Saturday, April 16, 2011

More PTSD Criteria

More criteria for a diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, from Wikipedia.

D: Persistent symptoms of increased arousal not present before
These are all physiological response issues, such as difficulty falling or staying asleep, or problems with anger, concentration, or hypervigilance.
E: Duration of symptoms for more than 1 month
If all other criteria are present, but 30 days have not elapsed, the individual is diagnosed with Acute stress disorder.
F: Significant impairment
The symptoms reported must lead to "clinically significant distress or impairment" of major domains of life activity, such as social relations, occupational activities, or other "important areas of functioning".

I thought hallucinations was a symptom of PTSD.  I imagine seeing things that are not there, hearing guns firing, smelling burnt bodies, during a Vietnam veteran's flashback could be labeled hallucinations. 

I have had difficulty falling or staying asleep through out my life, including childhood being unable to fall to sleep, not waking an hour or so after falling asleep being unable to fall back to sleep. The other night I woke at 3AM after having gone to bed sometime after 11PM. Hard to remember what days neighbors have kept me up past midnight and what nights I was able to call it a day at eleven. 

There was a time period that I woke every night at 3AM. I blamed a sister for "waking me up with her prayers". She often stayed awake the entire night going to sleep early AM. She would mention, "I was praying for you..." thus and such a night and time. When I was staying with my mother, I also woke at 3AM. I would creep down the stairs if I was sleeping in upstairs bedroom, or just tiptoe, so to speak, to the kitchen/dining room hallway, if door was ajar I could peek inside to see mom on the recliner chair where she spent her days sitting, napping, sleeping.

If she spotted me, she would say hello and "I was just praying for you." Being 3,000 miles from home, I would think, "I guess Lori is up getting ready for work now," or Dawn, when suddenly waking up at 3AM. My memory is telling me a friend, Willie, told me he too woke unexpectedly at 3AM and "I was thinking about you." 

The lucid dream/nightmares happened within seconds or minutes of me falling to sleep. But I have also woken in the middle of the night from them, unable to fall back to sleep. I can not say this persisted for thirty days. It has persisted for many years, but in spurts, a few days here and there during the course of any month. 

1998 and 2001, I was likely to be troubled with insomnia for days on end. Vaguely recall the disrupted sleep on Sundays or the entire weekend, lasted until Wednesday, so that I could again sleep normal. Until the cycle repeated itself. Last summer ~ 2010 ~ was like that also.

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