One of the more common symptoms of PTSD is the tendency to isolate. Those of us with a PTSD diagnosis usually don’t like to be around crowds, we prefer to know exactly what is going on around us at all times. Keeping track of everyone and everything is difficult. Yet, we don’t feel comfortable if we aren’t aware of our surroundings and any threats that might present themselves.
While I understand that isolation is not good for me, I’ve come to view it in a bit more accepting light over the years, and I’ve found a compromise that works for me. I still avoid large crowds if I can help it, but I don’t beat myself up for wanting to keep track of my surroundings. Especially since 9/11, life seems to be much more dangerous; attacks seem to happen somewhere in the U.S. on almost a daily basis. The more horror stories I hear in the news, the more I think that maybe this symptom of PTSD is designed to protect me, and it’s something that has a bit of a positive aspect to it too.
I will still have to work at not overdoing the isolation thing. I know I need other people in my life to find balance and support. But, just maybe this symptom of PTSD is a good thing to the extent that I’m a bit more likely to survive if I keep my eyes open as I go along. I guess the one good thing I can say about having PTSD is that, I’m here, I’m a survivor. That counts for something.