You know how soldiers who have gone through war suffer from PTSD? When they encounter something that triggers their memories and they have flashbacks of their traumatic experiences and these cause them to break down?

Turns out, one doesn’t need to have gone to war to suffer from PTSD-like symptoms. Divorce or separation can do that for you.

According to the internet, trauma occurs most often when the following factors are present:

• The event was unexpected
• The individual was powerless to prevent the event
• The intentional cruelty of another person exhibited during the event
• The event occurred during childhood

This helps explain why I’ve been having flashbacks and breakdowns.

The internet also says:

PTSD has numerous symptoms, though they typically fall under the purview of four specific symptomatic categories. These categories include avoidance, intrusive memories, negative changes in thinking or behavior, and changes in physical and emotional reactions. Intrusive memories come most often in the form of uncontrolled flashbacks or nightmares. Avoidant behavior means that victims of PTSD work to avoid any experiences, objects, or places that trigger memories of the event leading to PTSD. Negative mood and thinking patterns are most often seen in the form of depression, anxiety, and increased irritability, while changes in physical and emotional reactions can mean being constantly on edge, and engaging in reactionary behavior and communication.

In order to reach the minimum requirements for a diagnosis, you must experience these symptoms for a minimum of one month. Prolonged symptoms can lead to other conditions due to the intense nature of PTSD, so it is not uncommon to receive multiple diagnoses once you’ve received a PTSD diagnosis. There are physical symptoms in PTSD (most commonly, headaches, stomachaches, and unexplained aches and pains) that may be diagnosed as a separate condition, then resolve as PTSD is resolved.

Intrusive memories – check
Avoidant behaviour – check
Negative mood and thinking patterns – check
Changes in physical and emotional reactions – check
Minimum of one month – check

It looks like I really may have PTSD.

But an interesting insight also took place. All along, I’ve been thinking that my current depression episode is a relapse of the old one. But now I’m thinking that the old cause is gone, and this latest depression episode may actually have a separate cause. Because it’s depression, it looks the same as the last time. But if I’m honest with myself, it’s not the same. It’s similar, but not the same as before.

I think I should seek professional help for this.

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