Well, maybe for an hour or so…Is it a good solution in the long run?
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (or PTSD) is a severe anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to any event that results in psychological trauma. This event may involve the threat of death to oneself or to someone else, or to one’s own or someone else’s physical, sexual, or psychological integrity, overwhelming the individual’s ability to cope.
So, PTSD is a reaction to something really (REALLY) scary happening. It is most often discussed in terms of soldiers returning from war. But other events, such as auto accidents, physical or sexual assault, or mental abuse can lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.
As an alcoholic, it makes perfect sense to me to that someone who has been through a terrifying ordeal would knock back a few drinks (or maybe pop a couple of Xanax) to take the edge off of the memory. Of course, my best thinking has gotten me into tons of trouble. 🙂 For me, the only solutions were to drink or scream! Neither proved to be terribly helpful.
PTSD symptoms can vary widely from person to person. But the most common are…
- Recurrent re-experiencing the trauma (commonly referred to as flashbacks)
- Compulsive avoidance of people, places or events that remind the sufferer of the trauma
- Chronic hyperarousal (sleep problems, trouble concentrating, irritability, anger, poor concentration, blackouts or difficulty remembering things, increased tendency and reaction to being startled, and hypervigilance to threat)
Prevention of PTSD
In recent history, catastrophes such as the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami may have caused PTSD in many survivors and rescue workers. Today relief workers from organizations such as the Red Cross and the Salvation Army provide counseling after major disasters as part of their standard procedures to curb severe cases of posttraumatic stress disorder
Many of us are too proud to ask for help for fear of being accused of “playing the victim”. I can definitely see where a combat soldier would be hesitant to admit the symptoms listed above. Those guys are supposed to be tough to the point of being invulnerable, right?
The fact is that we all have problems we can solve on our own…and problems we can’t. As hard as it is to do…we have to dig deep and ask for help. In my experience, finding the courage to admit I couldn’t do something was the hardest part of the whole process.
The easy short term solution to post-traumatic stress disorder may be to drink or pop a few pills. Adding a new addiction doesn’t seem like a very good way to solve the problem to me. Longer term solutions include getting help from a professional. If you are suffering from PTSD, please ask for help. You will be amazed at the new freedom you can find.