Terry, PTSD and Life

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Terry, PTSD and Life

Post  Aslinn Dhan on Wed Feb 01, 2012 4:39 pm

So there is going to be considerable storyline time given to Terry and his wartime experience. So I thought I would take some time to tell you a little about PTSD and what it is, how it is caused and what the person suffering from it is going through.

PTSD is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and it is the delayed reaction of a person to any sort of shock or trauma. The most obvious is war time trauma but you can have PTSD after a violent crime or a bad accident or even sudden onset illness. What happens is, the mind shuts down while the body goes through trauma so the person can go into survival mode. Adrenaline is built up so the body to do things like block pain receptors and chemicals that elicit emotional responses so the person can just run right through and get through whatever they must to survive the situation. It is not until some time later when the body perceives the trauma is over that the mind kicks in and begins the process of feeling whatever happened to you. This can be a matter a of hours or it can take days or weeks or years.

Sometimes, these feelings are triggered by sudden memory, triggered by something in their environment. Like the sound of a car back firing, or the smell of something burning or the sight of something that looks familiar. For example, Terry goes into reaction mode when the three Monroe Vampires come in and harass the customers at Merlotte's...the stress he feels and the perceived threat triggers a response that has really has very little to do with the Vampires or the setting but a familiar feeling of threat of aggression.

PTSD manifests itself through nervousness like ticks or jumpiness or over alertness. It can come back in the form of dreams and even waking hallucinations or flashbacks. The sufferer may isolate themselves, withdraw from family and friends and may even begin to self medicate, using drugs or alcohol.

This is not a new fangled disease. It was recorded at first as shell shock and battle fatigue. One of the first films to address the possibility soldiers returning from war might suffer from such problems was The Courage of Lassie, which puts the collie in WWII as a war dog and returns to England suffering from what they recognize as the same emotional condition as many of the "returning lads".

People who suffer from PTSD are some of the most untreated people in the medical system. Particularly in the VA. The spot light for veterans with PTSD came to the media and public attention in the late 70's and through the 80's til it is now a word we automatically recognize. But before then, the shell shocked crazy veteran was a stereotype in film and TV and the stigma lingered over the Vietnam Veteran community because they were considered cry babies who could not get over their military service experience...partly because Vietnam was an undeclared and unpopular war.

Treatment for PTSD should include carefully monitored drug therapy and counseling and other forms of outlet and should include the family. Wives/Husbands and children of veterans often live through the cyclic waves of PTSD suffering and need family and medical support as well.

Today the stigma of PTSD is less but the pain lingers for those who suffer from it...

Aslinn Dhan
Aslinn Dhan

Posts : 2591
Join date : 2011-01-09
Age : 51
Location : Harrow, England

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