Monday, February 19, 2018

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD): Symptoms, Treatment (Research, Video 3:56)

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can often go undiagnosed because people are not aware of the symptoms or do not know that treatment is available. Veterans are often associated with this disorder because of the trauma many experience while serving the country. One of my hospice patients, a Viet Nam veteran, described his symptoms to me with these words:

“I’ve seen and done things you couldn’t imagine. Some of them were horrible, I mean really horrible. Don’t ask me to tell you what they were. I can’t talk about it. They say time heals all wounds, but it’s a lie. I left Viet Nam, but Viet Nam never left me. I carry it with me everywhere I go. All these years later, I still have nightmares like you wouldn’t believe. The doctor says it’s post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. I wake up shaking, gasping for breath with tears in my eyes. In my dreams, I’m always running hard trying to escape. Sometimes my enemies are close enough for me to touch. I almost stop breathing to keep them from hearing me. I’m constantly thinking I’m not going to make it. Some nights they kill me before I wake up. My dreams are so raw, so real they turn my soul inside out.”

Many people who never served in the military suffer these symptoms and more. They may not recognize the PTSD disorder in themselves and others. In an online PTSD survey assessing PTSD trauma, symptoms, and treatments, PTSD participants included 301 adults (50% veterans). They were asked to identify PTSD related items from a list. They were better at identifying traumatic events and symptoms than they were at knowing about effective PTSD treatments. This is important because people may not seek treatment if they don’t know it is available.

All wounds are not visible. What can PTSD look like? This video features people sharing their traumatic experiences that caused their PTSD and what can “trigger” or generate symptoms in various degrees, even to the point of having “lost days” that are so scary they have difficulty functioning. Personal and group therapy are encouraged.

Frances Shani Parker, Author
Becoming Dead Right: A Hospice Volunteer in Urban Nursing Homes is available in paperback and e-book editions in America and other countries at online and offline booksellers.
Hospice and Nursing Homes Blog


  1. 1954debbie.yg.sistare@gmail.comFebruary 22, 2018

    Thank you for sharing this awesome information .A therapist told me my grandson has ptsd. I'm trying so hard to get him some help .Its not easy .The therapist abruptly stopped taking his Medicaid plan .I'm having a hard time getting the state of South Carolina Healthy Solutions to change his plan. They're saying he's locked into this plan for 8 more months. Most of the psychiatrist doctors near by won't accept his plan. I'm wondering if I should check with a neurologist instead.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. The problem seems to be finding someone to accept your Medicaid plan. Perhaps Medicaid can recommend a doctor who will accept it and give your son the help he needs. If anyone knows another solution, please respond.