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PTSD: You Thought the Trauma was Tough, Wait Till You See the Outcome

PTSD has been around for decades, although the name has gone several incarnations and the trauma list has grown as well.

In the late 1800's, a study was done on women in an insane asylum. Freud studied them, asked them questions, got some answers and gave it a lot of thought. He was excited, because he had discovered all the women were reacting in the same way, but he wanted to see if this would have the same outcome in middle to high class women.

He spent years working with upper class women, and the results were identical; anger, insomnia, night terrors, anxiety, depression, skittish. Even more astounding, it was for the same reasons, severe childhood abuse, severe emotional, physical and/or sexual abuse from a husband, man, relative or someone they knew and trusted.

The universities were excited by this new experiment and it was studied for a decade....until, someone reasoned, its women, so it is not really that important. More troubling was the fact this was happening to a large number of women, and the people paying the bills for treatment, were the men that had abused them. The funding went away, and so did the research, and it was labeled hysteria, or resulting from having female internal organs.

Even more damaging, but more respectful to polite society, was the notion that the children initiated the sexual fantasies and therefore were to blame when they were molested.

Twenty years later, the same outcome as the women had experienced was now seen in men. It was shell shock and was attributed to acts of aggression seen or done in WW1.

Then, WWII happened and it turned to combat fatigue. The Korean war and Vietnam finally saw the same outcomes and it became PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome.

Finally, it relates to anyone who witnessed or was a survivor of a traumatic event, and our normal reaction to an abnormal event.

Think about that for a second, a normal reaction to an abnormal situation. A normal reaction. Not a weakness in character, a flaw in your design, not crazy, not lazy, not, not being enough of a man, (yes I am an editor and yes I used a double negative) not being a coward, not making stuff up, not looking for attention. NOT. It is a normal reaction.

More women than men have PTSD and for the exact same reasons as they did in 1896. So, PTSD went from women, to men, and now finally back to both genders.

That means you probably know someone with PTSD. It may e even be you.

You can choose the outcome. You can make a commitment to yourself to eat better, get enough rest, meditate, read, study and grow your mind, connect with people, remove the negativity from your life, pursue a hobby, laugh and play. You are a person with PTSD. You are not defined by it, can choose to not be controlled by it, and you can find the good in life.

Yup, it's a challenge, and yup, there are days where you will want it all to be over. Those are the days you need to fight the hardest fight of your life and make a real commitment to the ones you love to keep going on.

Find the laughter. Find that tiny spark of hope and nurture it. Sleep if you need to, exercise, write, give yourself permission to write crap. No one needs to read it, but it is a great purge to be able to write those demons out. Put them on paper, and then set fire to them. Burn out the agony and pain.

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