A running nightmare…

The night before last, I had a really disturbing nightmare that continued even after I had gotten up and gone back to bed.  Last night, that same nightmare continued, and was even more disturbing–so much so that I was disoriented when I awoke and got up at 0335 hrs this morning.  It is still haunting me, from start to “finish”, if it is indeed finished.  I hope that it does not run another night, because it has been disturbing enough already.  I do not know how all of these trauma elements got together, but I do know where some of the triggers for this running nightmare came from…  I do not know sometimes what good it does to know what the triggers are, but then again I think that it is much more disorienting when I cannot identify those triggers.  Identifying triggers in PTSD and any other mental disorder is important.  If you know what sets you off, you can manage your impairment much better.  It works better for me that way, at least.

I was talking to someone yesterday who had “just read a book on PTSD and…” on and on about her book knowledge.  I did not argue because she thought she knew everything about it and could not be persuaded otherwise with the few benign comments I had made to test the waters.  She did not know anything about PTSD from reading that book, let me tell you.  She had no idea.  No clue.  Having had chronic and severe PTSD for 18 years, now, I can tell you a lot about it, a lot about other people’s reactions to it, and a lot about the potential and possibilities and impossibilities of the disorder.  I have talked to innumberable people with PTSD, both civilian and military, inpatient and outpatient, and from all walks of life over the years.  PTSD cannot be placed into a neat little chart of symptoms in a book and canned like a nice, uniform, FDA-approved package for general consumption.  It kills people.  Twenty-two Veterans a day kill themselves over PTSD in the US.  That is just the Veteran body count.  That does not include the rest of the people in the nation who are self-harming, self-medicating, and self-terminating over PTSD with anxiety and depression.  I can appreciate that this person was trying to learn about PTSD, but to profess to be some kind of authority was short-sighted to say the least…  That really got me going, blood boiling and all, but I politely excused myself and did not let it be known that I have a Master of Science in Psychology with an emphasis in PTSD and a graduate thesis on Depression in rural Montana, which has the highest population of Veterans per capita in the United States.  I do not like to pull rank on people, especially when they have an interest in learning more about something so important.  I just hope they learn more and can be humble in the knowledge that they do not really know because they have never really experienced it as reality, but instead book learning.  I always encourage people to learn more about everything they can.  The only problem is that some think they are experts after taking the 101 college course.  Think about it and stay humble.  I will leave you with that thought…

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