PTSD and How It Has Effected Our Lives

PTSD…Post traumatic stress disorder. PTSD in my life has always been related to the military personnel returning from combat, I never knew it effected non military personnel. Yep I have lived a very sheltered life huh? I wrote an blog during the week about how my youngest child became diagnosed w/ PTSD and gave a brief description of our life as it is. I wanted to share the rest of the PTSD symptoms and how our lives have changed forever!

Before being held at knife point, our youngest child, Lauren, was always the defender of the weak. Lauren would stand up to the bullies on the playground, no questions asked, even though she was the smallest child out of the grade. Her back bone was made of steel. Once being held at knife point, not only is the back bone no longer made of steel, but it seems gone forever.

Lauren is very hesitant to approach a person she doesn’t know. This is a good practice since one never knows who the other person might be, i.e. child molester, rapist, etc, but in another way, the hesitation to approach strangers is a bad habit as well. Lauren will not approach a stranger, even a Wal-Mart employee if she’s lost in the store, she will not approach the cashier at a local market unless chaperoned. When she was attending public schools this was an issue as well, since she needs to create new friendships.

This fear of strangers has changed our relationship totally. I am the kind of person, who will say I love you until I am in blue in the face, not a problem there, but I do enjoy my space. Kiss me, hug me, then go on. Whether we are in public or home alone, she has to be right next to me. I am trying very hard to break her of the habit, at least at home, by telling her all the doors and windows are locked, that we are safe and sound. Sometimes this will work, but she will return to stand by my side within a few minutes.

Lauren is also on Prozac and trazadone as night time medicine. Prozac is a nerve pill meant to get her mood level and end the depression. It’s working ok, but not all that great. Trazadone is for her to sleep. When attacked, she cried, and was awake for three weeks straight. Before being attacked she wasn’t on any meds at all. I am not happy with having to give my child since medicines every day, probably for the rest of her life, but it’s a lot better than any alternatives.

Another definite sign of the PTSD is her screaming, swinging her arms, night terrors, and sleep walking. Even though she’s on Trazadone, which is meant to promote restful sleep, she still has all these symptoms, nightly, some nights are worse than others. Many nights she will play out in her sleep, what she has done during the day. Since I sleep in a twin bed, next to her, everything she does, effects my sleep as well. One of the reasons that I am permanently a stay at home Mom.

Lauren diet has changed as well. I don’t know if this is the PTSD symptoms or not, since we are awaiting for Lauren to have a mental and educational evaluation to see where everything stands with her. She has always been a fan of blueberry muffins, fresh salads, and rice. Always! About six months ago she refused to eat fresh lettuce, any muffins and white rice. She would eat all the other flavors/colors of rice. About two months ago, she announced that she eats only chocolate muffins, lettuce, and white rice, not together of course. I didn’t ask any questions. Friday night we were in subway sandwich shop, I went to order her sandwich, when she then again announced, that she no longer eats lettuce again. I do believe that this is an autism symptom, which can lie dormant in a child until a traumatic event, but this was not an practice of hers, until after she was attacked with the knife.

Lauren was also diagnosed as being OCD since the attack. OCD stands for obsessive compulsive disorder. Again, my sheltered life in a small town, I thought OCD was only the person would constantly stack items, sort items, count items. Boy was I ever wrong, as usual. For Lauren, her OCD is constant repeating of the same phrase, statement, or a tune that gets stuck in her head. She will repeat the same thing over and over. Like 25 times in less than three minutes time. I finally have to say, rather loudly, that “I heard her the first time, please stop”. At times, I must repeat that statement several times before the repeating stops. Again, this symptom was not present before her being attacked, but the OCD may be totally unrelated to the PTSD.

Now, she will go into OCD mode and start cleaning her room from top to bottom, wiping everything down, making sure everything is in it’s place and in order, but this is no way a bad thing, especially since I can’t get her to clean her room otherwise. I have had friends of mine, kid me to “borrow” Lauren to go clean their house….I just laugh, it’s not a button I can push and make her clean, I wish it was, my life would be easier, my house would be cleaned. LOL

According to my research, PTSD in children and adults, have some different symptoms as well as some of the same symptoms, but PTSD in between teenagers and adults is basically the same. I will do another article later, on my research of PTSD and the symptoms and recommended treatments.
Again, thanks for the read,
Reba

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