Friday, June 12, 2020

LESSON 4 Why events park in your brain

PTSD Patrol
Kathie Costos
June 12, 2020

Four years ago today, about 300 people were at a nightclub for an evening of fun, dancing and drinking with their friends. It was the night a maniac decided to kill 49 of them, wound many others and change the lives of hundreds more.

Remembering victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting: 4 years later

ORLANDO -- A ceremony commemorating the fourth anniversary of a massacre at a gay nightclub in Florida was being held virtually Friday because of the coronavirus, instead of members of the public gathering outside the club to remember the victims as in years past. 

A pre-taped, online ceremony was being held to remember the 49 people who were killed at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando in June 2016. The area around the club was closed to the public Friday, though survivors, family members of victims and first-responders were being allowed to visit. 

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ordered state flags to be flown at half-staff Friday for Pulse Remembrance Day, and he asked Floridians to pause for a moment in the morning to remember the Pulse victims. 

"Four years have now passed, but our community's commitment to honoring the 49 angels and supporting the survivors, families of the victims and first responders remains strong," Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer tweeted. read it here

It hit and took a place in their minds. Even for those who were not there that night, it was hard to walk away from the TVs and the news coverage. Cell phones ringing haunted the responders who were there after it had all stopped, but for them, it never stopped happening.

Sandy Hook, September 11, Mandalay BayBoston Marathon, Challenger Explosion, and many more events, written in history but recorded in our minds. They parked there! Most people remember where they were and what they were doing during huge events such as these. The memories only come back when reminded about them for most people.

It is a different story for those who have those memories parked in their emotional engine. They do not need to be reminded of something that would not allow them to forget.

It happened to over 7 million Americans. Far too many do not know what it is and have not been diagnosed, but the only way to be hit by PTSD, is a life altering event, such as the ones above.

This is from the MAYO Clinic

Intrusive memories

Symptoms of intrusive memories may include:

Recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event
Reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks)
Upsetting dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event
Severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event

Symptoms of avoidance may include:

Trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event
Avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event
Negative changes in thinking and mood

Symptoms of negative changes in thinking and mood may include:

Negative thoughts about yourself, other people or the world
Hopelessness about the future
Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
Difficulty maintaining close relationships
Feeling detached from family and friends
Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
Feeling emotionally numb
Changes in physical and emotional reactions

Symptoms of changes in physical and emotional reactions (also called arousal symptoms) may include:
Being easily startled or frightened
Always being on guard for danger
Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
Trouble sleeping
Trouble concentrating
Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
Overwhelming guilt or shame
For children 6 years old and younger, signs and symptoms may also include:
Re-enacting the traumatic event or aspects of the traumatic event through play
Frightening dreams that may or may not include aspects of the traumatic event

Intensity of symptoms

PTSD symptoms can vary in intensity over time. You may have more PTSD symptoms when you're stressed in general, or when you come across reminders of what you went through. For example, you may hear a car backfire and relive combat experiences. Or you may see a report on the news about a sexual assault and feel overcome by memories of your own assault.

When to see a doctor
If you have disturbing thoughts and feelings about a traumatic event for more than a month, if they're severe, or if you feel you're having trouble getting your life back under control, talk to your doctor or a mental health professional. Getting treatment as soon as possible can help prevent PTSD symptoms from getting worse.
Tomorrow we'll talk about how to go from park to reverse.

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