A series of near-death experiences led Peter to experience post-traumatic stress. He sought help from experts at the Mood and Anxiety Disorders Program at UConn Health. Working closely with his doctor, Peter is now able to manage his stress, and his life is back to normal. He shares his story with NBC Connecticut.
When lasting trauma is caused by callous acts of violence, the key to recovery can be making meaning out of meaninglessness.
Experts once thought that post-traumatic stress disorder could only happen if something happened directly to you,” said Professor Julian Ford, a trauma specialist at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. “But individuals such as first responders who repeatedly witness graphic details of horrific injury or physical devastation develop PTSD symptoms and potentially, if not cared for, PTSD.”
People suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder so far represent the largest group of Connecticut residents who have registered with the Consumer Protection Department to use medical marijuana.
Many in Connecticut revisited feelings this week related to previous traumas, whether it was the Newtown school shootings, the 9/11 attacks or another incident. The anxiety of being under attack, unsafe and threatened was re-awakened by this week’s events and 24-hour news coverage.
“The most immediate threat to our survival is if someone else is attempting to attack us,” said Julian Ford, a psychologist at UConn. “It’s clearly a very biologically hard-wired instinct to survive and protect.”