PTSD is Invisible like chronic pain


PTSD is invisible, others can not see it, including family, friends, or strangers.

Inside my 15-person chronic pain group, predominately spinal injuries, those with low back injuries received the most empathy from strangers.

They used a cane or a walker, strangers could see their pain.

Strangers could not see my neck fusions and nerve killings.

Not many see our mental disorder, PTSD.

It too is invisible.

Even if they did, it’s not their problem or concern.

People are wrapped up trying to fulfill their desires or living their own dysfunctional life.

I learned early on, PTSD is our internal battle.

Healing and quality of life are determined by our actions not others’ opinions.

PTSD is like the boogie man from childhood, no one else can see or hear him.

He has a voice, voluminous intrusive thoughts, and those crisis chemicals of cortisol and adrenaline.

It is why I can be with friends in a mundane environment, where I feel panic for my life while they are carefree and calm..

It is invisible to them, all except my numbness, my quietness and my hypervigilance may give me away.

Do we try to act normal, hiding our panic?

Are we feeling vulnerable, ashamed, scared or angry?

How do we express our condition to a friend?



4 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by rudid96 on June 8, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    I feel stuck in the PTSD muck. “How do we express it to a friend?” My response came easily, “I don’t.” I’m careful to hide my darker feelings and confused thoughts. Perhaps that’s why most connections feel so empty. Part of growing away from the PTSD symptoms is welcoming in Trust. I haven’t been successful in this arena. So, I think it’d be accurate to say that in all my closer connections, there’s a level of mistrust. Trust is the rich soil that cultivates the growth in personality and connection. It heals the inevitable hurts of life. When that essential mineral is missing, nothing really grows. I wonder, is PTSD in older individuals more embedded?

  2. Part of growing away from the PTSD symptoms is welcoming in Trust. I haven’t been successful in this arena

    We share many symptoms or traits

    Trust, real trust, or love is something we know nothing about and are afraid of

    I wonder, is PTSD in older individuals more embedded?

    In my opinion, it is more embedded the longer it flourishes inside

    I suffered the most in the early stages when my fight or flight was firing ten plus times a day

    Now that has ceased, replaced by different emotions and intrusive thoughts. Shame is still the dominant-negative emotion along with anger and resentment

    Depression leads to more isolation now, and an old horrific betrayal after has exploded.

    It took away any feeling people can ever be trusted,

    Redid96. We will never trust

    We have learned to live a life absent of any deep trust

    My kids and grandkids are the exceptions

    I even have ambivalent emotions about this blog from time to time

    If someone betrays us, they are done for life

    It is too painful to try and trust them close to us ever again even if we had the skill to forgive

    We are already super hypervigilant

  3. Posted by rudid96 on June 8, 2022 at 8:48 pm

    I have ambivalent emotions about people and things. Animals (especially dogs) are the only thing in my life where I don’t equivocate. I adore them.
    “If someone betrays us. they’re done for life.” Every trigger in my psyche is fired and there’s no return or rebuilding of the relationship. That has been and still is an axiom by which I live. I’ve tried to forgive and forget but if truth be told, for me, it’s not possible.

  4. Yep black and white thinking and feelings we have

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