According to best estimates from the National Center for PTSD from the Veteran Administration, about 6 out of every 100 people (6%) will have Post Traumatic Stress Disorder at some point in their lives. Other estimates from other sources indicate that number could be as high as 8%.
While PTSD affects both men and women, veterans are more likely to have it than civilians. But what exactly is PTSD? How does it manifest itself? Is there biblical help or support for someone experiencing PTSD?
To answer those questions, Jim welcomed Kevin Raub. Kevin is chapter director for Wounded Spirits Ministries.
Kevin began by noting that Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is just what it sounds like. It’s things that happen after a traumatic situation. What initially raised awareness were the Vietnam veterans. So the common description involved those who’d been in battle. They left the battle but the battle hadn’t left them.
Everyone experiences stress, so PTSD does affect those beyond the realm of veterans. Overall, PTSD involves stress that stays. Perhaps you or someone you know saw or was involved in an accident, saw a death, experienced abuse, serious disease or disability, betrayal, abandonment or the grief of losing a loved one. All of these represent the initial trauma.
PTSD can also involve actions toward you that accumulate over time. Some examples include low level abuse, manipulation or bullying.
Then there are the triggers. These involve an experience that’s related to the initial experience that caused the PTSD in the first place. With a veteran, the PTSD may have originally involved guns, explosions or ordinance of some kind, so their common triggers may include a balloon pop or fireworks. However, for someone who’s been abused by another individual who wore a suit, seeing someone else dressed like that might trigger their PTSD and cause them to think they can’t face that immediate situation. So a trigger can be something virtually identical to what originally took place or something similar.
Trauma symptoms can include suicidal thoughts, survivors guilt, self harm, anger, isolation, addictions, apathy, fear/anxiety and hopelessness.
Kevin has found that through a biblical approach, you really get to the heart of an individual. The Bible really tells us the heart of why we think and what we think, why we feel and what we feel and that there’s a big God who sent Jesus, who himself went through trauma.
Rest assured that with the Lord’s help, PTSD is both treatable and curable. Find out more when you review this edition of Crosstalk.