What happened is in the past...but will PTSD keep it there?
Sri Lanka suffered a devastating attack just over a month ago, and people are just going back to a normal life. But among the scores of people who are laughing, talking, and working, a silent demon lurks in the shadows, waiting, biding its time.
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is often underestimated, as simply everyone thinks they have it. After a traumatic event, each and every person suffers a shock to their system that takes time to heal. Love and care, along with time, will solve that. However, if they persist for months, sometimes years, or even show up after that time, you might be having PTSD.
However, PTSD is not only linked with massive tragedies like bombings. It can be personal trauma, like abuse. The dangerous aspect is, symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks, nightmares, depression, anxiety. But it most commonly includes a defense mechanism by our brain, which erases our memory of the traumatic experience.
Unfortunately, the very action designed to protect us, may lead to a victim being duped over and over again by their abuser, since they can never remember what happened, and they will doubt themselves.
But there are others who never suffer that. Others who might get out of a situation like that, but then spend their lives jumping at any sudden noise, or suffer flashbacks so vivid that their heart rate spikes, and they go into panic attacks. Fight or flight mechanism is activated so forcefully that they have no say in it.
Sounds frightening enough? That’s what a person with PTSD lives through.
Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka, almost everyone has seen war. The younger generation who were exempt, have seen it now. And this is discounting personal trauma people go through. But many have never been diagnosed with PTSD, simply because many do not realize what it is.
Online culture has been made in such a way that everyone accuses everyone else of being ‘triggered’ without knowing what that really means. People simply say ‘I am triggered’ at mild discomfort or even disagreement, but for the silent demon, that word means so much more.