What it’s like Living with PTSD

PTSD.. is tough to live with.
It cannot be cured.
It’s something I must learn to live with.
Therapy helps me to keep control and stay in the present.
It helps me to understand, recognise and cope with triggers.
But, PTSD cannot be cured.

🤔 What does a trigger look like?

It can come in a wide range of guises, it can change, it is not always predictable.
A trigger can be a word, a place, even an emotion.

🤔 What happens when I am triggered?

This can also be very varied. One time I went into an ED dept in a completely different town for a completely different reason. Unexpectedly I had a full blown panic attack and had to leave asap. Other times it has been a similar circumstance, a mention of one of the trauma themes that caused my PTSD, it doesn’t even have to be the same situation. It can be as simple as a feeling, which sends me into a spiral spin flashback. Even visiting the limb centre triggers me, it it’s not like I can choose whether to go or not.

PTSD can make the person feel like they are being stuck in, or dragged back to the past. We don’t do this by choice.

Trauma causes an increase in a stress hormone called glucocorticoid. This impacts your memory’s ability to eventually recognize the threat as something from the past. The threat feels present. Thus, when you are triggered, your body is responding as if the threat is happening now.

😵‍💫 How do I cope with this?

I have been taught a series of grounding activities that I should use if this happens, to anchor me back in the present. Sometimes I realise quite quickly and therefore it passes quickly. Other times I don’t, and the episode might last longer, or I might need a verbal reminder to use a grounding activity.

Remember, we can’t always control it, or predict it. No we aren’t making it up.. and no we aren’t crazy.

Author: Melanie Magowan

I am a massage therapist and part time athlete

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: