PTSD and Essential Oils

PTSD, once referred to as “shell shock” or battle fatigue, was first brought to attention by war veterans, and is a result of a direct traumatic, tragic or a terrifying event that one has witnessed or experienced in their lives. This not only effects Veterans but also people that have experienced a tragic or traumatic event. Being frightened under these circumstances is normal. Fear triggers many split-second changes in the body to help defend against danger or to avoid it. This “fight-or-flight” response is a typical reaction meant to protect a person from harm. Nearly everyone will experience a range of responses after trauma, yet most people recover from initial symptoms naturally. Those who continue to experience problems may be diagnosed with PTSD. People who have PTSD may feel stressed or frightened whether danger is present or not. From my personal experience, this can occur at any given time, without notice. There is usually persistent frightening thoughts and memories of their ordeal and a feeling of being emotionally numb, especially with people they were once close to. (1)

Some people, unaware, will block the trauma and have their memory come back later in life, leaving them even further traumatized. Most people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) repeatedly re-live the trauma in the form of nightmares, panic attacks, anxiety and disturbing recollections during the day. The nightmares or recollections may come and go, and a person may be free of them for weeks at a time, and then experience them daily for no particular reason. This can occur whether the person remembers the trauma or not. It can sit idly by with no memory, yet the symptoms can still take place. As is my case, it also lead to nocturnal seizures and epilepsy. With my daughter, her memory slowly returned after years of being sick. We never suspected that her IBS was directly connected to the brain and trauma as a child hidden from us and unknown to her.

My child had endured such pain that she had forgotten it until her mid-twenties. The memories started returning and then through therapy, she was able to regain most of the memory and was diagnosed with PTSD. A childhood friend heard of this and confirmed the memory by telling her that she recalled as small children around 9 years of age, my daughter sharing the trauma with her; giving her details that Laura had not remembered.

My daughters’ trauma coming out was heartbreaking and triggered even further daymares and attacks for me. Through therapy, I was diagnosed with Severe Complex PTSD.