Post Traumatic Stress: Fact or Fiction

I wouldn’t be dramatic by adding disorder here. I’m neither licensed or educated enough to apply the intensely medical nomenclature to my topic. Therefore, I’m going for the mild and often overlooked aspects of the human behaviour that suggests underlying fear or anxiety about a particular issue. Go with me as I explore how the reactions we have to some issues might be based on the experiences we have that has made us put up walls or be extra careful.

By Ayo Babatunde

To start with, I’ll talk about myself. I hate putting myself in any situation that might be troubling. Let me explain. I do not enjoy being in a place where many people are gathered having fun. Let’s call it a party. Why? Because I always feel that something bad is bound to happen, for example police officers can come and arrest everyone there. This isn’t logical but it’s an anxiety I have. I do not like being in bars for any reason, for the same reasons.


When tracing the root of this anxiety, I realize it is as a result of my upbringing. Getting tangled with the police means bail. Bail equals money. Money that could be diverted to more productive means being used to settle the police. See, it makes sense when I put it like that. However, it is one out of 50 times that the police is likely to raid a place, why because people holding a gathering make provisions against being harassed by the police.


A mind that isn’t boggled my fear is less likely to go down this line of cause and effect chain. This same mind is not bothered about being caught in trouble but simply having fun. And my explaining my thinking to another person who doesn’t suffer these thoughts would seem “crazy”. Let’s talk about the word itself; “crazy”. What is “crazy”? It is used to refer to something that a person considers out of place. It is crazy for me to still cry about losing my mum after 11 years but I still do.


Not too long ago I was watching a series about moms and the role they play in their children’s life. This isn’t the first time I’m watching such, but this particular day, I was so bothered by this relationship obviously designed to elicit a feeling of entertainment that I started wailing. Literally crying myself out. The feeling of loss was triggered by the relations that I missed at that moment.


The line “we are a sum total of our experiences” shouldn’t be taken lightly. Ever. It points to how our past issues shape the way we handle our current realities. In fact I go further to say that negative or untoward actions to situations can be traced to anxieties we suffer. In this light I say, I would think getting into a strangers car is wrong if I never been kidnapped or witness a kidnapping this way. A desire to never cross an expressway and always use the bridge stems from the certainty that a pedestrian accident can occur. It might even be just because of stories we have been told.


PTS is a normal part of live. It helps cultivate a habit of caution and often times healthy scepticism in our daily dealings. And depending on how PTS is handled it can help shape a better tomorrow or spell doom. My point is that we there should be a general acknowledgment that journeying through life is more complex that person’s outburst on a queue or another person’s need for validation from a spouse all the time. Behind every facade are layers of PTS just waiting to be seen with the right needling.


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