I was recently talking with a friend about PTSD and he asked a great question: How do you know when healing begins? We were talking about trying different treatments to help us cope with PTSD, and how sometimes it can be so frustrating because nothing seems to help. When I mentioned that healing takes time, he responded with his question. It really got me thinking.
I finally answered him by pointing out that we probably don’t know when healing starts, as we can’t see when healing begins with a physical wound either. Healing starts at a cellular level and it may take days before we really know that the body is beginning to repair itself. With a wound to the psyche, we also can’t see the healing begin. I believe one of the problems with trying different treatments is that we don’t allow enough time to see if they are really working before we just give up. Those of us who have PTSD want to get past the pain and get on with life. But that’s true of people with physical wounds too.
Healing takes time, it’s a long process. A broken bone can take over a year to knit back together. Torn muscles and tendons may take even longer. Why would we think a tear to the psyche would not require as long to heal?
The next time you try a new treatment for PTSD, give it some extra time to see if it’s actually working. You may be pleasantly surprised!