What PTSD Really Is

I think PTSD is how your body attempts to keep horrible things from happening a second time. If we are hypervigilant, then we stand a better chance of seeing disaster before it strikes next time. If we isolate ourselves, then we have a greater chance of knowing when someone is a danger to us. If we unleash our anger more quickly, then maybe we’ll be able to drive off danger before it gets to us. Those aren’t bad qualities to have if you know that horrible things can and do happen. The problem is, we tend to take it too far and we intensify those traits until we choke on them. That’s PTSD.

The big problem is how to learn to live with the protective aspects of PTSD but without going overboard. How do we learn to be hypervigilant enough? How do we learn to isolate ourselves so that we can see disaster coming without becoming so cut off from others that we can’t see anything at all? How do we use our anger without it damaging everyone else around us? In other words, how do we live with PTSD and make the most out of it without having it consume us?

Seeking balance is the obvious answer; allowing our subconscious to exert some control without seizing total control. That’s a hard balance to find!


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