(A 7 Minute Read)
When we say PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder most people will automatically think of traumatized war veterans. However, in reality, not everyone who goes to war and experiences a traumatic event or events gets PTSD. In fact, only a small percentage of people who struggle with PTSD are war vets.
Statistically 70% of adults in the United States have experienced some kind of traumatic event or events. Of that percentage, 20% of those people develop PTSD.
It is clear that trauma alone is not the determining factor of whether or not a person experiences PTSD. So what is actually behind it? Is it something that can be overcome or has that person been sentenced to a life of just coping with it?
At Be in Health®, we have successfully helped many people overcome PTSD. We don’t use drugs or anything external. All of our materials are scripturaly based and when a person mixes their faith with the Word of God, it brings health and sanity.
The psychiatric community has discovered that people who develop PTSD are actually predisposed to it. They have been programmed from childhood to respond with an excessive fear reaction to a stressor. What they found is that all victims of PTSD have experienced one or more of the following five events in their childhood: verbal abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse and drivenness and performance to meet the expectation of a demanding parent in order to receive love. A further contributing factor could also be abandonment in childhood. With this background in place, it only takes a traumatic event to trigger a PTSD response. In the absence of a loving, safe and nurturing environment as a child, a spirit of fear has an open door to cause torment.
Fear is commonly referred to as stress and anxiety and most of us would define it as an emotional or psychological issue. At Be in Health®, we understand according to the Bible that fear is actually a spiritual issue.
For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7 KJV
And in Romans 8 it says:
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. Romans 8:15 KJV
The foundation to every disease and disorder is the breakdown of this commandment:
Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second [is] like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:37-40 KJV
Dr. Henry Wright says this in his teaching on PTSD, “The foundation of the Bible; the foundation of all creation, the foundation of all sanity, the foundation of all health, the foundation for all mankind, for all of eternity is embraced in being reconciled to the Godhead: the Father, the Word who is Jesus and the Holy Spirit. You being reconciled to yourself about yourself and being prepared to be reconciled to others.”
The root of the issue is that many of us have been raised from generations who did not know how to care for each other and be a safe place. This is where fear has an open door. In the absence of love, fear comes in. It will develop a person to not be able to trust, to feel easily overwhelmed and to feel unsafe and insecure. A separation occurs in relationships. This person begins to feel like they need to protect themselves from others. They may struggle connecting with others and with feelings of isolation and rejection. We are most vulnerable to the attacks of the enemy when we are isolated and disconnected.
From this foundation of fear that the enemy has built into a person’s life, he will use a traumatic event and the conversion of short-term memory to long-term memory to his advantage.
Short-term memory is the processing of what we can see. Long-term memory occurs when we repeatedly return to or sustain a specific thought or thought pattern. A process called protein synthesis will develop this thought pattern into a permanent pathway using an element of RNA and DNA.
What the enemy wants to do when a traumatic event occurs is to cement that trauma into a long-term pathway in order to create the maximum possible bondage for a person. He will intercept the processing of that event in that person’s mind immediately so that it is even remembered incorrectly. This will create an excessively fearful association with that memory. Then he will bring in recall and replay and cause that person to rehash that memory over and over and over again. However, no matter how many times they try to process and reprocess this event, because fear is present, it will not let them make sense of it. It will cause that person to develop a phobic connection to that event and anything thereafter that might trigger the memory of that event. Fear has just created a permanent, long-term memory pathway in that person’s life and produced the symptoms of PTSD.
The biological manifestation of this occurs in a part of the brain called the amygdala. When this fear and projected fear into the future becomes a long-term pathway of thought, one of the two sections of the amygdala becomes enlarged causing it to respond hyperactively. This in turn triggers the hypothalamus to respond in a state of fight or flight continually.
The hypothalamus is the gland responsible for secreting the chemicals for a fight or flight reaction in the body in response to a dangerous situation. If it is releasing these stress chemicals continually, it only takes a small trigger of thought or an outside stimulus to trigger the secretion of excessive chemicals that will produce the feelings of panic and phobic realities. This is the physiological phenomenon of PTSD; there is actually nothing wrong with the brain.
We are so easy! The enemy can control our body through this one gland if he can control our spirituality and our soul- our thought processing. If we don’t understand our own minds, we are nothing more than a puppet on a string.
Fear will have us meditate on the failures of our past and project them into our future. The enemy doesn’t want us to receive the forgiveness that the Father has freely offered us, or to be able to forgive others. The enemy wants everyone and everything else to appear to be our enemy so that we cannot feel safe no matter where we are or what we do. It’s time to quit living in the past.
God has a more excellent way!
Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth. 3 John 1:2 KJV
We were not called to be victims. If we have been victimized, we were not called to stay there. It requires no faith to live in the past. Flush it!
In order to be freed from the effects of PTSD, a person needs to come to a place where they can feel safe again. This place of safety is in Father God. There may be many blocks to a person being able to feel safe with Father God. They may be afraid of Him if He has been misrepresented in the past. It’s important to seek His heart and learn who He really is through His Word: His love, His grace and His mercy.
Once they have established and grown this relationship in their hearts with Him, He can help them properly process and overcome that traumatic event. It will still be a memory from the past, but when they have received healing in their heart, they will not have all of the feelings of hurt and fear attached to it. It is also important for them to come out of isolation and back into Godly fellowship in a body of believers who can be a safe place for them to grow up into this.
They need to take ownership of their own life. They have to lay down the need to blame someone or something else or even themselves. They need to quit running from their problems or looking to others to fix their problems. It’s time to cast down fear and make fear the enemy.
For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places]. Ephesians 6:12 KJV
Fear needs to be dealt with; it needs to be recognized, repented for and cast out in the name of Jesus. A person can then lay hands on the one who is afflicted with PTSD and command the amygdala to come back down to its proper size by the power of the Holy Spirit.
Now is the time to start creating new, long term pathways of thought based on God’s Word. We need to establish the Word in our hearts as absolute truth and mix it with our faith. Let God be true and every man a liar. If we hold this foundation in our hearts, we will have firm ground to stand on. If, however, we allow fear to wish-wash us around in doubt and unbelief, we will be unstable in all our ways and unable to recover ourselves out of the snare of the enemy.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man [is] unstable in all his ways. James 1:6-8 KJV
Did you know that you get to choose what you believe? You can choose today whether you are going to believe the thoughts that fear has projected into your life or the promises that God has prepared for those who will seek Him and love Him with all of their hearts.
If fear represents the breakdown and separation of relationship with God, others and ourselves, the ability to give and receive love will be the restoration of all things. This will be a process according to 2 Corinthians:
Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. 2 Corinthians 10:5 KJV
With God, all things are possible. You are not alone! He will join you by His Holy Spirit to lead you and guide you through the journey of recovery. He has given us at Be in Health® the tools and resources necessary to help you on your journeys to overcoming. We are always excited and glad to serve our brothers and sisters in the Lord and to help you be restored to the fullness of life that He has prepared for you. We want to see you be all that you were created to be for His Kingdom and for His glory.
The Be in Health® Team