Post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the term for a severe and ongoing emotional reaction to an extreme psychological trauma. The latter may involve someone's actual death or a threat to the patient's or someone else's life, serious physical injury, or threat to physical and/or psychological integrity, to a degree that usual psychological defenses are incapable of coping.
It is important to make a distinction between PTSD and Traumatic stress, which is a similar condition, but of less intensity and duration.
i am posting on trauma today to speak to an acquaintance i have made in blog-world and i hope this is anything but sad. he experienced a pretty traumatic experience a couple of months back and i am only offering this perspective in reference to some things i have noticed, which he may very well be aware of anyway. it is by no means a judgement or a bitch. it is only offered with respect, because i experienced my own share of horrifying traumas and never realized that my reactions and behaviors afterwards (for up to years btw) were connected and resultant. sometimes people think the world is against them and become combative in response, and sometimes people assume they are to blame for everything. it is not exactly the same for everyone, but it does have an effect. i think that understanding what it is firstly, and then how it works are very crucial pieces to working through trauma and ptsd. of course there is always the saying: if it don't fit, don't force it.
as for me, in case you haven't already considered it, enduring these situations and experiences can and oftentimes does lead to substance use and addiction. the memories and reliving of traumas can easily lead one down the path of self-medication. and oftentimes a person gets stuck in that mode. drug and alcohol abuse and addiction have a closely knit relationship to trauma. and a common belief (and my own personal take) is that hiv creates trauma and that many of its carriers endure these very issues. this is true from my personal experience, although hiv was not the original trauma, it was an addendum trauma, which is also very common. a trauma survivor will engage in behaviors that perpetuate additional traumas.
what i have uncovered, is this syndrome, this disorder, went unchecked in my life for years and has left a crevasse as deep as the grand canyon in its wake. i always felt that i needed to be tough and that i had to handle all the negative self perceptions i took on as a result of terror. many of these i actually still hold on to at my core. it also became almost impossible for anyone to get beyond the emotional fortress i built to protect myself. i would re-enact bits and pieces throughout the years and destroy any good things i had created in my life. my friends and family can certainly attest to this fact.
but i am sure of at least one thing in my particular case. once i understood the ramifications of what has transpired in my past, and that my feelings were more reactionary than independent, it became more possible to move towards forgiving myself and my abuser. i began to let go of the shackles that those incidents had placed on me. and this has moved me much closer to being present and being able to participate in life today. i stress the importance of a trained and licensed professional. this can and did make all the difference in the world and paved the way for a 12 step program or any other process to actually work in my life.
one thing i personally believe to be true for many gay men:
we are queer! we have lived with and through fear!(remember the 80's?) we are walking wounded! we are survivors! we are healers! we are shamans!
i love my tribe!
this is an excerpt from an article from athealth.com
and then a clip of the corrs:
here is a link to find out a bit more about trauma and there are several more good ones on google as well. click here