Episode 26 - Could I have (C)PTSD?

Intro
Hello my dears! My name is Johanna, and I welcome you to the Johanna Draconis - The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD podcast. I apologize for my voice - I just kind of woke up to it.
In this episode we will talk about the question that started for most the journey: Could I have PTSD? Then the checking and the realization… yes I do.
Though to the ones who haven’t figured it out yet - to be honest, if you are asking yourself this question… most likely the answer will be yes - I wanted to help them finding the answer.
I recommend taking everything with a grain of salt… everyone is different after all. I wanted to give people the option to see for themselves - as good as I can.

Prelude
To answer a few question up ahead: No, you don’t have to be a soldier. No, you don’t have to have experienced any form of violence. Yes, some people might have it worse than you, but you can still have it.
Yes, the person might not have meant it badly, but it can still be a trauma. Yes, you can be cured and returned to a normal life aka be cleared of any symptoms and have a deep inner peace.
No, it will not go back as it used to be - experiences change us, no matter if they are good or bad. No, it is not too late - but it might take longer. No, you are not a second class person now.
Yes it is enough, that you felt something was wrong and no one else did. No, you are not crazy and need to be locked away - but you need to take care of it as soon as you can.
But yes, you need to protect yourself, as you are vulnerable and many people with bad intentions aim for that. And no, this event doesn’t change your worth one bit.
We will start with soft questions… and go deeper into the rabbit hole. I won’t focus on the trauma itself, because rarely people know it and even if they do, they often downplay it or don’t see it as unusual.
Before we start, I just want to say, that the most important part of this is, to be honest with yourself. Only the truth will set you free. You are not helping yourself with lying.

Let us begin softly
So where to start? I would say with: Do you have nightmares? You know the ones that really unsettle you? But eh, its just a dream? And you move on? If that sounds familiar, make your first check mark.
Are you feeling… kind of under pressure? Like you can’t really deeply relax, or at least extremely rarely? Its like you are always on the edge? And you can’t really pinpoint why? Another check mark.
Are you having issues with your emotions? You feel like you are on a roller coaster and not in control? Sometimes maybe even snapping at people and don’t really know why afterwards? That’s another one.
Do you feel a general form of frustration? Like you are just frustrated, but it is kind of everything? Like you don’t know? Especially if it was different before? You just want a break from your life? A check mark.
Has your brain been just kind of full? Like it is just so much… it is hard to keep track of it all? Things just slip you sometimes? Like there isn’t enough space? And might find it difficult to remember things? One more.
Have you trouble concentrating? Like it has become hard? It is hard to fully concentrate? You easily slip out? Difficult books and the like are no longer a side thing you can enjoy? Another check mark.
Are you feeling tired and exhausted? Like you really just want to take a break? But no matter how much you sleep, you feel tired? A kind of heaviness in your muscles? Like a weight you are carrying? Last check mark.
All those things are check marks, that your brain is dealing with something, that it has trouble handling. You will see similar symptoms after a close ones death, etc. Getting help, in whatever form, is strongly advised!

Mediocre
Now we get the more serious warning signs.
Do you feel chest pain? Something dull? Like you bumped into something? Otherwise just a bit tense? Might fade in and out? That is a warning sign.
Do you start seeing things? Like for a moment you though you saw something, but then it was gone? Usually in the corner of your eye? Or similar out of focus? A clear warning sign.
Do you feel hunted? I don’t mean necessarily literal, but a feeling on something is there? That you have to be on your guard? You don’t feel save and secure? That is a warning sign.
Do you suffer from Insomnia? I mean do you have trouble with sleeping? Despite being tired unable to sleep? Sleeping badly? Feeling tired most of the time? Yes, another warning sign.
Is the love you once felt for something just kinda gone? I mean passions, food, movies, music, relationships and so on? Like it’s just somehow only a gray mass now? All feels kind of empty? A strong warning sign.
Does your body show strange symptoms? Like your heart is racing, but for no reason? Or you are suddenly sweating? Or your body just seems to kind of… malfunction? That is another strong warning sign.
These are serious signs there is something really wrong with you at the moment. Try to get help soon. Or at least change things. Stabilize yourself to keep the symptoms from escalating.

Hardcore
We are now in red flag territory. Big red flags. You are in danger. Change things as soon as possible. Stabilize as much as you can.
Do you have hallucinations? Do you see things that aren’t there? This time relatively in your focus? Things, people or even whole scenes? That happened or not? Yeah, this is one big red flag.
Do you have triggers? Things, sentences, people, smells, sounds, tastes, anything really, that causes you to react? Or to respond in a specific way? You try to avoid them because of that? Another big red one.
Do you have strong chest pain? Like if someone is pulling your chest open? But it just hurts and stays there? But still not a sharp pain? Which fluctuates? Maybe feels like permanent heartbreak? Yes, this is also one.
Do you suffer from strong insomnia? Complete chaos in your sleeping pattern? Never  really know  when you will sleep? And the quality of sleep is rather bad? Definitely a big red flag.
Are you in a state of constant fear? Your heart going faster? Your breath? Your are afraid but… you don’t know why? There is no reason? Still you feel fear? And not safe? Another big red flag.
Do you have anxiety or panic attacks? Like for no real reason? You might even feel silly for having them? But no watter what you do, they keep reappearing? As before.

Emergency level
We left the big red flag territory, but now instead the soviet army is marching past you. Get help as soon as possible. You are in dire need of help. Or at least you need to change something as soon as possible.
Do you have sometimes no idea where and when you are? Even just for a brief moment? Just a complete loss of feeling of orientation? Yes, this is one of them.
Are you able to barely get any sleep? And I mean that literally. Do you sleep for only an extremely short time? Barely at all? Well, I think you most likely already know that this is really bad.
Do you have nightmares while you are awake? I mean does your nightmares sometimes kind of bleed into real life? Or you sort of daydream nightmares? Once again, most likely you already know this is bad.
Please take those hints VERY seriously. It is not really hard to figure out if you have PTSD on the long run, as this disease is not subtle. Take care of yourself, this is going to be a long journey.

Private Words
I am sorry for my voice and so on. I got a letter a few days ago, that I have a court appointment in less than a week, to plead for my case regarding my autism or otherwise an up to 1000 Euro fine.
Seems a bit extreme. But I have been preparing that court appointment. As I have to answer any and all questions. I never done anything like that before and I am pretty nervous. That really swept me from my feet.
And it also made me almost not enjoy my birthday! I am getting 30 today, which gives me a bit of mixed feelings, because it makes me aware of how much time has passed and how much time it all cost me.
Despite that, my birthday was always very special to me, so I will be playing a bit later with my friends, if I can get them all together… if not tomorrow. I have a wonderful raspberry tart. Some chocolates.
I actually get a present this time, because it my 30th birthday. A drawing tablet with screen, as I love to draw and because of my damaged nerves, my brain doesn’t know where my arms are until I look at them.
I am trying to enjoy this day as much as I can and I hope you are having a wonderful day as well.

Outro
That was it for todays episode, I especially hope that you liked it today. Of course my voice had to fail me just as I was recording. I just hope my life's craziness goes down soon.
I am sorry for any inconveniences along the way. Nonetheless, if you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at contactme@johannadraconis.com.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/Podcast and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time.

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