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For any person who has been exposed to certain events that are traumatic, it is important that you keep a PTSD checklist. Why? Because it will be easier for a doctor to treat you if you present a diary of your flashbacks, emotions, and daily interactions with other people.
Not only will this help you control yourself, but it will also get you more acquainted with what you are experiencing. Since most people who have PTSD are completely unaware of their behavior, writing about it will make you aware, and it will help you manage your actions and thoughts better.
What is a PTSD checklist?
For a person with PTSD, writing down their flashbacks is not an easy task. Depending on how traumatic the event is to you, for some people, they get more relaxed when they write things down. It helps clear the mind and get rid of any other types of anxiety that they may end up experiencing.
PTSD checklists are used to gauge a person’s level of PTSD disorder. Normally such checklists are used by doctors to treat soldiers. It is normal for a soldier to not talk about what they experience on the field since these are very emotionally traumatizing images.
What happens is, since soldiers are naturally very brave men, the trauma is still engraved in their head and without them noticing, it actually starts to take a toll on their life.
These checklists are designed to help soldiers, or even people who are uncomfortable with delving into detail with what they see and hear during these traumatic events in their life.
It just makes it easier for doctors and psychologists to determine what their patients are afraid of and how they can treat their disorder.
What do these PTSD checklists look like?
This table is an example of what questions doctors or military personnel will ask their men in order to determine if they have the disorder or not. The answers that the soldiers will put on here, will also help them discover that these events have somehow bothered them for some time, and they have not been able to tell anyone about it.
|Bothered by||Not at all||A little bit||Moderately||Quite a bit||Extremely|
|1. Repeated thoughts of disturbing images, thoughts, or stressful experiences?||1||2||3||4||5|
|2. Repeated dreams of disturbing images and experiences?||1||2||3||4||5|
|3. Avoiding talking to anyone about the traumatic experience, or avoiding feelings related to the experience?||1||2||3||4||5|
It’s like a psychology test for people who also have a fear of telling the truth to doctors. Some people with PTSD refuse to trust doctors because they think they will just be wasting time talking about the experience. But truthfully, the reason why these doctors ask you the questions is so that you can flashback the traumatic event, and then eventually get it out of your system for good.
They will ask questions based on your answers, specifically those rated at the highest. These all may seem like perfectly harmless questions, but the real struggle for a person with PTSD is answering them in complete honestly.
Doctors need to know how they react to the questions and how they will answer it. Some soldiers or people with PTSD will eventually answer in aggression, some in fear, some will not talk about it at all, and a lot will answer slowly but will have the feeling of hurt, nervousness, and fear in their voices while answering.
This is what doctors want to get out of you, so if you have PTSD and answering this way, then you are massively progressing into recovery. The only side effect of this is, after you talk about it, you will dream about it more than usual, and it will stop you from getting any proper rest. Which is why doctors usually recommend some prescription sleeping pills to help you get to sleep at night.
It will also be on you if you want to take the sleeping pills or not. If you can take the challenge of overcoming the traumatic nightmare, then you are making progress than you think. This method is kind of like a reverse psychology, the more that you do not want to do it, the more that doctors will not let you talk about it until you do so yourself.
How to cope with PTSD
During your process of recovery, it will be very hard for you in the beginning. However, developing a habit of telling people how you feel helps, so that all the built up emotions can be let out.
Keeping your thoughts and feelings to yourself can be very dangerous, and the more that you keep it bottled inside of you like that, the more it will bring aggression and fear. If you are not comfortable telling your family members and friends about what you are experiencing for fear of being judged, you can always talk to your psychologist.
It is their job to help you cope with this disorder, but you must also help yourself to get better. Allow people to help you. Psychologists are good secret keepers, and whatever you tell them about your condition will be strictly confidential. It’s like talking to a living diary.
If you are reluctant about speaking with anybody about your feelings, you can keep a secret diary, or write letters. Writing down your feelings helps a lot, it’s a great tool to handle your feelings and make progress with your recovery.
Having a PTSD checklist can do wonders for your condition. So, if you finally decide to go to a psychologist who can help you, your diagnosis will start with this checklist. Be as honest as you can when answering the questions, because it will help your doctor determine your level of PTSD and provide you with the most appropriate treatment.