PTSD Part 2: Who Gets It?
So who is wounded by PTSD? And are there different reasons why some people get complex and some folks just experience simple wounds?
Every person who lives and interacts has experienced small traumatic stress wounds and this is important to know. Just like some colds and viruses a baby experiences gives that baby’s immune system knowledge on how to protect and be strong in the future, so many of the little stresses in life are there to help you learn how to deal with the really big wounds that come at you. We just don’t want the little cold to trigger asthma or pneumonia or leave that baby vulnerable to even bigger traumas to their physical system. So we want someone there to intervene and assist us in healing those little problems that come along.
As a newborn we instinctively trust that someone is going to feed us and protect us and give us room to grow and thrive and if one doesn’t receive that sustenance one fails to survive. This is a fact and our whole body systems needs high levels of nurturance in order to thrive. Children need a one on one explanation of situations, competent training in emotions and how to use them; they need stability and lessons in how to be part of the community and culture. These lessons are ongoing, age appropriate, and often in your face right now basic growth needs. They are sometimes exhausting lessons and one needs more information and guidance in how to teach them. They are the lessons which teach habits, discipline, what is right within that culture, and how to attach, to love and how to trust.
No teacher with over 20 children in a classroom can immediately teach these lessons, but we are asking teachers at all grade levels to do this for us – one on one, age appropriate, and still have all the students pass more and more tests to prove that they are on target and worthy.
Dr Shay says that anyone can be wounded with PTSD, but the most vulnerable are those people who were neglected as children. These are adults that came from all economic levels and social cultures and they are often very intelligent and can pass all the tests and move ahead; these are the people who did not learn how to have discipline, stability (cohesion), training in emotions, training in work and living skills, no training in thinking and learning skills, no understanding of right behavior within a culture, incomplete attachment skills and did not experience one on one competent, ethical, and properly supported leadership. These are the people who do not know how to accomplish self care for the whole body systems.
The most common missing component of their development is that they do not understand how to use their emotions or resolve their attachment disorder. The Army feels they can identify large numbers of the individuals who are most vulnerable to suffering with Complex PTSD, and they would like to save the community suffering as well as the families and soldiers suffering from this lethal wound. They are training their leaders in how to identify these individuals early in their contacts.
Whenever we receive a moral wound we need to heal ourselves, whether the wound is simple or complex we may need assistance to achieve healing. The vast majority of people refuse to recognize the wound they have received or talk about it, because it must be for sissies and wimps, they would be emotional and not be thought of as competent and strong, they have always used denial to heal themselves; my list could certainly go on and on. We return to the point where we found our last trust which was not betrayed and hope for the best or we find a way to withdraw.
I am looking forward to your comments – Thank you
More tomorrow – Part 3: Who do you trust? Let’s revive the old game show!