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The Real Definition of PTSD: PTSD is Not Just for Veterans

When you go online, you see the same definition on every website, and it’s not even a definition. It’s not an explanation. It’s just a list of symptoms with the implication that you have to have all of them or you have nothing. Unlike your therapist or doctor, I have actually talked to thousands of people with PTSD. I also have it myself. This is the definition that I came up with: Your brain has adjusted in a healthy way to an unhealthy situation and now you have a lot of adrenaline, which helps you to be on your toes, ready for anything, but it also never really goes away, which can make it really hard to sleep or relax or just be comfortable in your own skin. Does that sound like you? When I say this to people who have PTSD their eyes light up and they feel like I understand them. It’s a pretty simple explanation, but I haven’t seen it put that way anywhere else. 

 PTSD is Not Just for Veterans!

The are many reasons PTSD is so rarely diagnosed. For one thing, PTSD is a difficult concept to quantify in clear, logical terms and the consensus diagnostic criteria that we have all seen are not an explanation. This ambiguity opens the door to all kinds of incorrect assumptions. Further, therapists and doctors are influenced by the medical insurance and pharmaceutical industries. As a result, they are often taught not to diagnose PTSD. Finally, patients also have their own objections to the diagnosis. In this blog, I will offer a much better definition of PTSD and propose a new way of thinking about trauma.

Going through trauma rewires your brain and optimizes it for self-protection. That means that your automatic alarm system become so sensitive that you become flooded with adrenaline at the slightest hint of… well it’s not just danger. Any type of threat triggers this response. My wife can just look at me a certain way and the exact same chemicals are surging in me as if I were literally facing death. Other people can tell you that it doesn’t make sense for you to get all worked up. Well yeah, no shit, right? Imagine being at a party and hearing, “Hey, it doesn’t make sense for you to be drunk, so you should probably just voluntarily change your whole biology right now, okay?” It doesn’t work that way. So why do your friends and family and doctors and therapists keep trying to get you to do that? I have a doctorate, and when I used all of my psychological powers on myself, it just made me feel frustrated and even more crazy and ashamed.

If you have reactions to any past traumas, not just from fighting in an actual war, you and I both have an overactive alarm system that we share with thousands of other animal species. It’s very primitive but it works. Evolution rewards those who stay alive long enough to procreate. Not animals that are happy and relaxed. If you are reminded in any way of the original trauma, your adrenaline shoots up so high, so fast that you can’t even think straight. It’s automatic and super-fast. Your logical brain is too slow.

Before it would even have the chance to tell you that you are in real danger, or if it’s just a similarity to a previous trauma, the right side of your brain takes no chances and assumes total control. The system is designed to protect your life. Even if it becomes so overactive that it makes your life suck.

It doesn’t matter if you meet the extensive criteria for an official PTSD diagnosis. If you have trauma reactions, then let’s call it that and start to think about what to do about them. Something that doesn’t involve heavy pharmaceuticals that don’t even work, or crying in therapy every session for years. Please continue researching our website to see if we can help you in any way.

 

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My views come from my unique position as a trauma specialist who has had the opportunity to interview thousands of people, and from my own experiences with PTSD. I have PTSD, but I was misdiagnosed by every doctor and therapist I had seen for 30 years. I didn’t even put it together until 10 years after I got my doctorate. But it was such a relief to finally realize what was going on for me! Are you one of the undiagnosed? 

 If you or someone you know needs help, Waji online PTSD treatment programs can be started immediately and are accessible online anytime using your laptop or desktop computer. no therapist is required. Our powerful online rapid-eye-movement treatment for PTSD easily into any busy schedule. Within 21 day, our easy-to-use online proprietary healing process & powerful rapid-eye-movement technology aims to get you to a place where your trauma isn’t causing you severe pain or holding you back from being your best and happiest self. Click here to learn more about online PTSD treatment and therapy. 

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