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Categories: Family

What is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Anyway?


You can find serenity in learning that even if you do have a problem, there is always a solution. When a person experiences a serious, traumatic event, she should be prepared to have many people tell her that she will suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome.  When two of my children and I were struck by a hit-and-run truck driver a few years ago my husband joined the chorus of people telling me to watch out and that I was suffering from PTSD aka post-traumatic stress disorder. I am a technical person, words matter to me, definitions are important to me so I got out my computer and started to research to find out what PTSD meant for my daughters and me.    

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a severe anxiety disorder in which symptoms develop after a direct experience of an extremely traumatic stressor such as a threat of violence, death, or serious injury. In order to meet the definition of PTSD, the person must react with intense fear, helplessness, or horror. Additionally, symptoms may include a persistent re-experiencing of the traumatic event as well as a continuing avoidance of reminders of the stressful event. There may also be a numbing of general responsiveness.

Check out – Love Yourself and Your Family Will Be Happier – You can find serenity in learning to show yourself some love. Click here to read more.

According to WebMD, PTSD is one of only a few mental disorders triggered by an outside event.   When looking at this definition it is hard to see where a general feeling of nervousness and upset about the incident ends and PTSD begins. If like me, you experience a traumatic incident, do what I am doing:

  • write down what you are thinking, feeling and experiencing
  • be honest about your feelings and experiences
  • find someone close  to talk to about how you feel
  • be brave when trying to live life, but not reckless
  • if you think you need professional help, go get it

Post-traumatic stress disorder is a real disorder. It is a real problem and should be treated as such. One should never be ashamed of a mental disorder, just as one would not be ashamed to have cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. If you think you have PTSD, put on your big girl panties and get some help. You would not ignore any other disease or disorder, so don’t ignore this one. Post-traumatic shock disorder is the result of something big, serious, and horrible happening. In my case, my children and I were struck by a hit-and-run driver. One of my daughters was hit so hard she was thrown down the street and knocked out of her shoes. When I got up off the street after being struck, there were a few seconds when I could not find my children. Those events alone are sufficient to cause PTSD.    

 Look at your life, look at the traumatic events you experienced. Keep in mind that trauma varies from person to person. You may be able to experience what happened to my daughters and me and not be phased at all. I may be able to experience your trauma and not have any negative reaction. PTSD is an individual event. So when trauma occurs, do not compare your reaction to those of others in a similar situation. Look at your experience. There are several things to look at and if you are experiencing them, please seek medical help:

  • flashbacks
  • emotional detachment
  • jumpiness

Keep in mind, it is normal to experience these symptoms for a while after a traumatic event. However, if these symptoms are unbearable, interfere with everyday life, or last more than one month, it is time to seek medical attention. 

In conclusion, even if you discover that you have a problem, be encouraged and know there is a solution. So, the question for you this serene day is what problem you are trying to deny?

Janeane Davis

View Comments

  • Thanks for linking up for Flashback Friday!!!

  • I've experienced PTSD. It is really hard to manage at times. Love you, Janeane.

  • I'm glad you are addressing this head on! It's important for people to write things down and talk to a therapist (I have gone and discovered what I thought I was over, I still had pent up negative feelings about!) It's important to release negative energy, fears and anxiety early on. I will continue to pray for you & your family!

    • Thank you for praying for us. I am convinced that prayer is responsible for some miraculous recoveries and outcomes.

  • It's going to take time for ALL of the healing to happen. I'm grateful that you understand that, and know that your knowledge of PTSD will help you to deal with it a little better. You and your girls (your whole family, actually), went through a terrifying experience, and can not be expected to just "bounce back" and be normal right away. I will continue to pray for y'all.

    • Thank you for praying for us. I am convinced that is what has helped us recover physically as remarkably as we have. The rest will come in time.

  • First and foremost, we give thanks to God that you and your children are OK! Just sharing your story is a major step in the healing process. It sounds like you are on your way. There, is no rush....just take your time. As, he has already shown you, God has got your back! No-one or nothing can touch what he has in store for you. Now, enjoy your babies!

  • Janeane, allow yourself time to heal as you need it. It may seem slow, it may seem like nothing is happening but allow yourself to heal as you need.

    • Good advice, I am taking my time and chillaxing my way through!

  • I am so sorry that you had to go through all that! It's great to see how strong you are by being proactive in dealing with this traumatic experience. My husband is a psychologist and I know he would be impressed that you have educated yourself as well as others about this serious but often unrecognized condition. Wishing you and your family strength and healing.

    • Thanks for your kind words. I know that I am not really strong, but am leaning on my Christian faith to pull me through. Rest assured, if I need help, I will call on someone like your husband for help. It is a nice safety net to know there is help out there if we need it.

  • PTSD is very real. I can only imagine how you are feeling right now but I know how strong you have been. Make sure you take care of Janeane, too.

    • I think researching and finding out that reactions to traumatic events can be hard is helping me with me. Thanks for that advice.

  • You have been through so much Janeane! Glad that you and your children can begin healing now. Thank you for shedding some light on PTSD...

    • We are glad to be home and healing. I hope the PTSD info helps another family.

  • This is such a POWERFUL post and it is so important to recognize the emotions and struggles you may experience as a result of your trauma. Thinking of you - xo.

    • Thanks for your kind words. BTW, LOVE the name of your blog. Everytime I see it, I smile.

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