Friday, July 13, 2012

PTSD: Praise The Savior Daily

Okay. Here's a weakness for ya.

I went to the doctor a couple of weeks ago for a checkup and she referred me to a mental health clinic. I am now all set up with a nice Christian lady who doesn't think it's crazy that the Holy Spirit talks to me in my head. Can you imagine if I'd gotten a different counselor?

"Do you ever hear voices, or does it ever feel like someone is talking to you inside your head?"

"Well... yes... but I'm pretty sure it's God."


But once the counselor had determined conclusively that the voice in my head only brings comfort, she said, "Well, the Bible does say that the Holy Spirit is our Comforter and our Guide."

Yes. Yes, it does.

The counselor also determined conclusively that I have severe PTSD. (That's the weakness part. The voice in my head is not the weakness part.)

By severe, I mean that the Post Traumatic Stress Index I took had the following scale:

0-2 -- low
3-6 -- moderate
7-18 -- severe

And in eight areas of measurement, I scored 17, 13, 16, 14, 7, 12, 11, 14.

Yay! I got a seven! That's almost down in the moderate range! Score!

What this means is that I experience current reactions to trauma events in the past (17), I repeat behaviors or situations that parallel early relationally traumatic experiences (13), I form very strong loyal bonds to people who have exploited me, I tend to trust people I should not trust and mistrust people I should trust (16), I sometimes feel helpless, hopeless, and worthless (14), I like extreme thrills and risks (but only 7 of them), I block out traumatic feelings or memories with self-medicating ritualized behaviors (12), I compartmentalize negative experiences and I'm a little OCD (11), and I tend to deprive myself of things that I want, need, or deserve (14).

Whew! That's a lot!

Now here's the good news. As I sat in my counseling session last week and discussed all this, my counselor pointed out the overarching fact that flies in the face of everything listed above:

"You are very highly functional for someone who has such severe PTSD," she said.

Christ in me, was my immediate thought.

CHRIST IN ME!!! is my continued, awed, amazed, grateful thought.

PTSD might stand for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder in the mental health community, but when it is coupled with Christ in me, and therefore Christ-caused high-functionality, it stands for Praise The Savior Daily.

Hallelujah! :)