Essay on Psychology: Psychological Trauma and Life

Submitted By Jbowen1970
Words: 1401
Pages: 6

The facts of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are challenging in the very nature of the consequences that brought about the factors I live with on a daily basis. As I look back on the events of my life and try to softly laugh at the people that were fooled and thought my life was a perfect dream, it is hard to even envision for this paper, the virtual plethora of abuses that I lived through. Some might think that I am making a mountain out of a mole hill, but for me it is a fact of life that has never been completely put behind me and leaves me with the uncanny ability to live within in the wreckage and yet find some peace today in life. I was accurately diagnosed with PTSD at 37. Since I am now 45, you can imagine the issues that I suffered through without proper treatment until just 8 years ago. Virtually no facet of my life has been untouched by the mental illnesses that I suffer. PTSD is the major issue that I suffer from, but I also deal with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) which my therapist and I believe comes from the many instances of abuse that I suffered and witnessed as a child. Being OCD allows that rigidity of order that I need to feel safe in my life. For me PTSD was activated by a childhood that was laced with emotional and mental battery by a father that was intelligent and yet so uncaring. I was not physically abused, but I witnessed the abuse of my sister and that abuse scarred me for life. My father was prone to screaming and throwing things, which was always terrifying. He never hit me, but there was always the imminent threat that that the next item in his hand would be thrown at me. My brothers were hit on a regular basis. Not slapping, but punching. The slightest provocation would send my father into a rage and the physical abuse was lopped onto the boys and the screaming, never ending fear of that same abuse was driven into my head. The thing that is hardest to speak about, the tragedy that throws me back even today, is the one thing I have never spoken about to anyone other than my wonderful therapist who is able to guide me through the pain of what I will say now. At the age of 10, I walked in on and witnessed the rape of my older sister by my father. My mother denied the abuses to all the people in my home and I dared not go to her with what I had seen. For many months after his attack of my sister, I could not even close my eyes without visualizing the brutal scene that would haunt me all of my life. I lived through nightmares and remembrances of that horrid scene for many years. To this day I obsessively check rooms that have closed doors; I lock windows and doors and have to recheck that they are locked in order to feel safe. At times I have had panic attacks and at times I have had trouble with intimate relations due to the nature of what I witnessed. As I grew older, there have been years that went by when I had few symptoms and I walked through life in what I thought of as “normal” and I would think I just have some panic issues. Then, at the age of 37, I woke up and thought I can’t be in the same room as my husband and I had a full blown panic attack. My husband eventually helped me to calm down and went with me to seek help. It was at this time, my first time seeking help, that I was diagnosed with PTSD and OCD. I cannot even begin to explain to you the enormous relief that I experienced when I found out that my disorder was real and more importantly; treatable. I met all of the criteria for PTSD and OCD which is as follows:
The full diagnostic criteria for PTSD must be met for application to be warranted.
Criterion A: stressor
The person was exposed to: death, threatened death, actual or threatened serious injury, or actual or threatened sexual violence, as follows: (one required)
1. Direct exposure.
2. Witnessing, in person.
3. Indirectly, by learning that a close relative or close friend was exposed to trauma. If