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  • About a month or so after I got home from the hospital, one of the first clear indications of my Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) was the way I would feel when I heard or saw a helicopter—in real-life or on film or radio. I would feel intense distress and I would want to run away. I had been “life-flighted” in a helicopter while my aorta was dissecting (inside layers were tearing), and for a couple of months I did not remember this experience consciously, but I would still react to the helicopters. One night the memories flooded back of being wheeled into an elevator, on to the helicopter landing pad, and into the helicopter. In this drawing, I show the PTSD as ghosts. I felt like I was haunted. I was a haunted house and the ghosts would surface and scare and bother me whenever they felt like it. When I told my doctor about my strange feeling, he asked me to see a psychiatrist to confirm his own diagnosis of PTSD. After I was diagnosed, I opted for EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing), psychotherapy and art therapy treatments. That was in 2005. I went to therapy for 7 years and I am much better now, although I am still sometimes haunted, it feels manageable.
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