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I think I've realized what a good bit of the posttraumatic stress disorder is caused by -- When the vets come back from Nam, from Korea, when the people went through the WTC, or whatever senseless destruction they've seen, it is incomprehensible to the people around them, so swept under the rug by the government and even by their peers in suffering....the very people who went through it won't talk about it, refuse to acknowledge the time in the trenches....the ones who can't let go are left to suffer it alone and the only person the sufferer has to share it with are themselves...within their head, their they keep replaying it, they keep suffering through it because no one can acknowledge that it was *indeed* a terrible frightening soul-wrecking experience that no person should ever suffer through. PTSD is what happens when you suffer through the aftermath of a tragedy alone. -- by the Crisses, December, 2002.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a dissociative disorder characterized by "intrusive thoughts" (the person can't stop thinking about it), nightmares, flashbacks, and so on. It's usually precipitated by a horrible and life threatening experience -- something sudden, unexpected, and disasterous. PTSD is best known as the reaction that people have after they have fought in an exceptionally messy warzone, but it is also now recognized as something that happens to people who are at "ground zero" during acts of terrorism, as well as what happens to children who have witnessed something exceptionally threatening such as the violent death of a parent, a car accident, or their own abuse situations.

This is, of course, an oversimplification, but if you look carefully at multiples, you can often see the signs of PTSD, although not everyone with PTSD is multiple -- most multiples who have suffered through trauma show signs of PTSD (nightmares and sleep disturbances are common enough amongst multiples as are flashbacks and other PTSD reactions for multiples).

PTSD generally takes a long time to work out and recover from, partially dependent on being able to share experiences with others who understand, who were there, or who had similar experiences. Multiples generally find talking to other multiples to be very beneficial, as do PTSD veterans, etc. (That's one of the reasons that we came to our above-stated conclusion about why PTSD happens... -- The Crisses)

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