“A flashback, or involuntary recurrent memory, is a psychological phenomenon in which an individual has a sudden, usually powerful, re-experiencing of a past experience or elements of a past experience”..
You know, when it was first suggested to me that I was suffering from an element of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, I was quick to disagree. I mean, a rape that in duration lasted less than half a minute (I understand now that duration changes nothing. I said no) I felt like, did I even have a right to have that label? Something that brave soldiers living in war zones suffer with, brave fire fighters saving lives, prisoners of war, could I really have that as well?
Then I researched it, I looked up the symptoms and well, it’s me in bullet proof list form:
- Physical symptoms – pain, sweating, anxiety, nausea, trembling, headaches, fatigue etc
- Mood changes
- Hyper vigilant
- Hyperarousal – irritability, insomnia and difficulty concentrating
Unable to relax, unable to switch off…I don’t think there has been a list that describes me so well before, to be honest.
Further research highlighted another fact for me. 1 in 2 female rape victims will suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Furthermore up to 4 out of 5 people also have other mental health issues alongside, depression, persistent anxiety, addictions etc.
Mental health after trauma can typically be so, so fragile.