I feel compelled to share some things about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) today.
Let me begin by addressing the name… Post Traumatic Stress “Disorder”. The very name of the condition exposes the confusion around this subject. While it certainly is correct that trauma can create disorder in one’s life, the word “disorder” makes us think that we (or the person suffering from it) are somehow defective. However “PTSD” serves as evidence of the wonder of God’s creation in you.
Depression, low self-esteem, mood swings, sleeplessness and other related behaviors may be perfectly normal signals that your inner self is sending; trying to communicate that it needs attention.
If this sounds like you, or someone you know, there are answers, there is hope.
You are created in the image of God
As a wondrous being created by God, you were made not only to survive but to thrive. For example, when a knife slips and the skin is penetrated, blood coagulates to stop the bleeding so that life is sustained. When strains, sprains, tears and breaks occur, sometimes more drastic measures are necessary for recovery.
You are a spirit, with a soul, in a physical body
We are spiritually empowered beings with a soul and a physical body. Your soul can be identified as the consciousness of your will, intellect and emotions.
Your soul can be injured, just like your body can be injured
We don’t think of it in the same way because it is often times not as obvious as a fractured leg, but just as your body can be wounded your soul can be too. In America it can be a badge of honor to be physically injured in battle. If a person is physically injured, people are sympathetic. However if a person experiences an injury in the soul they are often viewed as weak or sub-par because they have a “disorder”.
Saying that someone has a fractured or injured soul because they are weak or sub-par is wrong for many reasons. That direction of thought sets a lot of things in motion that are very hurtful and destructive. This is why I don’t care for the word “disorder”; it facilitates a wrong perception of those who suffer from trauma.
Would you think that someone who has a cut finger, sprained ankle or sore muscle has a “disorder”? Probably not; you would view it as an injury. Then why do we view someone with an injured soul as having a “disorder”?
Everyone has a scarred or fractured soul
How many people do you think there are in the grocery line, at the gas station, or at the club that don’t have some scars and war stories about the time they hurt themselves doing this or that? Have you ever had someone show you the scar they acquired when they had their surgery? Pretty much no one is physically blemish free.
The same principle applies to our soul. When you are standing in the grocery line, at the gas station or at the club, it’s not a matter of If the people next to you have been emotionally injured, rather the question is how much. In other words, everyone experiences some sort of trauma in their life; some is life altering and some not as much.
So I encourage us to stop looking at “PTSD” as something that is abnormal. Symptoms of trauma should be dealt with as an injury, not a disease. What is referred to as “PTSD is simply God’s provision for healing.
God made you to heal
When you are seriously injured physically, and the injury is not properly treated, sometimes it doesn’t heal correctly. Have you ever heard of someone breaking a bone only to have it re-fractured and re-set by a doctor because it didn’t heal right the first time?
Our soul is the same way. When our soul is injured it can heal incorrectly, or sometimes not at all, thus causing problems days, weeks, months or often even years later. When that happens, sometimes we have to have things “re-set”.
In His infinite and glorious ways, God designed and created us so that when we are emotionally traumatized we have built in mechanisms that are created to enable us to survive a traumatic situation (just like when our blood coagulates when we cut a finger). These God given mechanisms go right to work so that we can heal later, when we have the opportunity.
Healing is for you.
Nothing in this article is intended to infer that an injured soul is somehow not as significant as a physical injury; it is. In fact, it is often even more challenging.
If you are suffering from the effects of trauma because of abuse, the military, police, fire, medical emergencies, a car crash, industrial accident, or by any other means, please know that you are not “abnormal”. The symptoms you are experiencing (or maybe witnessing in someone else) is your inner self telling you that something needs attention just as if you started seeing redness and swelling around a cut on your skin.
God, in His infinite mercy, has created ways for those wounds to heal. There is hope. Healing can be found in the loving arms of God.
Contact us if we can be of assistance.