Is there PTSD Associated with LEMS?
Visiting with a friend who has another rare disorder the other day, she likened her withdrawal and aversion to doing some activities as PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Here’s a bit of a definition I pulled off a search of PTSD, “…triggers that can bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions”. “Symptoms may include nightmares or unwanted memories of the trauma, avoidance of situations that bring back memories of the trauma, heightened reactions, anxiety, or depressed mood.”
Because we hear it in the news all the time, we think of PTSD as a military, battle-related, problem. Most surely this is very much true. But what about those with severe disabilities? I’d never considered that, but there are some aspects of living with LEMS that correlate, especially with the aversion aspect.
Let’s give an example. You’re out walking in the park. Your LEMS isn’t very good and you’re unsteady walking. It’s difficult to maintain your balance and you veer a bit, side to side. Suddenly you lose it, fall, hit your head, and start bleeding. Passersby see you fall, the blood, and stop to help. In short, you’ve fallen, hurt yourself, and now your nice walk is a disaster.
A week later, after getting stitches in the ER and only getting your bandage off a couple of days ago, you consider going for another walk. It’s beautiful outside, sunny and warm. What a day to get those endorphins going! But, you don’t go. In fact, after several weeks, you haven’t gone out on any walks. Is this PTSD?
This past year, I’ve avoided doing some things because of my LEMS and the fear of having problems experienced previously. I chose not to go to the State Fair of Texas and do photography. That’s where I had a bad event and trouble walking out of the fairgrounds back in 2017, which led to my LEMS diagnosis. I chose not to go to the Air Show this year. Again, I was fearful about having extra fatigue and recovery from being on my feet, walking for an extended period of time. Am I suffering from PTSD?
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