Hello my dears! My name is Johanna, and I welcome you to the Johanna Draconis - The Deconstruction Of C-PTSD podcast.
In this episode we will talk about PTSD breaking out. As PTSD is pretty dormant until it breaks out, most people don’t know they have it until then. They only have minimal symptoms and it doesn’t appear too bad.
That is why many people have trouble believing they have PTSD and won’t get any help until it broke out and hell broke loose.
It is important that we shed as much light as possible on this situation, as the misconception leads to many false assumption and actions. So let us talk about it.
I think it is important to clarify what it means to have PTSD, what happens at the breakout, when it happens and why it happens usually. Many people confuse the extreme symptoms of the outbreak as being PTSD.
It is not. It is what you want to avoid as much as possible in real life: It is a cold war becoming a hot war - so to speak. But the fighting was going on for a long while - it was just not so overt and loud.
You can’t just ignore it anymore, if you ever did. If the trauma happened when you were a child most likely you weren’t even aware that this conflict within you is NOT normal or good. How could you?
You never learned it any other way. This is your normal - as wrong as this normal is. Which is why treating this sort of trauma is so much harder - than if you experience it later in life.
There are many people who believe they are healed or even cured, just because the symptoms became dormant again. But this just means the breakout was reversed, not that the PTSD is gone. It is just quieter now.
What does it mean to have PTSD?
What does it mean to have PTSD? You see PTSD isn’t really the triggers, flashbacks, visions, insomnia and the like. It is about your brain having suffered a trauma it can not overcome. It is that simple.
You can have it and walk through your whole life without EVER finding out you have it. Either because your natural way handling it worked so well, the trauma was isolated enough or the like. It is extreme unlikely though.
Because usually if your brain finds a trauma to hard to overcome it is usually rather significant and with age… the PTSD grows. Depending on how much you feed it, it does more or less.
That is why ignoring it is such a bad idea. Yes you can do it while you are younger, with the symptoms still being relatively mild, but it REALLY bites you in the butt later on. Doesn’t mean it is hopeless later on.
But it is definitely easier when you are younger.
What happens during the breakout?
Which leads us to the question, what happens during a breakout? Similar to a bone that can withstand a lot of pressure and all, it will break if too much is applied. That is basically what happens at a breakout.
Whatever measures the brain took to keep the boxes or trauma contained, failed and chaos ensued. Maybe a better example would be opening the garage door and now it can’t be closed anymore.
You stirred the pot and now have to try to calm the situation as soon as possible so you can act in the best way possible. This is not to be confused with being healed or cured.
Since this breakout usually comes out of nowhere - it escalates before measurement can be made to reduce the fallout. Therefor the symptoms will escalate quite a bit before they are contained.
When does it usually happen?
So, when does it happen? Most of the time - in what I accumulated - in the fifties. Around the time of midlife crisis - maybe it is even connected, but there is no solid information on that end at this time.
I don’t know why, but usually then all the accumulated baggage becomes too much. Memories start to resurface, weird dreams were being had and so on.
It is unclear why exactly in this age span, but that is the breaking point or starting breaking point when it happens. Or it is the breakout of a trauma thought healed - the second wave so to speak.
If it happens in younger ages, then it is usually because of extreme external pressure, a strong trauma, a very strong trigger activated or a new trauma - even if that trauma is not enough to cause a PTSD by itself.
False assumptions and actions
Lastly, what does this often lead to? To a few things. One is ignoring the PTSD WAY to soon. Some don’t even get help, because the symptoms “go away” or become weak enough for them to ignore.
This is a time bomb just waiting to go off. Others do get help and manage to keep the symptoms down with therapy, pills or whatever, and thinking they are healed and that they can go on with their normal life.
But this is also just a time bomb. A placating the beast and thinking this will end well. This misinformation needs to be stopped, as it is a HUGE risk and causes a lot of harm.
It is crucial to understand, that you still have PTSD unless the trauma no longer affects you. If you can talk with ease about it - without it causing you issues. Otherwise it is still there and you are NOT cured.
That is also the reason why I say I am cured and not healed. As I am free of it, while other just managed to be free of the symptoms.
That was it for todays episode, I have to say this week the heat really gotten to me. I am usually fine with hot weather and the like, but this week it really made working hard.
Quick reminder to stay hydrated and take good care of yourself. And as always, if you have any questions or feedback and the like, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org.
More information and transcript you can find as usually under johannadraconis.com/Podcast, information regarding therapy you can find under johannadraconis.com/Therapy and links are in the description.
I hope to see you next time. Watch yourselves and have a wonderful time