It’s Not Good Ignoring Symptoms Of PTSD & C-PTSD

Recently I read an article about symptoms of PTSD.  I didn’t think much more about it at first, but it kinda bopped around the back of my mind a bit for a few days.

A couple of days later, my husband & I had to go to the doctor for our health insurance.  His appointment was first, & we texted periodically.  He mentioned the doctor was concerned about his depression.  When I saw the doctor, I asked him about it & he said, “I see a lot of people day after day.  He has the look many have who have been depressed for years.”  I thought it was an interesting statement- he’s very observant!

A couple of days later, something hit me.  Our doctor didn’t say a word about my mental health.  Not a comment one about me looking like someone who’s been depressed for years, even though I can’t remember a time in my life when I wasn’t depressed.  Somehow, my lazy Susan-esque brain connected that with the article I read about PTSD symptoms.  In that moment I realized just how much I have been ignoring my C-PTSD symptoms.  I’m so good at it that even my observant doctor had no idea I struggle with C-PTSD.

Yes, I’m hyper-vigilant, but you probably wouldn’t know it to look at me.  Rather than upset people by startling easy, I am on constant guard, surveying my environment so not much surprises me.

I also get very quiet when I have flashbacks.  Naturally I’m quiet anyway so that isn’t a huge red flag  My husband has seen me have many flashbacks, but hasn’t noticed a lot of them because of that.  I don’t even tell him most of the time when I have flashbacks.  I just recover & go on the best I can.

These are just two examples, but there are others.

Thinking of such things I realized how incredibly unhealthy this is that I ignore so many of my symptoms.  On the outside, I look like I’m managing the C-PTSD just fine, but on the inside is a very different story.

In considering all of this, I think this happens simply out of habit.  Growing up with narcissistic parents, I learned early never to “bother” my parents with my problems.  My purpose was to take care of them, not the other way around.  As a result,  like most children of narcissistic parents, I learned to hide or even ignore anything that didn’t please them.  I ignored emotions, illness, thoughts, wants, & needs.  Now here I am, an adult in my 40’s with my own life, still hiding & ignoring important things that I shouldn’t be hiding or ignoring.

No doubt I’m not the only person in this position, so I thought I’d share my thoughts on the issue with you, Dear Reader.

It’s important with PTSD & C-PTSD to manage your symptoms.  Ignoring them isn’t the same thing.  Managing them means you have some control over your symptoms.  Ignoring them means you’re working hard to pretend they don’t exist, which shows they have control over you.

Ignoring symptoms also means the problem won’t get fixed or at least controlled.  It also can mean you face health problems because emotions that are ignored can cause stress & we all know stress is terrible for your physical & emotional health.

With both PTSD & C-PTSD, there are some symptoms that are just a part of life but others that can be managed.  Flashbacks come to mind.  Rather than ignoring them or simply accepting them, why not make them work for you whenever possible?  Flashbacks can be a sign of a particular issue that you need to work on.  I’ve learned that if I deal with the issue my flashback was about, I don’t have another about that particular issue.  The same goes for nightmares.  This also can work with anxiety.  Figure out what is the root of this anxiety.  Ask God to help you if need be.  Once you know the root, you can face the problem & eliminate one cause of your anxiety.  Chipping away at it one issue at a time can help make it more manageable.

Maybe your symptoms are flaring up because you’ve been pushing yourself too hard lately or it’s near the anniversary of some traumatic event.  If that is the case, your brain is trying to tell you to slow down & do some good self care.  Listen to the symptoms!  They’re trying to get your attention for a reason!

Remember, PTSD & C-PTSD are potentially life threatening disorders.  They should be taken very seriously.  Ignoring your symptoms isn’t going to help you & can hurt you.  Pay attention to your symptoms- your brain is trying to tell you something, so listen to it!

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3 Comments

Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health, Narcissism

3 responses to “It’s Not Good Ignoring Symptoms Of PTSD & C-PTSD

  1. Today — Patriots Day, 9-11 — is hard on my PTSD.

    I woke up this morning feeling extremely anxious and like I just wanted to crawl back under the covers. I forced myself to get up and get going anyway, telling myself to stop being such a big wimpy baby. 9-11 happened 17 years ago, and I did not personally know anyone who was killed that day. I wasn’t in New York City at the time, or in Washington, DC. I was in eastern Pennsylvania — miles away from Shanksville, where the last plane went down. So I really don’t have a valid reason to feel anxious, triggered, and re-traumatized, simply because the calendar says it is September 11.

    And yet, anxious, triggered, and traumatized is how I felt, all day. And I still feel that way, although it is now very late in the evening.

    I belong to the local VFW auxiliary. A few days ago, the auxiliary president called me and asked if I could help out with the lunch they were having today, in honor of Patriots Day. I said that I would, and I also volunteered to bring a couple of pies for dessert. But, because of my severe anxiety this morning, I got there almost two hours later than I had intended to do. Instead of getting there three hours early to help set everything up, I walked in just a little over an hour before the lunch was to start.

    After dropping off my pies and ice cream in the kitchen, I asked what I could do to help. After being told that there wasn’t anything left for me to do, I felt very guilty for not getting there early enough to do any of the work. Feeling my heart starting to pound, I slipped out the door, hustled to my car, and drove straight back home. Where I did, indeed, crawl back into bed and hibernate under the covers.

    WHY does this day trigger me so bad? I don’t know… except… the sudden, unexpected nature of the attacks. The horror, the vicious evil nature of the attacks. The randomness, and all the innocent victims, who just happened to be in the wrong place at the worst time. This was my childhood. Random, sudden, horrific, EVIL. And I was just a kid, born into the wrong family, in the wrong place at the worst time. And I never knew when, where, or how the evil was going to strike again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you figured out the reason behind 9/11 being so upsetting & unfortunately it makes a lot of sense. I’m so sorry you go through this. ((((hugs))))

      Isn’t it strange the triggers that can happen? The most unusual things can be triggering! 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: PTSD and 9/11 – A Blog About Healing From PTSD

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