WHAT IS PTSD, REALLY?
PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder according to the Mayo Clinic is: a mental health condition that’s triggered by a terrifying event — either experiencing it or witnessing it. Symptoms may include flashbacks, nightmares and severe anxiety, as well as uncontrollable thoughts about the event.
- What are the symptoms of PTSD? They appear very differently from person to person, but can include the following:
- Intrusive memories. These memories could include: recurrent, unwanted distressing memories of the traumatic event, reliving the traumatic event as if it were happening again (flashbacks), upsetting dreams or nightmares about the traumatic event, or severe emotional distress or physical reactions to something that reminds you of the traumatic event.
- Avoidance which could look like trying to avoid thinking or talking about the traumatic event, avoiding places, activities or people that remind you of the traumatic event
- Negative changes in thinking and mood:
- Negative thoughts about yourself, other people or the world
- Hopelessness about the future
- Memory problems, including not remembering important aspects of the traumatic event
- Difficulty maintaining close relationships
- Feeling detached from family and friends
- Lack of interest in activities you once enjoyed
- Difficulty experiencing positive emotions
- Feeling emotionally numb
- Changes in physical and emotional reactions which can include but aren’t limited to:
- Being easily startled or frightened
- Always being on guard for danger
- Self-destructive behavior, such as drinking too much or driving too fast
- Trouble sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
- Irritability, angry outbursts or aggressive behavior
- Overwhelming guilt or shame
- If you are feeling overwhelmed and having a difficult time getting your life back on track, please reach out to someone to help you work through it. PTSD can lessen overtime and be completely overwhelming at other points in your life, but having tools to be able to regulate your emotions surrounding the traumatic events can really, really help.
WAYS IT MANIFESTS FROM PERSON TO PERSON
- Everyone is unique in their brain chemistry, so everyone’s experience will be a little or a lot different, and that’s okay. Everyone’s experiences are valid, even when they don’t match yours, so let’s talk about how PTSD can look on a person.
- The intensity of these symptoms can vary as time goes on, you may have more symptoms when you are close to the date of the event, or you see something that reminds you of what happened. If you are having these symptoms, please talk to your therapist. We’d also like to mention that PTSD and depression share a lot of symptoms, so don’t use this episode to self-diagnose, talk to a pro.
Let’s talk about the catastrophe that lives with me and changed me to my core.
Hurricane Maria — Sept. 20, 2017
4645 people died, some from the storm itself, but many also died after the storm due to lack of electricity for months, and lack of access to clean water and food. People were using old empty bleach bottles to transport dirty water from broken fire hydrants, and they were taking it home to drink, without sanitation because we had no power… so a lot of people got sick, and a lot of people died. Speaking of those we lost, since there was no power, morgues were full of warm dead bodies. Entire hospitals closed due to corpse stench. There were so many bodies that the government was storing them in refrigerated semi trailers. And we also had a diesel shortage so you know some of those got hot too.
I did relief work after the storm, the shit I saw would break your fucking heart, because it broke mine. That shit changed me. We were completely left to die by the administration at the time, so when I say the words, “fuck Donald Trump,” I mean it from the bottom of my cold dead heart.
If you’ve seen reports lately, you know that Puerto Rico was hit with another hurricane recently. Thankfully it wasn’t a direct hit for the whole island like Maria was, but there was a lot more rain for the parts of the island that were affected. There’s a town in the mountains of PR called Utuado, they have ONE bridge that gives them access to the rest of the world. One. It washed out during Maria. It took two years to replace it, and guess what… it washed out during Fiona last week. So now Utuado is completely cut off from the rest of the island. This is a fucking problem. And it’s done on purpose. I’m about to get very political and if you’re not here for that, that’s fine, but I’m gonna talk about some shit for a second.
The Puerto Rican government is corrupt as fuck. Not my opinion, see the Ricky Rossello Telegram Scandal, Wanda Vazquez and her crew have been investigated by the FBI, and aside from selling his home and his people to the US, we don’t even know the shady shit the current guy is up to yet. The Puerto Rican government is run by a bunch of people called estadistas, they want to be a state. So they’re currently using disasters to push locals off the island. Don’t believe me? Then why didn’t they fix the power grid in the five years since Maria? Why is electricity 33 cents per kilowatt hour? Last year, a private company called LUMA took over the island’s power grid, they swore not to raise rates. They raised rates several times in the last 12 months. Per a study released in 2020, 6% of the rental homes in PR were AirBNBs, that number has grown since the pandemic started. My friends can’t find apartments, because they’ve all been sold to colonizers that wanna make a buck on investment properties because they don’t already have enough fucking money. The founding fathers of bitcoin live in PR. They bought the only children’s museum in Old San Juan, they’re turning into some fucking stupid NFT art gallery or a hotel or something. These people are coming to the island and pushing locals out by buying up the available housing and raising the cost of living because housing is so tight that prices are ridiculous. I’m tired of seeing my friends being forced to leave the only home they’ve ever known. I’d also like to move back there because it’s my home too, but these assholes are keeping me away as well.
TL;DR – Puerto Rico needs help. If you want more information on what’s happening, check out the links below.
LOCAL PUERTO RICAN NON-PROFITS: