mugging or a kidnapping. Most people with PTSD repeatedly relive the trauma in their thoughts during the day and in nightmares when they sleep. These are called flashbacks. Flashbacks may consist of images, sounds, smells, or feelings, and are often triggered by ordinary occurrences, such as a door slamming or a car backfiring on the street. A person having a flashback may lose touch with reality and believe that the traumatic incident is happening all over again.

Not every traumatized person develops full-blown or even minor PTSD. Symptoms usually begin within three months of the incident but occasionally emerge years afterward. They must last more than a month to be considered PTSD. The course of the illness varies. Some people recover within six months, while others have symptoms that last much longer. In some people, the condition becomes chronic.

PTSD affects about 7.7 million American adults, but it can occur at any age, including childhood. Women are more likely to develop PTSD than men, and there is some evidence that susceptibility to the disorder may run in families. PTSD is often accompanied by depression, substance abuse, or one or more of the other anxiety disorders.

I am writing this book in hopes that it may help someone who is having these issues within their life, It is also possible that a loved one may have PTSD and they may not even realize what the cause of the problem is. There is light at the end of the tunnel. This book will take you through the diagnosis of my husband's PTSD which was due to his combat experiences in Vietnam. The story will go forward through the starting of his treatment to current.

Not all Veterans have this issue, but for the ones that do it is a very disabling disease. It can make life a living hell for everyone involved. We were never told of this disease by anyone, not the Military, the VA, or even other Veterans. Hopefully our experience may help bridge the gap and make it easier for others to realize what is going on and seek assistance.


I hope this prologue helps everyone understand better about PTSD and what this book is about. Thanks for reading. Jeanette
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