Amarah's Corner: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Part 2


Hi! My name is Amarah. Kids are important to me, and they’re important to Jesus, too.

In Matthew 18:10 KJV, Jesus said, “Take heed that ye despise not (hurt or be mean to) one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

“Kids like me” are kids whose parents are drug addicts, and alcoholics; kids who have suffered, or who are suffering, abuse and neglect on multiple levels; and kids who are victims of bullying.

This week my special friend, Corliss Taylor-Dunn, M.A., LMFT, shares information about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and how PTSD appears in the lives of kids like me from the abuse and neglect of our drug addict parents. Among other things, kids like me feel intense fear and helplessness, which can lead to serious long-term struggles with depression, and anxiety; see below:

POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER, PART 2

If you suffer with PTSD, there are treatment solutions that offer healthy ways to cope. Do not let a mental health disorder prevent a full, healthy life. Is it possible that there can be a delayed reaction to the traumatic event? Yes. There are three types of PTSD:

  • Acute: when the above symptoms last between one and three months after the trauma
  • Chronic: when the symptoms last for at least three months following the trauma.
  • Delayed: when symptoms do not show up for at least six months after the trauma. This is often found with adult survivors of childhood traumas.

What are other effects of trauma?

When PTSD is detected, other symptoms and characteristics are found too. This is why PTSD is so often misdiagnosed. Among the major sets of symptoms are phobia (fear) and general anxiety (especially among former POWs and hostages and natural disaster survivors sense of time (especially among children), grief reactions and obsessions with death (especially among those who survived a trauma in which someone could have died), feeling guilty, and increased interpersonal conflicts (interactions between individuals). For some who have PTSD, these other features go away once the PTSD symptoms are eliminated through treatment.

What kind of help is there for PTSD?

Both drugs and psychotherapy can be helpful. The most effective treatment approaches are called "cognitive-behavioral" because they focus both on the way traumatized persons view the trauma and on their resulting behavior. Exposure therapy includes systematic desensitization (training to relax in the face of frightening reminders of the trauma) and imaginable, in-vivo (live) techniques. The most effective treatment for PTSD includes a variety of anxiety management training strategies. Some of these include various kinds of relaxation training, stress inoculation training, etc. Innovative therapists are successful in combining various techniques to fit the trauma and the patient’s unique requirements.

Families are the best setting to help those who suffer from this stress disorder. Families know when a member is acting differently than before the traumatic event. A therapist may work with you or your family member with PTSD to remember the trauma and reprocess the information and mourn losses.  Children as well as adults benefit from PTSD therapies. Therapists will help you disconnect from the trauma so that reminders do not arouse distress. In doing so, the therapist will help you reconnect to life now and in the future without being haunted by the trauma. Not everyone’s experience of trauma is the same; everyone’s individual recovery process and pace is also not the same. Be patient.

Reconnecting is especially important: once you are desensitized from the burdens caused by the trauma, family therapy enables you to learn from it and make needed changes in your personal life and relationships, especially love relationships.

(Adapted with permission from The American Association for Marriage & Family Therapy, 2017)

Thank you Miss Corliss, and thank you for reading my column. Please send questions or comments to me in care of the Courier, [email protected] or write to me at Amarah’s Childrens Foundation “Kids Like Me” P.O. Box 354, Alamosa, CO 81101, or call (719) 480-4624, leave a message, and someone will return your call. If you know a kid like me, or parent who is an addict, or alcoholic, please tell him or her about “Amarah’s Corner, Kids Like Me” in the Valley Courier newspaper and tell them to contact me, or you can contact me on their behalf. And, if you know a kid like me, or parent, who does not have a Bible, but would like to have one, please, contact me and I will make sure he or she gets a Bible of their very own, “…and all the earth may know there is a God…” (1 Samuel 17:46, KJV).
My goal is to help kids like me, and I want to help their parents, too. Until next time, remember, Jesus Loves You, and JESUS IS LORD!
      
      

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