What is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a mental health disorder that begins after a traumatic event. That event may involve a real or perceived threat of injury or death.
This can include
* A Natural Disaster like an earthquake or tornado
* Military Combat
* Physical or Sexual assault or abuse
* An Accident
People with PTSD feel an heightened sense of danger. Their natural fight or flight response is altered, causing them to feel stressed or fearful, even when they are safe.
PTSD can happen to anyone at any age. It occurs as a response to chemical and neuronal changes in the brain after exposure to threatening events. Having PTSD does not mean you are flawed or weak.
Symptoms of PTSD fall into four groups. 1. Intrusion, Avoidance, Arousal and Reactivity, Cognition and Mood
If you are diagnosed with PTSD, your healthcare provider may prescribed therapy, medication, or a combination of the two treatments.
Being a Licensed Minister and Christian Counseling I prefer therapy to medication. (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) or "Talk Therapy" encourages you to process the traumatic event and change the negative thinking patterns linked to it.
There are also online therapy options to find the right fit for you please click on the Counseling Link and set up an appointment. We also have referrals if we are not able to assist you on the counseling level you desire.
Review these 8 Biblical Steps to Recover From Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
1. Acknowledge the reality of your trauma. Admit to yourself, to God and to at least one other person that you are hurting and in need of healing. Identify the symptoms you are experiencing, their frequency and their impact on your life.
"Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge" (Psalm 62:8).
2. Recognize the source of your trauma. Explore and discover the source of your pain, then share what you experienced with a trusted, mature friend. Explore subsequent experiences that have been spin-offs or repercussions from your original trauma.
"Wisdom is a shelter … Wisdom preserves those who have it" (Ecclesiastes 7:12).
3. Seek counseling for severe symptoms. Process flashbacks, dreams, nightmares and other troubling experiences with a trained professional. Inform a medical doctor if depression becomes severe or chronic.
"The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty" (Proverbs 22:3).
4. Realize present situations can trigger buried memories and more emotional pain. Sights, sounds, smells, touch, etc. can all prompt emotional and physical reminders of past pain. Be increasingly cognizant of your personal "triggers." "Those who suffer he delivers in their suffering; he speaks to them in their affliction" (Job 36:15).
5. Commit to journaling as you travel on the road to recovery. Recording thoughts, feelings, insights and breakthroughs are invaluable markers for monitoring the healing process. Reading your journal provides encouragement and becomes "your story" on paper, a testimony perhaps you can share one day with someone who is hurting.
"Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness" (Isaiah 30:8).
6. Examine self-injurious thinking or behavioral patterns. Honestly evaluate how negative thoughts are resulting in negative behavior, and deliberately replace them with loving, encouraging thoughts based on God's heart for you. Pinpoint ways you could be sabotaging yourself professionally or personally and explore the reasons why with a person who understands PTSD.
"We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all" (Isaiah 53:6).
7. Investigate emotional and psychological walls you have erected and self-protective tools you have employed. Enlist close family and friends to help you consider the illegitimate ways you have tried to meet your God-given needs for love, significance and security. Explore all defense mechanisms designed to keep relationships superficial or separate from your past traumas (isolation, anger, critical spirit, etc.).
"Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account" (Hebrews 4:13).
8. Find freedom from the bondage of past pain and begin anew. Dealing with painful experiences is painful, but it is critical to healing and to the hope of a promising future. Pain held captive in silence is pain never freed. Remember that pain expressed is pain released.
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free" (John 8:32).
My heart goes out to Omar Gonzalez and other men and women like him. Soldiers are known for enduring suffering and hardship. Paul even encouraged Christians to "endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus" (2 Timothy 2:3 NLT). But soldiers never need to suffer alone. If you are suffering from wounds hidden deep in your soul, reach out to someone who can help. For all of us who enjoy the benefits of freedom, let us commit to serve those who have selflessly served our country.
If you or a family member is seeking advice or direction pretending to Mental Health, please set up a Counseling Consultation with us. We will be more than happy to assist.
Our counseling rates are reasonable. Please read the Disclaimer prior to setting up your appointment.