Experiencing PTSD After Boston Bombings

I haven’t been able to sleep well since the marathon bombings.  I live only 10 miles from downtown Boston and the images from that day still haunt me.  The pain and suffering of so many makes me sad.  A day that is always filled with joy was ruined by the incomprehensible acts of two lunatics.  I guess I am angry too, that once again my world has been  disrupted by what is so senseless and cruel.

I also had to sit through a lock down last Friday while the police hunted down the second suspect.  My town of Waltham bordered Watertown where they captured the suspect.  All day, my husband and I sat in the house and watched the news.  I followed Twitter.  It was surreal.  The streets were empty. There was no frame of reference for the experience.  It wasn’t good or bad, it just was.

I recognize my symptoms as post traumatic stress or PTSD.  I have been traumatized by the events of April 15, 2013.  No, I wasn’t at the finish line or anywhere near the marathon.  I had just gotten back to my office from visiting clients.  But the my mind has been unable to process the horror of the day.

A person can be traumatized by an event even from a distance.  The marathon bombings affected many  in that way.  What happens is a person thinks they are dealing with the emotional and psychological impact of a traumatic event but actually aren’t. The brain has the capacity to wall of the impact so life can continue.  It may be too difficult to talk about.  As Michele Rosenthal wrote on her website www.healmypysd.com “PTSD is a normal reaction to an abnormal experience”.

I knew I was having PTSD because I started to have some symptoms.  I recognized the symptoms because several years ago I had a serious cycling accident. It took me a year before my sister in law, the counselor, suggested I may be having PTSD.  At that time, I was anxious, my blood pressure was up, was having nightmares, couldn’t eat and was hyperactive.  I sought out treatment.

So when I started not being able to sleep and being apprehensive about going to Boston, I knew I had to get a treatment fix.  I didn’t need my blood pressure getting high again.

It is important for people to know that these events can affect you even if you weren’t at the bombing site.  If you are experiencing any symptoms mentioned above or find yourself extremely sad or crying and I don’t know why, get some help.  Talk to someone.  Here are some resource links. http://www.emdrtherapistnetwork.com http://www.helppro.com/HP/therapist-finder/therapy-specialty/MA/Boston/40/Trauma_PTSD.aspx

Also, go to your insurance company for a list of counselors.  The Human Resources Department at your work may also have a list of avaialble people.

Listen in this Wednesday 4/24/13, to my radio show on blogtalkradio.com.  My guest is Michele Rosenthal and we will be discussing PTSD.