PTSD affects many individuals who have experienced domestic abuse/violence. But what is it? How do you know if you have it?
“PTSD is categorized by distress that lasts more than a month and relates directly to a triggering event. During and after that one-month period, the individual may suffer from any number of disturbing thoughts and feelings that consequently trigger undesirable physical and/or mental reactions…”*
It is worth noting here that not all domestic abuse survivors are affected by PTSD. One can be “triggered” (i.e. have a sad, fearful, negative, panicked or inappropriate response to a situation) due to past memories without it being classified as PTSD. Many survivors have Generalized Anxiety Disorder, which can mimic PTSD, and also be severe in its presentation.
With PTSD, there are some unique symptoms including:
- You or a loved one may not want to talk about, think about or feel anything related to the trauma.
- You may avoid places, activities and people that remind you of the trauma.
- You may be unable to recall specifics about the event or events.
- You may lose interest in things you once cared about.
- You may feel detached from others.
- Your emotions may feel or seem blunted.
- You may have trouble imagining a normal future, life or lifespan.
“Over time, untreated PTSD almost always impacts an individual’s quality of life directly, with those suffering from the condition often experiencing disrupted social lives and far higher-than-average risk for suicidal behavior.”*
If you are a survivor or are experiencing domestic violence, we encourage you to see a professional counselor who has experience in treating PTSD and GAD. There is hope. We know many who have healed from the abuse that they have suffered and have gone on to live healthy, happy and productive lives. For women who have suffered, we recommend Her Journey classes, which have been lifesaving for many. If there is not a physical group in your area, we still have options for you from afar. Call us at 503-846-9284 or 866-262-9284 for more information.