When the lights and cameras turn off… When the world turns its attention to a new tragedy, or to the latest celebrity breakup or tweet… When the people and organizations that rushed in to help find they have other responsibilities or that the problem is too big for them to handle…What then?
“Move on,” people say. “It’s in the past,” “I’m sure you’re fine by now, aren’t you?” “Buckle Up!” “That’s STILL affecting you?” Unlike other psychological problems, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) gets WORSE over time. And that’s in part because our brains start to rewire themselves around carrying these negative stress signals. The latest research shows that specific parts of our brain that control memory and learning start to shrink over time for people with PTSD.
Flashbacks, nightmares, intrusive thoughts about the traumatic events, loss of interest in activities and life in general, feeling detached from others and emotionally numb, difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, outburst of anger, difficulty concentrating and much more.
Why It Should Matter To All Of Us
Beyond the obvious humanitarian reasons for helping a fellow man, woman or child who is struggling, trauma, big or small, has a profound and often overlooked effect on our society and our world. We see the obvious cases of veterans with PTSD committing violence towards themselves or others. We see genocide survivors with no hope for the future, unable to take positive actions in their lives, or grasp ahold of the hand that is reached out to them. We see what we perceive as “normal” people bursting at the seams because of previous traumatic events that keep their minds, bodies and spirits stuck. All these cases and more, over 7 million in the United States alone, tell us that there’s a component to change, to helping someone get on their feet, to building a life and contributing to society, that we’ve been missing.