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Did the Election (Literally) Make YOU Sick?

November 17, 2012 at 9:03 pm / by

About Lisa Marie Allen

California PolitiChick Lisa Marie Allen is a Registered Nurse, a computer graphics specialist, a wife, mother and a dog rescuer. Lisa has lived all across the U.S.A.
ptsd1

I think folks are feeling shell-shocked and numb with the post -election results; all the hijinks and tomfoolery that occurred have folks reeling because our security has been violated. We feel we have been hoodwinked, robbed of truth and lied to.

Half the population feels we don’t matter at all and as a result I believe folks are experiencing various degrees of a syndrome called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

(Note:  Before I go further, I need to say that I am not a Psychiatrist but I have been an RN for 35 years with a specialty certification in Psychiatry.)

PTSD can occur because of trauma, life threatening events or perceptions and rarely needs intervention unless you are extremely depressed and unable to function. Since the election, there have even been some reports of attempted murder and suicide in the news directly related to the election.

A “catastrophic event” varies from person to person but I can only tell you my perception based on the fraud and trauma I’ve surpassed living with a narcissistic abuser for 16 years. Regarding the elections, Conservatives have been under assault daily learning more and more about the corruption that has occurred. As a result, our security and hope for the future is impacted. No jobs, less money, more taxes, and more laws all pile the stress on Americans.

Lies and corruption are forms of abuse and as Americans we have been abused continuously for the past four years. Now we have the additional stress of the prospect of four more years of ‘living with our abuser’, who is completely unpredictable (other than for spending and raising taxes).

So here are the basics of PTSD, a syndrome I believe every conservative American is currently suffering from.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Definition

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a debilitating psychological condition triggered by a major traumatic event, such as rape, war, a terrorist act, death of a loved one, a natural disaster, or a catastrophic accident. It is marked by upsetting memories or thoughts of the ordeal, “blunting” of emotions, increased arousal, and sometimes severe personality changes.

Description

Officially termed post-traumatic stress disorder since 1980, PTSD was once known as shell shock or battle fatigue because of its more common manifestation in war veterans. However in the past 20 years, PTSD has been diagnosed in rape victims and victims of violent crime; survivors of natural disasters; the families of loved ones lost in the downing of Flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland; and survivors of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the random school and workplace shootings, and the release of poisonous gas in a Japanese subway; and, most recently, in the September 11, 2001, World Trade Center and Pentagon terrorist attacks. PTSD can affect adults of all ages. Statistics gathered from past events indicate that the risk of PTSD increases in order of the following factors:

  • female gender
  • middle-aged (40 to 60 years old)
  • little or no experience coping with traumatic events
  • ethnic minority
  • lower socioeconomic status (SES)
  • children in the home
  • women with spouses exhibiting PTSD symptoms
  • pre-existing psychiatric conditions
  • primary exposure to the event including injury, life-threatening situation, and loss
  • living in traumatized community

(for brevity of the article I am only listing Criterion C symptoms )

Criterion C: Avoidance and numbing symptoms

Criterion C PTSD symptoms involve persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the trauma and  numbing of general responsiveness, as evident by three or more of the following symptoms that were not present before the trauma:

  • Efforts to avoid thoughts, feelings, or conversations associated with the trauma
  • Efforts to avoid activities, places, or people that arouse recollections of the trauma
  • Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma
  • Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities
  • Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others
  • Restricted range of affect (e.g., unable to have loving feelings)
  • Sense of foreshortened future, where the interviewee does not expect to have a career, marriage, children, or a normal life span.

Criterion C symptoms involve avoiding reminders of the trauma. These reminders can be internal cues, such as thoughts or feelings about the trauma, and/or external stimuli in the environment that spark unpleasant memories and feelings. To this limited extent, PTSD is not unlike a phobia, where the individual goes to considerable length to avoid stimuli that provoke emotional distress. Criterion C symptoms also involve more general symptoms of impairment, such as pervasive emotional numbness, feeling “out of sync” with others, or expecting to be deprived of attaining normal developmental goals due to trauma experiences.

Epidemiological research suggests that as many as 70% of individuals living in the United

States have experienced one or more traumatic events during their lifetime. The prevalence of lifetime PTSD in the US is higher for women (10-14%) than for men (5% – 6%). For the subgroup of individuals exposed to traumatic stress, approximately 14 – 24% develop PTSD, though the prevalence may vary, depending on the nature and severity of the traumatic exposure. For example, about 30% of Vietnam veterans have had a lifetime episode of PTSD, and well over half of former prisoners of war have PTSD. These findings suggest that traumatic stress exposure is highly prevalent in the US. In fact, many individuals appear to have had at least one lifetime episode of PTSD (approximately 20 million Americans), making this diagnosis one of the most prevalent of all mental disorders, surpassed only by substance use disorders and depression as major public and mental health issues.

As if that is not enough, following is another form of PTSD and this one is literally complex:

Complex post-traumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) is a psychological injury that results from protracted exposure to prolonged social and/or interpersonal trauma in the context of either captivity or entrapment (a situation lacking a viable escape route for the victim), which results in the lack or loss of control, helplessness, and deformations of identity and sense of self. C-PTSD is distinct from, but similar to, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), somatization disorder, dissociative identity disorder, and borderline personality disorder.[1]

Though mainstream journals have published papers on C-PTSD, the category is not formally recognized in diagnostic systems such as Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) or International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD).[2] However, the former includes “disorder of extreme stress, not otherwise specified” and the latter has this similar code “personality change due to classifications found elsewhere” (31.1), both of whose parameters accommodate C-PTSD.[1]

C-PTSD involves complex and reciprocal interactions between multiple biopsychosocial systems. It was first described in 1992 by Judith Herman in her book Trauma & Recovery and an accompanying article.[1][3] Forms of trauma associated with C-PTSD include sexual abuse (especially child sexual abuse), physical abuse, emotional abuse, domestic violence or torture—all repeated traumas in which there is an actual or perceived inability for the victim to escape.[

So what is the cure? According to a PTSD website, recovery occurs in three stages.

  1. Establishing safety
  2. Remembrance and mourning for what was lost.
  3. Reconnecting with community and more broadly, society.

Basically, we all need to find our “safe harbors”. Our lives and our nation depend upon our RECOVERY!

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Lisa Marie Allen

California PolitiChick Lisa Marie Allen is a Registered Nurse, a computer graphics specialist, a wife, mother and a dog rescuer. Lisa has lived all across the U.S.A.

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7 Comments

  1. Bob Marshall says:

    I was diagnosed as having PTSD after i returned from my third tour of duty in Vietnam as a young gung ho Marine. I spent forty days in a mental hospital. I stayed doped up most of those days. I wasn’t cured by these treatments although i had to pay $8,000 at the end of this time before i could leave. No, the VA didn’t take care of me. My company i worked for sent me. It took my asking God for forgiveness for what i had done to cause this condition. Because of his love and forgiveness i have never had another flashback. I am 69 years old.

    • katie says:

      I think our relationship with the Living God, Our Creator, has everything to do with
      our raging emotions these days. Thank you for sharing. Many people will take in
      the experience you had and work it out through the fact God is the greatest healer
      and comforter we have or ever will have.

      • katie says:

        Yes, for several days I was living as tho’ I were in the shelling going on in Israel. This is exactly what satan wants and effectively uses our leadership?? to under mine our lives…see the history of hitler and why so many Jews went to the ovens without a fight.

    • MTKinVA says:

      Happy is he who walks in the way of the Lord; The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

    • THANK YOU for your service, Bob–regular civilians could never imagine what war is like. I’m grateful that your ultimate cure came from God and I pray you remain locked in His love forever.

  2. Jack Martin says:

    I want to complement the quality of this writing. I am a member of Floridas ESF-8 Critical Incident Emergency Managment team and she is quite right about PTSD being a very real possability. Find someone you trust and let off some of the pent up emotion. Perhaps the merit of the scriptural verse admonishing us to confess our faults one to another, pray one for another can be seen here. Look to the good that still remains, get a second wind and stand up again. Though the righteous fall seven times, yet seven times will they rise. Isa 40 tells us that even the young get worn out, but those who wait upon the Lord will renew their strength. Again, thank you for a very well done article.

  3. Lisa4USA says:

    I’ve had varying degrees of PTSD ever since my daughter was a baby and she would have bouts of cyclic vomiting due to Celiac disease, (diagnosed when she was 12). Then when our son went to UCSB, things went from bad to worse and he dropped out in his sophomore year after earning 3 misdemeanors because he was ‘in love’ with the wrong girl and was delusional because of the drugs he took, (xtasy, acid, etc.). (On the bright side, now we don’t have any nest egg for the gov’t to take). Add the political, cultural, economic collapse in the US and abroad, I struggle with PTSD, and other disorders that stem from it, every day.

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