Our guest this week is Sean Ryan — a developer and software engineer from South Wales. Sean talks us through his experience with PTSD and what happened in his life prior to his diagnosis that led to the disorder. Post-traumatic stress disorder (or PTSD) is caused by witnessing or experiencing very stressful, frightening or distressing events. Someone who suffers with this particular anxiety disorder often relives the traumatic event through nightmares and flashbacks, and may experience feelings of isolation, irritability and guilt. From having to deal with grief at a very young age, due to the death of his father, to growing up in a dysfunctional household enduring both physical and mental violence, it took Sean some time to come to the realisation that “things weren’t the way they should be” — his own words. These experiences in Sean’s formative years all led towards the happening of a traumatic event that immediately began to trigger flashbacks. As Sean says during the episode: “You return to a place and the intensity of it is what really…defines it as a post-traumatic stress event…it’s super creepy…it’s sort of like you’re there for a split second.” In terms of points discussed, there are a lot of different themes in this particular episode from: childhood trauma, grief, suicidal ideation, alcoholism, depression and anxiety, through to identifying and accepting that there’s an issue, connection, finding help, the right medication and the power of talking about your problems with somebody who understands you. It is our honour to be able to share Sean’s story with you. Leila + Rhys X
As Sean notes in the episode, don't suffer in silence. The Samaritans are there to talk to you by phone. There's no problem to big or small. They're there to help and you can find out more here.
You can call The Samaritans on 116 123 or even email them if you'd prefer, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Sometimes by just writing down your thoughts and feelings, it can help you understand them better.