A shocking title right?
Not many people realize that PTSD is far more than just a psychological disorder. Other disorders also cause changes in activity but with PTSD, the brain physically changes. The actual damage can be quite significant as you can see from this photo.
I will admit that as I write today’s post, I am frustrated and upset.
My forgetfulness was used against me as though it is an easy excuse for anything I don’t want to discuss.
A very common hallmark of PTSD is forgetfulness. Not just occasional forgetfulness but constant, daily, confusion causing forgetfulness. It is a big issue for most of the people who I know with PTSD. I am positive that it is frustrating for the people in our lives as well but it is even more frustrating for us. We don’t want to be forgetful. We don’t want to take twice or three times as long to do something “simple”. We can’t even make total sense out of the memories of our traumas. We just remember flashes of details that haunt us. We really do want to remember the good stuff and forget the bad.
We are not hanging on to the past, the past is hanging on to us.
I guess that is why I am feeling that this topic is important today. When we are traumatized, our brain rewires so that we can’t recall all the details. It is our brains way of helping to protect us. With most people, these forgetful patches are largely unnoticeable but with PTSD those pathways have been so rewired that it makes memory in any area difficult. The pathways that once existed in our brains are gone for the most part. That is the bad news.
The good news is that we can retrain our brains to begin to behave more like we did before we got PTSD. This takes time, a knowledgable therapist, a lot of effort and a supportive circle of people around us. When blame, stress, accusations or thoughtlessness enter in to the equation, it stilts progress.
I occasionally wish that PTSD was more visible. Something that others could see so that they would have an easier time being compassionate. Heck, maybe we would be more compassionate of ourselves too.
How about we all work towards being a more compassionate society. More compassionate with others as well as ourselves.