I don’t believe in PTSD, which is funny because I’ve been diagnosed with it. I believe in a changing baseline of the human condition. For the most part, in developed nations and some non-developed ones, humans never have personal defense issues. And a traumatic experience isn’t just a scar on the psyche. Its an awakening. Once you open up those senses: fight or flight, flock or flee, the need to asses danger; find and exit plan; what are the vital points and how can I bring them down… its extremely hard to turn it off. My last attack happened more than three years ago and still, I assess. I see. I watch for danger. It has been called PTSD, it has been called nerves, or being afraid of men, or simply being a woman but I think of it as instinct. I have been removed from the illusion that life is safe. Shown how fragile a body is and instead of quelling in fear, I fought back. PSTD is valid if we limit our understanding of humanity to only the past few centuries. If we understand the primal parts of our brain, built in but so often ignored, we know that once those neural pathways are triggered, they are either there forever or wither with disuse. But how can you disuse a vital survival skill? I am told I have anxiety. I do. I have panic attacks. I pass out. I get aggressive in situations I feel trapped in. Not because I am traumatized by my past, but because I have learned from it.
This is my personal experience with PTSD only and I do not intend to discredit anyone else’s experience with, or understanding of, their own PTSD diagnosis.