world topics

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

“It’s not the person refusing to let go of the past but the past refusing to let go of the person”. PTSD is a mental illness that affects 7.8 million Americans . Most people believe PTSD only affects people who were or are in the military and they are wrong because I am one of those people. PTSD is a disorder in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. My PTSD derives from my abusive childhood. Something that started over 17 years ago still affecting me today. I have been victim to PTSD and I have also been the culprit to pushing my pain onto others.

For me PTSD is not sleeping well at night because I am still afraid that someone will come through my door and abuse me. PTSD for me is having nightmares when ever I do sleep so I wake up multiple times throughout the night. It’s crying uncontrollably. It’s being paranoid of every man who I see. It’s being afraid of being alone. It’s only sleeping when there’s someone who I trust near me holding me. I tend to lash out emotionally when I feel I’m unsafe or scared. PTSD for me is a reminder that no matter how far I’ve come my past will always follow. PTSD comes in many forms and for me PTSD is fear.

Growing up in my teenage years my step father also had PTSD. He was a former marine and couldn’t cope with the thought that something was wrong with him. He was prescribed medication to take for his condition but to him he didn’t need them so he didn’t take them. As a result, he would randomly spaz out. It was usually the simplest things that would set him off. Anything that resulted in him feeling weak ended with my him breaking anything in his path. Whether it be Tv’s, furniture, anything in his path was destructed. As a result my younger brother and I would lock ourselves in our rooms until he was no longer screaming at the top of his lungs, threatening to kill us or trying to break down the bedroom door. Until we could hear no more chaos. After it was silent we would go out to see what damage had been done. All of his episodes usually resulted in his blood being splattered everywhere from breaking or throwing everything with his bare hands. Me and my mom would clean up what looked to be a massacre and she would try to get him to take his medication which never ended well. This was denial and rage what we most often associate with PTSD in our military personnel when they have “snapped”.

At the time of my step father’s out cries I was 15 years old while my younger brother was 11. This was something we had never witnessed before so it scared us. I feared for my life at all times of the day or night. You never knew when he might flip or what would set him off. Often times while under attack he would threaten to kill us, you hear something so much you start to believe it. My mother and younger brother and I stayed up all night one night just listening to him , taking turns watching the door, waiting and praying. Although we weren’t really young that still affected us. No child should have to ensure this.

PTSD is our minds reaction to us being unable to cope with a traumatic experience. PTSD is another topic that is rarely discussed but should be. There are people dealing with this constant fight within themselves everyday and need help. If my step father had allowed us to help him, if he had taken his medications all those times he switched on us wouldn’t have happened. My brother and I wouldn’t have had to see something that dramatic at a young age. We shouldn’t have had to fear for our lives in our own home.

If you suffer from PTSD or know anyone who does I beg you to get help or help them get the treatment that they need. They may go through a stage of denial but at the end of the day you’re doing what’s best for them and in severe cases what’s best for you as well. With treatment PTSD can reduce and even elimate the symptoms of PTSD. The thought process one has with PTSD can go away and in that sense PTSD can be improved or “cured”.

In severe cases you have to think of your loved ones. You don’t want them to fear you. You don’t want to be afraid of what you’ll say or do around them either. Take the first step in understanding your diagnosis and begin getting treatment. In getting treatment you allow yourself to be able to lead a better life. The nightmares can stop, The thoughts can stop, it can all go away. I don’t know about you but I want to be able to have a full nights sleep without waking up from a nightmare paranoid. I’m 22 years old and I deserve to live as normal as I possibly can. That’s why I went and got the help I’ve been needing. It’s never too late to better yourself So, what’s stopping you?

Wake up, world topics

With Scoliosis comes Strength!

“Our spines can’t define us, no matter what degree it’s at”. Often times I don’t think people realize how fortunate they are. People joke about scoliosis but unless you suffer from scoliosis you can’t grasp how severe the pain of Scoliosis can actually be. I’ve always had back pain and for so long no one could tell me why. I tried physical therapy, pain medications, back braces, back  massages but at the end of the day I was still always in pain. Pain so severe that for a while I didn’t sleep because I couldn’t. For me my scoliosis is only minor compared to many others I was fortunate enough not to have to have surgery to correct the curve that’s in my spine.

I hear people mentioning Scoliosis on songs and in jokes but scoliosis is more than just having a curved spine. Scoliosis can be walking with a limp because one of your hips is higher than the other. Scoliosis can be not being able to stand up straight or like me trying to use correct posture but you can’t and it only hurts you more. Scoliosis can be having to sleep with a pillow between your legs to take the stress off of your back while you sleep. Scoliosis can be not being able to stand, sit or lie down for long periods of time.

For me Scoliosis is a hassle to live with on a daily basis. There are treatment options,but there is no cure. Some days I wake up and I am fine. Yet, other days I wake up with my back muscles aching, so bad that often times it hurts to stretch. Having to sit for long periods of time or stand for long periods of time is something that I just can’t do so I switch in between them both to limit the strain I put on my back.

The last I checked which was a few years ago the degree of my Scoliosis was only at 20%. I have a C shaped curve in my spine, which curves to the left at the top of my spine near my shoulder blades. So, most of my pain is felt on the upper right portion of my back as it’s pulling. 1 of my hips is slightly higher than the other, but you wouldn’t know unless I told you. So when walking or standing I do walk on my tip toes. The least effective treatment for me was physical therapy as I’d come in pain and leave in even more pain having to be iced down each time before I left. I did the exercises the stretches but the pain never stopped. When it came to taking pain medication the medications either suppressed some of the pain for a moment or did nothing at all. So, on most days I am in pain.

Now my case is only 1 of many. My case is also minor compared to some of the people with this diagnosis. My C curve is only in one portion of my spine. There are people out there with a S-shaped curve which is exactly what it sounds like a S-shaped curve in their spine. These more severe cases of scoliosis results in the person(s) having to get surgery so that they can be able to do normal activities like; walking. There are people who can’t take off their brace as it’s what’s helping them stand up correctly. My scoliosis is only minor compared to some of the cases out there but the pain I endure is devastating. If my 20 degree Curve can cause that much pain imagine what someone at 30 or 50 or 100% goes through on a daily basis.

Scoliosis isn’t a topic that gets discussed on the regular but it should. As there are people out there unable to enjoy their daily lives because of their condition. People take the simple things for granted everyday like being able walk, run stand up straight and just enjoy their life without any worries. There are some people who have never gotten the chance to do “the simple things” because their scoliosis hinders them from being able to do so. So, the next time you hear someone making fun of someone for having scoliosis ask them how often do they wake up in pain? How often are they unable to sleep because there back is having a spasm? How often do they have too stop doing an activity because the pain becomes too severe? People with Scoliosis fight a physical battle everyday with their own body do you? Or the next time you see someone who looks a little different because they walk with a limp or are hunched over due to a curve in their spine don’t hassle them or give them a hard time. We have a lot that we already deal with on a daily basis don’t add to it.

To anyone suffering from Scoliosis you are not alone and no matter how the world may perceive you, you are strong. The curve of your spine does not deter you, it’s merely another obstacle to conquer. You defeat odds everyday by being 1 in a every 40 in the fight against Scoliosis. You still being here another day says your strength can not be matched, and you win because you made it through yesterday! You endured and conquered! I hope one-day we can say my Scoliosis is gone. June is Scoliosis awareness month so, Help me in raising awareness to scoliosis!