The PTSD came from being verbally and physically abused.
Symptoms for PTSD:
Persistent Re-experiencing. A person experiences one or more of the following:
Recurrent nightmares or flashbacks
Recurrent images or memories of the event
Intense distress at reminders of the trauma
Physical reactions to triggers that symbolize or resemble the event
Avoidant/Numbness Responses. A person experiences three or more of the following:
Efforts to avoid feelings or triggers associated with the trauma
Avoidance of activities, places or people that remind the person of the trauma
Inability to recall an important aspect of the trauma
Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others
Restricted range of feelings
Difficulty thinking about the long-term future
A person experiences two or more of the following:
Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep
Outbursts of anger/irritability
Increased vigilance that may be maladaptive
Exaggerated startle response
What is posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and who is at risk?
Combat, sexual assault, a natural disaster or a terrorist attack are examples of traumatic psychological events that can cause PTSD. These severely traumatic events often have a direct physical impact and occur within a violent context. Veterans who have been injured in combat are at high risk for PTSD because they have sustained a direct injury in a violent setting. Survivors of rape have experienced physical and emotional trauma which is associated with very high rates of posttraumatic responses. These events can be a single occurrence in a person’s lifetime or they can occur repeatedly, such as in the case of ongoing physical abuse or an extended or repeated tour of duty in a war zone. The severity of traumatic events and duration of exposure are critical risk factors for developing PTSD.
"At times it's very hard with the bipolar disorder because I have anxiety and I get upset and when I get upset I want to scream and hit and I know I can't here," says Strickler.
Symptoms of mania are as follows:
Extreme happiness for an extended period of time
An abnormally increased level of irritability
Overconfidence or an extremely inflated self-esteem
Decreased amount of sleep
Risky behavior, such as spending sprees and impulsive sex
Racing thoughts, jumping quickly from one idea to another
Agitation or “jumpiness.”
Symptoms of depression are as follows:
Diminished capacity for pleasure or loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
A long period of feeling hopeless or helpless with low self-esteem
Decreased amount of energy and constant fatigue
Inability to concentrate and make simple decisions
Changes in eating, sleeping or other daily habits
Agitation or slow movement, speech or thought
Thoughts of death or suicide attempts.
Recently, Strickler says she has been receiving help from the Salvation Army and has been trying to become dependent. "I don't like being homeless, I'm ready to be on my own but I know it takes some time."
"You know it's difficult for people with mental health issues to really have to advocate for themselves and to navigate mental health services, the behavioral health clinic, it can be a real labyrinth so that's why it's nice that El Rio has behavioral health because it's more seamless."
El Rio staff say they help provide their patients by prescribing medication and even provide free transportation for them to arrive at their doctor appointments.
Strickler says she dreams of one day working in the medical field and her goal is to have her own home soon.