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PTSD The Dark side of The Light
The dark side of the light? It is a place that all of us have dipped our toe into at times. Let me talk about PTSD. That is my dark side. It has been a visitor since I was 21 years old I am now 71.

The battle with PTSD has been long, hard and painful at times. You see PTSD is a coward it waits in dark recesses of the soul. It waits until you are stressed, tired, heart broken and lonesome. Then it teams with Depression. First they throw anxiety at you, now you are uncomfortable. Your foot taps, your breath is shallow and you don't know why. It is constant from the time your eyes open until you find a way to close them. That is not always an easy thing to do.

Both PTSD and Depression are smiling. They put their heads together and decide to lob panic attacks at you. Now for those of you that have never experienced panic attacks it like you are being hunted. You don't know by what or who but you are being hunted. Your chest tightens it is hard to get a breath. You are hyper vigilant your hearing is on alert. You look over your shoulder and jump at loud noises. Panic attacks can last from a few minutes to a few hours. It is a time of terror. You start self medicating. Drugs, alcohol to ease the pain and make it go away if just for a few hours. Your mind screams GO THE FUCK AWAY! and it slowly eases back in to the darkness of your soul.

When will is show itself again? You never know? It can be a bright sunny day walking down the street and it hits you full on. You can be sitting with friends or at a concert where ever you are you have to get out and head home to the safety of your cave. Yes that is what it becomes a cave. There you are safe in that darkness. And you fight the fucker with all you have. You see the only result that will make PTSD and Depression happy is your death.

Then you wake up and the light is back. How long will it be there? You never I repeat you never know. That is the terror of PTSD you never know?
Patricia Dunn
I can relate. PTSD and Panic Attacks. I like your metaphor of being "hunted" by something unknown.
What most people (those who've never had one) don't realize is that panic attacks are very physical. The body does what it's designed to do - get ready to fight or fly in the face of a life threatening situation. Adrenaline pumps through the body making the heart pound - the blood rushes to your limbs so you can fight or run. You are overcome by a powerful sense of impending death. Your head starts to swim and every cell in your body is clenched in abject terror.
All these symptoms are perfectly appropriate if there's a gun to your head but walking down the street on a beautiful day or laying in your own bed there's no physical causation. The worst part is they come on their own terms and their own schedule.
Because this experience is so terrifying, we naturally do whatever we think will work to avoid them. We avoid the places where they have happened before - figuring something about that place must have triggered it. For me it's driving on the highway. I have no fear of driving - I have fear of another panic attack. Sadly, if the attacks persist and happen in more places, over time your world gets really small and you can become agoraphobic.
It's a horrible thing and I wouldn't wish it anyone. I'm sorry you're dealing with it. You write beautifully. I'm sure that helps to express your feelings.
January 18, 2016 07:55 PM
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