A Serious, Personal Topic (PTSD Triggers)

Alright, friends, this post is going to talk about serious topics, specifically about PTSD. I won’t be going into details about anything, but I know just talking about PTSD can hurt some, so I am letting you know now that I will be talking about PTSD and triggers. If you don’t want to read on, please don’t. I’ll see you on Wednesday. ❤

So, I have PTSD.

For those who do not know anything about PTSD, it stands for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. This is a mental disorder that can develop after a traumatic event. Now, not all traumatic events cause PTSD. In fact, most people who experience trauma don’t develop PTSD (source). It’s most known to develop in veterans after experiencing warfare, but can also develop in civilians who experience near-death, assault and/or abuse, and traffic collisions.

And those with PTSD, like me, can have triggers that sets it off.

Everyone with PTSD triggers are different and could possibly have multiple. As I’m going off of my own experience, I will say I do have multiple but I’ll only discuss two of them since they came up in the last week.

My first trigger is being on time. I have to be on time, preferably early. I can’t be late. I stress this, I cannot be late. The moment I realize I’m going to be late, I feel like I’m in danger, I will cry, and it’s not pretty. I’m told not to worry, it’s okay to be late, nothing bad will happen if I’m late. But that’s not how this trigger works. My brain believed something bad will happen if I’m late. Usually, these triggers will result in a crying session followed by a numb breakdown that can last days. Recently, Vladimir and I were late for a Vampire the Masquerade session, and I spent the whole time on the way there blasting music and crying, pretending I was fine during the session, crying on the way home, and having a breakdown for the next 30 hours. There was a genuine concern for my safety and I was hearing some not so nice things in my head.

My second trigger is being around electric/motorized garden tools. Lawn mowers, weed whackers, tillers, trimmers, etc. I’m terrified to be around them, I don’t like hearing them, and I will NOT touch them. I don’t mind regular tools like shovels, rakes, whatever, but the minute they have a motor or an electric cord, I’m not involved. It’s another sense of danger but also gives me vivid flashbacks if I’m around them for too long. Recently, I’ve been becoming more assertive about my involvement with these tools, and if my house mates ask for my help, I will tell them that I will not touch those tools. Vladimir was trying to get the weed whacker to work and asked me to look at it, mainly because the house owner asked him to. He brought me out, showed me he tried everything, assured I wouldn’t have to touch it, and let me go back into the house as soon as he was done. Thanks, man. I will say, I’m able to bring myself down easier with this one, but it’s still considered a trigger since it brings some awful mental and physical symptoms of being near them.

I won’t go into other triggers, but I think my point was made anyway.

If you know anyone with PTSD triggers, please respect them. When they are not respected, the people can relive horrific events and can even become a danger to themselves (since some dangers with PTSD can include self-destructive thoughts {source}). So, please respect them. Help if you can, and get them help when necessary.

And for those who suffer from PTSD, you are not alone. There are several resources to help you out. Don’t be afraid to reach out.

Hugs

Alexandra

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