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  • Writer's pictureJennifer Frnka

30 Days of Prayer to Heal PTSD - Day 1

Today, we begin our 30 days of Prayer to Heal PTSD. And, so we begin:


Lord, thank you so incredibly much for the work that You are doing in our lives, in our nation, and in our world! Lord, we know that there are people who live with physical and emotional pain that negatively impacts their lives and causes them to behave in ways that are not characteristic of the person that You know and created them to be. Today Lord, we want to invite You into our hearts and our homes to teach us how to find peace and remain disciplined when we are triggered. We ask you to teach us how to trust You, ourselves, and those around us. We ask You to help us find clarity and see where we are strong, but could use more discipline in our lives to grow stronger in our relationship with You and with one another. We ask you to restore us heart, mind, body and soul. Have a beautiful day, God! We love you!


Today we will share just a little more about our walk with PTSD and learning how to retrain our brain to find: Peace, Trust, Strength, and Discipline.


Our beautiful daughter was 15 when her Dad was diagnosed with PTSD. The moment we said the letters PTSD she bolted up the stairs and fell into a puddle of tears just as she reached the landing. I laid beside her holding and comforting her. So much emotion, so much release, so many questions, so thankful for help. Her father and little sister would eventually join us there at the top of the stairs where we all sat and cried, talked and hugged. Our living arrangements would look different for a while and we were uncertain as to what life would look like moving forward, but we knew we wanted to continue to seek help, continue to be a support for one another, and most importantly wanted to heal. To get better.


Jocelynn is turning 19 this summer and is a Criminal Justice major. She hopes to serve as a homicide detective. She is an unbelievably strong young lady and we are incredibly honored to be her parents. She inspires us!


She was not ready to release the video for her speech, but she wanted to share her writing. I have left it in the outline form that she used when she gave her speech. She does reference a PTSD powerpoint that she created. We will share it in another article later this week.


Topic: Untreated Mental Health Issues in America


Specific Purpose: To persuade my audience that counseling will benefit them when it comes to their mental health.


Central Idea: Untreated mental health problems continue to further exacerbate the traumatic experiences some people face. There are many reasons why people don’t go get help. While every individual is different there are tools and resources available to help you become a stronger person. It is my hope that after listening to my speech today, that in some small way your life will be changed and that you will find the strength you need to either get help for yourself or another person in your life.


INTRODUCTION


Attention-getter: Can you believe that 43.8 billion adults have some kind of mental health issue. That's 1 in every 5 people! Approximately 17 million children have or have had a mental illness that was most likely left untreated. With the help of counseling these numbers could start decreasing.


Relevance to audience: According to the World Health Organization Half of all mental health conditions start by 14 years of age but most cases are undetected and untreated (1) (verbal reference). Suicide is the third leading cause of death in 15-19-year-olds due to depression. Consequently this leaves the individuals who are left behind with much heartbreak,hurt and confusion, which could potentially lead them to turn to unhealthy behaviors. For example: drug and alcohol addiction and abusive relationships, the list can go on and on.


Credibility Statement: Some of you may know by now that my parents split four years ago. Just before my dad was diagnosed with PTSD. I was forced to go to counseling and I was never in the right frame of mind when I was in my counseling session, because I didn't want to be there. As I've gotten older I've realized how much counseling has really helped me. During the time my parents split I was depressed and I was starting to go down a bad path because it seemed like nothing in my life was going right for me. I have ADHD and so a lot of times I get unfocused on what I am doing and I tend to get angry more often than most people.


Recently I've gone back to counseling on my own terms and within the last six months I would say that it has helped me alot just being able to go in and talk to someone that isn't judging you. It feels good, I feel free when I'm in my sessions because I can let all my worries and frustrations out. I needed a change in my life and I wanted to give counseling another shot. I truly believe that if you can go get help from someone that there will be a decrease in the amount of mental illness deaths and a decrease in the amount of medicines that people with mental health issues have to take. You must be willing to take an hour out of your day to go talk to someone once or twice a week.


Preview of Speech: This crisis will only continue to get worse if we do not start trying to help other people who are not mentally stable. In order to do that we have to come together as a unit and provide help to these individuals who are not seeking the help that they deserve. In this speech I will tell you about the many problems people are faced with when they have a mental illness,(NEED),the solutions that can help make a difference among people with mental health problems,(SATISFACTION),and the benefits of having an increased amount of people who can control their mental health,(VISUALIZATION).


So, let's start off with problems that people face when they have a mental illness.(NEED).


BODY I. Let's take a closer look at the problems that people can sometimes face as a result of having a mental illness.


A. According to Milena Bimpong at Princeton Health Review some people see taking time

off for a mental health break from work and school as being lazy and that their problem is all inside their head.


1. Being afraid to take a mental health day could end with the person hurting themselves or someone around them. When you have a mental illness, the stress is compounded and when triggers go unmanaged we have seen time and again how some people were able to manage emotions associated with the elements that cause them to be triggered. The more stress that is put onto someone with a mental illness could cause them to act out and possibly do something hurtful or even tragic.

2. Untreated mental health issues can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, anger,abusive relationships and addictions to drugs and alcohol. All of these side effects of poor mental health can ultimately lead to death if they are left untreated.

3. Dr. Martin Prince, a Dr. at King’s College London,Centre for Public Mental Health, stated, About 14% of the global burden of disease has been attributed to neuropsychiatric disorders, mostly due to the chronically disabling nature of depression and other common mental disorders, alcohol-use and substance-use disorders, and psychoses.(verbal reference)


B. What most people would think that a person with a mental illness goes through on a daily basis may surprise you. Many times a person with a mental illness does not show signs when they are out in public, the signs show behind closed doors when that person is either alone or at home with family.


1. According to Elaine Rose in Behind Closed Doors Much under reported but very common, is the impact upon children of a low level but pervasive parental vacuum, where there is a significant absence of real parental engagement.” (verbal reference)

2. Typically parents appear to be engaged with their children when they are out in public. For example many times you will find parents cheering on their children at a sporting event soem,times the loudest parent in the crowd however, as soon as they get home or even just to the car they might begin to chastise, berate the child or totally ignore them.

3. Another thing that we see a lot is that children are forced to mature early in a effort to take on adult responsibilities because they live with an inconsistent or unengaged parent

So, now that you are aware of some of the mental health problems that people can sometimes face as a result of having a mental illness. We will now take a more in-depth look at some potential solutions to help people learn to manage a healthier mental outlook on life.(SATISFACTION).


II. What most of you probably don’t know is that the solutions for mental illnesses work relatively quickly if the patient is willing to consistently show up for counseling appointments and do the work provided by the counselor.


● So, to elaborate on my earlier example my dad exhibited symptoms of PTSD for years, and my parents sought help several times. But because so little was known about PTSD and how to treat it my dad's behavior and outlook on life deteriorated. He was physically with us but rarely was he mentally with us. He was diagnosed with PTSD in 2016. He never went to family gatherings, never went to church with us, and would also rarely spend time with us as home. He was very inconsistent and that put a lot of stress on my mom because she had to take care of my sister and I by herself. When they separated my sister and I were older and a light bulb went off in my dad's head; he didn't want to lose his family for good. He began counseling 2 to 3 times a week for an hour each session. She too was also in counseling 3-4 times a week. It took a total of two years of intense counseling before my mom truly felt safe with my dad again. She made the decision to put my sister and I in counseling. This was hard on us because we didn’t want to accept the fact that there was something traumatic happening to our family.


● Allow me to break it down for you. Most people experienced some sort of trauma early on in life but are not exposed to healthy ways to deal with it. So they experience another

trauma and another and as there are emotions associated with the traumas get more intense. So over the years they are triggered. Some reactions may be minimal-maybe yelling or shutting down for a brief period, but over years of living with unhealthy emotional habits their behaviors grow more and more severe.


2. A simple way to let go of this emotional baggage is to seek the help of a trained professional. Show up to the appointments on time and stay engaged.


B. A second solution that supports the first solution would be to consistently use the tools and guidance that your counselor suggests for you. By using these resources from your counselor you will be put on a road to success.


1. For instance my moms counselor helped her retrain her brain to find the good in situations that may have severely traumatized her. For example she learned about a journaling technique and during that time she found the “good” in PTSD and made the mind shift from my dad having post traumatic stress disorder to finding Peace,Trust, Strength and Discipline in their relationship (PTSD).If you would now look at the powerpoint behind me I can explain what each letter stands for and elaborate a little more.

2. According to Antioch University’s Why Mental Health Counseling is Important “For those with severe mental illness, mental health counselors can help develop strategies and skills – such as coping mechanisms – to minimize and manage the effects of their patients’ condition.”

Finally, now that I have introduced you to some solutions to help with mental illnesses, I will now tell you about the benefits someone with a mental illness would see if they went out and got help. (VISUALIZATION).


III. When someone consistently shows up for counseling,does what their therapist suggests that they do over time they can learn to function at a high level in spite of their mental illness. Below is an example of what could happen if you follow the “instructions'' given to you. This is a continuation of the story about how my dad's life and my family’s life changed.


● After about 6 months of consistent counseling for both my mom and dad I saw a good change in my dad. He was more willing to go places with us or just hang out with us at home. My sister and I eventually stopped going to counseling at the recommendation of our counselors. My parents were able to reconcile in 2018 because they were both healing and had the tools and resources they needed to support each other.

● My dad has been able to be more consistent with going to family events, and church with us, and is doing much better overall.

● In 2019 I realized that I was going through some tough times and I needed someone to talk to besides my parents or friends, so I started going to counseling again and within the

last 6 months I have felt so much better about myself and about my outlook on life. I truly believe that if you can seek help and you can follow through with going to counseling and that putting in the time and effort that within a year you will start seeing the brighter side of things in life.


In summary, Untreated mental health problems impact all facets of life and lead to high anxiety,addictions and overall unhealthy behaviors. However, once treated, using the right methods for the individual major improvements can be made in the person's life. (transitional statement to conclusion).


Conclusion

Audience Response Statement: If you are struggling with anxiety,frustration,depression, loneliness, isolation,guilt or shame, then I encourage you to implement the two solutions discussed today. Remember the solution will require you to attend counseling and to go consistently. It will require you to use the tools given to you by your counselor to help you improve your life and the life of those around you. Use them. You are so worth it!

Summary Statement: Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to provide you with information that could potentially save your life or some else's life. By reviewing the many problems people are faced with when they have a mental illness,the solutions that can help make a difference with mental health problems,and the benefits of having the tools and resources to have a happier and healthier life.

Wow Statement: We all deserve to live a happy healthy life and we shouldn't have to let having a mental illness define who we are. When we choose to discipline ourselves and find the strength to admit that there is a problem and choose to take control of a negative situation, we can be more at peace as we trust the process to work. More specifically when we recognize the value of our life and also begin to recognize the value of other people's lives, it allows you to truly live life like you are meant to. When you have a mental illness you are living in body but not in spirit. You are valuable and I encourage you to take control of your mental illness, so that you are able to live in body and in spirit and make the world a better place. Always remember that you are beautiful on the inside and out and to not let anyone ever tell you that you can't do something!


Works Cited


“Adolescent Mental Health.” World Health Organization, World Health Organization, 23 Oct. 2019, www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/adolescent-mental-health.


Bimpong, Milena. “Untreated Mental Illnesses: The Causes and Effects | Princeton Public Health Review.” Princeton University, The Trustees of Princeton University, 30 Apr. 2017, pphr.princeton.edu/2017/04/30/untreated-mental-illnesses-the-causes-and-effects/.


Prince, Martin, et al. “No Health without Mental Health.” The Lancet, Elsevier, 4 Sept. 2007,

www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673607612380#!


Rose, Elaine. “Behind Closed Doors.” Drink and Drugs News, 2 Nov. 2016,

drinkanddrugsnews.com/behind-closed-doors/.


“Why Mental Health Counseling Is Important.” Antioch Online, 2 May 2019,

www.antioch.edu/auonline/2017/04/07/mental-health-counseling-important/


We hope you enjoyed learning a little bit more about PTSD and about our healing journey. Our youngest daughter was 10 when we first began walking with peace, trust, strength, and discipline. She is 13 now and created the artwork that I chose to use for our month of prayer. She said "Mom, I thought it would be a good idea to put PTSD on the cross. The black is the darkness and the colors around it are like the other diseases that you can sometimes get when you have PTSD. There's cancer and heart disease and I don't know what else." And, she's right we don't know everything about PTSD or the diseases that it can cause or the diseases that can cause it, but we do know that as long as we put it on the cross we will find peace, trust, strength, and discipline and we will be HEALED!


Ya'll have a beautiful day!


All My Love,


Jen


To view more articles about PTSD and learn how to find peace, trust, strength, and discipline visit Get Strong with Jen! here.


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