We Can All Be Influencers For Change
We Can All Be Influencers For Change To Help Those Suffering
The diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD, has been found to be the most severe form of Combat Trauma. It is a common reaction to an uncommon event. It is common for those who saw, smelled, felt, heard and tasted things of war to be acting very differently compared to how they normally would act. It is not unusual for someone to be affected by combat or by any kind of threat, trauma, pain, atrocity, horror, gore and loss. Facing constant danger and death changes a person in the same manner.
PTSD is not a sign of weakness, instead it reveals the signs of a wound. The word ‘trauma’ is from a Greek word which means ‘a wounding.’ A psychological wound can change emotions, cause people to lose faith, lose self-identity, lose confidence, lose trust in others, and lose their sense of security. There are even physical changes in the brain of someone suffering from PTSD and a person’s hormonal balance can be affected by a terrible shock caused from war, accidents, bad weather situations, and any other kind of trauma that happens in our lives. An adrenaline rush causes the heart to beat faster, lungs to pump harder and the pupils in the eyes to dilate or grow larger. 70% of the oxygen normally sent to the brain now shoots out to the muscles so they can be ready to run or get away from danger. The brain works overtime to record the bad memories so they can be avoided in the future. The lower brain now takes over and gets the mind, body and soul ready for whatever it takes to survive. This is known as the “Fight or Flight” situation.
For a child living in an atmosphere of chaos brought on by symptoms of a PTSD sufferer stress levels are raised. A healthy parent or adult living in the same situation should be proactive in not only properly educating but also making sure a child’s self worth and identity are nurtured. Not only can combat experiences bring on PTSD symptoms but sexual and physical assaults, being held hostage, terrorism in a community, torture, accidents, natural and man-made disasters or receiving a diagnosis of a life-threatening illness can contribute to levels of stress leading to PTSD in a person’s life. There are even cases of secondary PTSD brought on by a child witnessing threatening behavior or hearing about what a close friend or relative had to endure in a life-threatening situation which caused trauma.
Many times, people experiencing PTSD are in a state of denial so the healthy parent should be aware of all possibilities to begin the process of acknowledging help is needed so the healing process can begin. Many people with some level of stress whether it be a low level or high level will show signs indicating PTSD is a possibility in a person’s life. I will just name a few but each person manifests the symptoms differently.
Symptoms that can be seen in both the parent with PTSD and those in the family with secondary PTSD:
- Nightmares or night terrors which leads to sleep disturbances
- Unwanted images, thoughts, or daydreams which leads to diminished concentration
- Flashbacks which leads to feeling unsafe
- Panic attacks which leads to fearfulness, dread or horror
- Self-isolation which leads to becoming more and more withdrawn
- Anxiety in crowds and traffic which leads to confusion and spaciness
- Inability to trust others which leads to impatience
- Lack of interest or motivations regarding work, recreation, former hobbies, or exercises which leads to hopelessness
- Substance abuse to numb himself and escape the moment which leads to chronic addiction
- Anger, having fits of rage which leads to feeling mad at God or others
- So many more
This is just a snapshot of what could be going on so a very thorough diagnosis and treatment plan by professionals is a first step in getting help. Because we are a Christ-centered ministry, we advocate bringing God into the equation. Every family should be pro-active in working toward a healthy home life for a military family or any family that has suffered trauma of some sort.
A next step is to turn to God for understanding, clarity and hope found in the Bible and Bible-believing churches where fellow Christians can come alongside you as you walk through the healing process. It is important to reach out to show affection toward all the children in the family because it brings a feeling of security for them. When the PTSD sufferer shows a disinterest in the accomplishments of the children in the home, this could lead to insecurity. To create an atmosphere of openness so all see the good resolutions attempted by the parents this should bring a level of respect and maturity on the part of the children. To provide honest answers and information for questions asked should bring reassurance and love. In spite of whatever trauma experienced, when God and prayer are included in the daily conversations, a greater understanding can give hope for a better future for everyone.
A family with some kind of PTSD will be at a vulnerable state. The person suffering will probably try to go it alone in their quest to get better. They may not even tell anyone something is wrong but the family will know. Without God’s interventions moment by moment, it will be a tough road to travel to that ultimate goal of 100% healing. Deliberately submitting to God, resisting satan’s tricks and drawing near to God will work miracles. satan will see that fervent prayers calling upon a trustworthy God works every time. He will flee. A suffering family can go from heartache to hope in the future when God gets involved!
Every country or people group in our world today cannot escape the results of trauma of all kinds. Some countries are run by leaders who use chaos as a way to run their nations. This in itself causes an elevated level of stress on its citizens. Some countries have corruption throughout their governing administration which disgusts the citizens and causes a rebellious atmosphere that seeps into the family homes. Some people groups keep their citizens from experiencing their full potential due to traditions implemented hundreds of years ago. Some areas of the world have weather related terrors causing so much damage and family disruption. Some parts of the world treat certain citizens in their societies as lesser than equal human beings and even though there does not seem to be a way to solve these restrictions, when enlightenment about how God can help carry that burden is revealed, it brings joy back into a heart even though the circumstances have not changed much.
We all can be influencers for change to help families who may be suffering with trauma of some kind. Be someone who reaches out to the hurting around you by first, keeping a firm grip on faith in God and His healing power and secondly, sharing the news of victory found in God with those who haven’t heard yet. When you bring God into the picture where there is brokenness, there will be healing. Where there are wounds, there will be new power. Where there is darkness, there will be light. Let God be the one to give hope through you that only He can provide.
When you look at the work of God there will be changes:
- Where there once was fear…there is now trust in God…because of God’s strength
- Where there once was sadness…there is now confidence in God’s plan… because of God’s saving presence
- Where there once was lack of direction…there is now a willingness to wait on God… because of God’s inspiration
- Where there once was weakness…there is now endurance to the end…because of God’s power
- Where there once was discouragement…there is now a heart filled with courage…because of God’s greatness