Seventeen, With Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

Look at me and you just might see an antisocial "freak" but what you do not know is the disorder that I have. I am seventeen and living with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I got diagnosed with PTSD three years ago by a psychiatrist. I went to the psychiatrist because of problems with my family and Catholic school that I was really unhappy at. I am not writing this article to whine and groan about my terrible childhood, so I will leave that to my memoir.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder generally happens after a person goes through a huge trauma. PTSD comes with flashbacks of the trauma, stress, bouts of anger, and generally depression as well. Everyday I am anxious that somebody in class will say something that will trigger a flashback for me or we will have a class discussion that will trigger a flashback of my sister beating me up; the fear, the terror, me screaming for my parents to stop and them doing anything to help. I would go into more details of my flashbacks, but sometimes describing them brings more on. The flashbacks are extremely hard to break and my parents were not a happy part of my childhood either. See, they never wanted kids, so all our lives we have been paying for "ruining their lives." Now I do not know how we have been ruining their lives ever since we were little kids, but I guess some people were never made to be parents.

To break a flashback I try to ground myself, remember where I am and who is around, that the setting is different from the setting my mind takes me to. I frequently wear a hair elastic around my wrist because sometimes I need to snap it against my wrist to break a flashback. Life with PTSD is no walk in the park and I constantly feel depressed, anxious, and I have a hard time being around people.

I want to raise awareness about this disorder because I know a lot of people have this same disorder. PTSD does happened to younger people and it needs to have more awareness. PTSD is like being on a never ending journey to the past. If you have PTSD you know that whatever caused you to have PTSD is something you never want to revisit. Bur of course, with PTSD you revisit it constantly and it is out of your control. Some anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants work for PTSD, although I had a nasty bout with one of them. Zoloft worked very well for my flashbacks, but it made me twenty times more depressed and sometimes it was hard to get out of bed in the morning. Yes, at that point I was suicidal as it was that bad. I never want to be that way again. Since this incident, I choose not to take any medication for my PTSD. This amazed my therapist because I am seventeen and living with an extremely hard disorder while still functioning.

If you have PTSD you are not alone, and there is help...