The one commonality between war, terrorist attacks, natural disasters or personal assaults on individuals is the traumatic incident. The event must be outside the range of normal human experience. It must be perceived as a real threat to one’s life or limb for it to be considered traumatic. Someone reading this may have been in a horrible car wreck or in a house that blew away for floated away while in it. Or, as in a hurricane like Katrina, while in or out of the water watching bodies floating by. Or, on the battle lines trying to survive the battle or to save and repair body after body. Or, having been molested as a child or raped as an adult. Or, being on the receiving end of a criminal assault including domestic violence or, on the first responder’s side who faced their own mortality while trying to save the lives of others. These are all outside the rage of normal human experience. These are all outside the range of normal human experience. The response must involve intense fear, helplessness or horror. Thus, anyone has the potential for developing at least, symptoms of PTSD if they experience such an event.
To be diagnosed with PTSD, the individual has to experience the symptoms for at least one month. It originally leaves the person with the sense that they cannot handle the traumatic stress. Keep in mind though, that means the individual had to have survived the event! If that is you – you survived!
If you or someone you know is a survivor, having experienced a traumatic event, please consider reading next blog of this sequel.