Faith and Post Traumatic Stress
Post traumatic stress has become a buzz word in the mental health industry for some time now. However, a resurgence of individuals diagnosed with this disorder has surfaced who are looking for hope and help. Many are soldiers who have rejoined society as citizens. In most cases this disorder goes undiagnosed until there a tragic event brings it all to the surface.
There are many solid solutions to this condition, but this article is not going to be able to address all of these solutions. However, I would like to speak to a particular area that has brought clarity for many suffering with this dark condition. As one who deals with this issue, I function well in both society and in family life, meaning even though I suffer from the emotional, mental, and even spiritual effects of PTSD, I remain functional in life both internally and externally. It is paradoxical to be a tempest inside, yet appear, at the same time, to be a person at peace on the outside. In many ways it is the bane of existence for most who suffer from this condition.
After many years of dealing with health issues unattributed to a specific diagnosis, I finally submitted to a psychological examination for post traumatic stress. After a proper diagnosis and return visit, I was asked how I coped with the disorder. Of course, my first response was a bit cavalier, “I don’t cope with it, I ignore it.” By the way, this happens to be the attitude that most have towards PTSD. It was bluntly revealed to me that “ignoring it” has been the downfall of my physical health. For those who suffer with this condition, you know what I am talking about. Headaches, night sweats, heart conditions, and the list goes on of the many biological and psychological imbalances. Instead of ignoring, it I decided to tackle it head on and look for solutions. I admit that I have not fully beaten the beast but have found peace.
The journey of life is a winding road with many detours. Post traumatic stress is one of those detours of life. Even though a series of traumatic events, attributing to my PTSD, offered a major detour in my life journey, my faith in God is the only guiding factor that has kept me on the path of sanity and functionality.
Even during the darkest times, late at night lying in bed, kept awake by the tragic images that cloud my mind, a light pierces that darkness. That light is the unwavering hope and trust in the Holy One, Blessed be He, who sustains the soul of man. I can’t say that I have attained all of the answers to all the many questions. Yet, this one thing I do know, God’s Spirit guides all who put their trust in Him.
By putting our trust in the Almighty, we can clearly see and be prepared for the fact that life is a journey full of adversity, hope and happiness. We are readily equipped to discover that success in life depends not on the absence of struggle, but the strength of Emuna (simple faith and trust in God). Practice faith, hold on to the promise that all things work together for the good to those who love God and live according to His purpose. This is the only reality. This is the only cure.