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It's not personal

Post-traumatic stress is something no one ever wants anyone to know they are struggling with. The confusing part about it, is that many times the person with it doesn't realize that's what they are struggling with, unless they have received a firm diagnosis from a doctor, or psychologist. There is an indefinite period of discovery that takes place because it masquerades as many other things. Flashbacks don't always start right out of the gate. Do you also know that not everyone who has PTSD experiences flashbacks? I've explained in other posts that the re-experiencing phenomenon is not always about a visual event. There are other methods of re-experiencing that can trigger a similar response.  If you have ever had the opportunity to chat with a group of veterans who are discussing their war stories, you can see where some of the re-experiencing comes in. They describe sounds, smells, feelings, and more. It's not always a visual event. This is why it is advisable many times to not ask questions about their experiences.  If you do ask questions, many times you will be shut down and told they don't discuss that, or they will simply change the subject. Talking in their circles with each other is very different than talking with those they feel won't understand or worse....may judge them.  Try not to be offended if this has been your experience with a veteran. They mean no harm, malice, or discontent towards you. It is not personal. It is a matter of safety and survival for them.  The possibility of being judged puts them in a position of feeling unsafe. 

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