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  • Writer's pictureAgustya Hariharan

Peace with oneself: A comment on PTSD

Picture a maze, the one of your life. It has its twists, its turns. It snakes around a constant. That constant is you. Your memories, your experiences. Your crests, and your troughs. Your highs, and your lows. These are the things that shape us as people. Our decisions, our relationships, the very way we think, and every day, we move forward in our lives, closer to the center of the maze. Closer to discovering ourselves, although sometimes we can get stuck, brought down by the burden we carry. When this helpless feeling starts to suffocate us, it’s known as PTSD. Post traumatic stress disorder. A mental health disorder, possibly one of the most common ones.

When most people hear the acronym ‘PTSD’, their minds rush to war veterans and sexually assaulted individuals. Their minds rush to panic attacks and intense trauma. These examples aren’t necessarily wrong, but they don’t show the full picture. PTSD can last for years on end and can create a lasting effect on one, even once they no longer suffer through it. Imagine a world where you’ve experienced the dangers that you hear about in the news and from others firsthand. A world where you’ve been scarred to the point of no return, where reality doesn’t feel real anymore. It’s just that one moment, replaying in your head. A broken film that encapsulates your deepest fears, and it’s real, just not for us. That’s not a world I could begin to envision to its most mundane details. Let’s paint an image, one of a person with PTSD. This person is self-destructive, constantly panicked, insomnia ridden. He lives his life in fear, in fear of his past, of his triggers. Hundreds of thousands of people that suffer from PTSD live their lives like this. Many even find ways to distort their past so they can’t remember anything. It’s not a healthy way to live life. Over 40% of PTSD-ridden people commit or ponder suicide. And it’s important to know that a traumatic event can occur outside of the battlefield, or an assault. We experience life differently, and we deal with trauma differently. Your problems may not seem as bad as others’, but it doesn’t mean that they don’t exist. As you may have already realized, PTSD is a delicate illness to work with, and must be treated as such. It’s important to make someone that experiences PTSD feel like they’re grounded, like they’re not lonely, they’re safe, and they’re in a place of comfort. This is why therapy can help one, by allowing them to let their burden out in the open, and take one step at a time. It only brings you closer to reaching the center of that maze, and discovering yourself, once, and for all.

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