There is a tendency to think that PTSD only affects veterans and first responders. But the reach of PTSD extends to many who are dealing with the aftermath of a devastating trauma. In the community of burn survivors that we service at The Amos House of Faith, it extends past the patient and touches the caretakers as well. PTSD is not a solo flight. When something traumatic happens, it happens to everyone in that circle. The aim of The Amos House of Faith is to wrap loving arms around the whole group.
It is so important for us to remove the stigma associated with those who are diagnosed with PTSD. Those who suffer from this disorder are not crazy. We can all share in helping first by educating ourselves to be able to identify the symptoms. Some examples of symptoms include recurring distressing dreams of the event, triggers, and avoidance of situations that remind them of the trauma. If you see symptoms persisting more than three months, seeking medical attention is advisable. If you are supporting someone who is dealing with PTSD, be mindful to look past the behavior that is being exhibited and try to see what is causing it.
Thirty years ago, my father was diagnosed with lymphoma. He was given three years to live as there was no cure; he died at 53. Because of breakthrough research, this once fatal diagnosis is now curable. Regarding PTSD, I have seen this truth in my own life and the lives of thousands of veterans that transformation is possible. Those who want to insist that there is no cure for PTSD should be reminded there is no cure for the common cold either. When the conditions are ripe during cold season you will likely find yourself mega dosing on vitamin C or even making a doctor’s visit. But you can be certain within a few days you will be better.
Because PTSD affects not only the trauma survivor, but everyone in their immediate circle, we must support them as well. Caregivers may feel angry and discouraged. It is so important not to judge their feelings. A listening ear and an encouraging word goes a long way. The end goal is to help those who suffer with this disorder get the services needed to overcome and successful move forward with their lives. This can be accomplished through the hope and healing found in Christ.
Heal me, O Lord, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved...”