Posted in Blog or Stories, Inspirational, Medical

False Memories & PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Syndrom can attack a person’s mind without warning. High-stress jobs, childhood trauma, or traumatic injury can all lead to PTSD.  I want to talk a little about false memories.  I suffered from PTSD as a  high functioning schizophrenic and bipolar disorders person in my early 30’s. I also had dissociative identity disorder.  As part of my delusions, I had moments where I had thought something was true and could logically explain it or justify my stinking thinking with almost scientific clarity.

On one particular occasion, I had convinced myself that my father had actually murdered someone and disposed of the body in the quicksand bogs of an area river/lake backwater area in Oklahoma.  It took a lot of counseling to convince me that it was a false memory projected by my fathers’ behavior towards my mother.  You see, my father took me to an area where quicksand was available, only I didn’t know it. We were walking a trail over the river banks and I took a misstep and was in quicksand.  It wasn’t very wide of a section on the surface. I couldn’t lift myself out and got to my knee/thigh area before my father finally gave the gun butt of the rifle to pull me out of it.  I was justifiably scared for a few moments. A while later my father took me back to the same location where I had stepped off and there was a deep chasm in the ground that was hollowed out and a deer skeleton was in the bottom. He told me that if I didn’t tow the line that could be my mom there instead. True story.

False memories usually have a small basis in fact. As recently, evidenced in the political arena of Dr. Ford and Judge Kavanaugh.  I have no dought that Dr. Ford experienced some type of trauma at some point in her life. She is suffering from PTSD in my opinion and perhaps false memories.  Some things occurred and her mind tried to make sense of it.  It put two and two together and it made sense to her, and she kept remembering more and more details that were available in her subconsciousness until she felt she figured it out.  The only problem with false memories is they can’t hold up under intense scrutiny.  (I am not a political person, I am using them as an example of what can occur not as a factor or supposition of events).

Another incident from my mind was about my son-in-law Wayne (he’s dead now). But when he married my daughter at her age of 19 yrs and he was 59 yrs old.  I had an awful dream about him. And I recalled it and kept re-dreaming the scenario. I then began thinking about it during waking moments, and pieces started falling into place in my mind. Within a few weeks, my behavior changed towards him, I was suspicious of his motives and convinced her was mistreating my daughter.  It took a lot of talk-therapy to convince me that it was false dreams based upon my anxiety of my daughters’ marriage. I felt out-of-control.  I took real memories and twisted them in my mind like a sinister plot.  If anyone had taken me seriously I would have destroyed his teaching career and possibly life. Luckily, I was in deep psychiatric almost daily couseling with a trained therapist who recognized what was happening.  I could be quiet persuasive in my mindset of righteous indignation. I don’t remember if I told my daughter about my suspicions and theories, but I do remember getting to the truth and being set free of the stinking thinking towards him. My fears and false memories could not stand up to empirical evidence.  All I’m saying is that false-memories are real to the person experiencing them.  They could pass a polygraph test because in their mind the incidents make sense and therefore are true.

If you are suffering. There is help available without stigma. Just reach out to your local health department or  2-1-1 operator and tell them you need to see a psychiatrist and/or psychologist. Counseling can be very expensive if you don’t have medical insurance or sometimes even with it, but there are places that offer cash discounts or sliding-scale fees. I do not have a list but you could check with religious affiliates like Catholic Charities for assistance. If you are enduring PTSD and False Memories, remember it is not your fault. You didn’t ask for this to happen to you- it just did. But you have to take responsibility for getting well and asking for help, you can’t do it alone.

If your reading this blog and feel hopeless, helpless, unworthy of help, or any negative feelings of diminished capacity then reach out to someone, even if it is going voluntarily to a psych ward of the hospital (go through Emergency Room) for a few days or calling 9-1-1 to get help, don’t suffer in silence or kill yourself.  Depression and PTSD often go hand-in-hand and are untreated or undertreated a professional can help you.

END

The following can be viewed at https://www.psychguides.com/guides/ptsd-post-traumatic-stress-disorder/

PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder)
Estimates suggest that up to 70 percent of American adults have experienced at least one significant trauma during their lifetimes. Many of those people may subsequently have suffered from an emotional reaction known as posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Further estimates suggest that 5 percent of the population currently lives with PTSD.

What Is PTSD?
Posttraumatic stress disorder occurs in some cases when people are exposed to a very stressful event, which is known as an extreme stress trigger. To be diagnosed with PTSD, they must continue to experience symptoms of PTSD for at least one month after exposure to this trigger.

Who Experiences PTSD?
Although women are twice as likely as men to develop PTSD, anyone who experiences an extremely traumatic event may develop a post-traumatic stress disorder. Examples of extreme stress triggers include:

Criminal assault or rape
Natural disasters
Serious accidents
Combat exposure
Child physical or sexual abuse or severe neglect
Witnessing traumatic events
Imprisonment/hostage/displacement as refugees
Torture
The sudden unexpected death of loved ones
Although other types of stress may be severe and can be quite upsetting, they typically do not result in PTSD. Such events might include the death of an elderly parent, divorce, or job loss.

What Are the Symptoms of PTSD?
People living with PTSD typically experience three main types of symptoms. First, they may re-experience the traumatic event that led to developing PTSD. This can include:

Flashbacks in which they feel that the triggering event is recurring even while they are awake
Distressing recollections of the traumatic event
Nightmares of the event
Exaggerated physical and emotional reactions to triggers that remind them of the event
The second type of symptom involves emotional numbing or even avoidance. It may include the following symptoms or behaviors:

Avoidance of places, thoughts, activities, conversations, and feelings related to the event or trauma
Feelings of detachment
Loss of interest
Restricted emotions
The third symptom type relates to increased arousal related to the event and may be indicated by:

Outbursts of anger
Irritability
Difficulty sleeping
Hypervigilance
Difficulty concentrating
Exaggerated startle responses

Author:

Kathy Ann Hughes was born September of 1961, Rome Georgia. To Earl & Patricia Hughes. Married in 1977 to Robert-from Bethany, OK - still together 41 years later. Two daughters ages 40y and 35y and five beautiful grandchildren. Live near Eagle Mountain-Saginaw/Fort Worth, TX I love GOD and live life to its fullest. I am blessed beyond measure. I have family pets that give me a sense of devotion. Writing this blog has been an adventure of internal growth.

One thought on “False Memories & PTSD

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s