Young Woman Who Survived Brussels Airport Isis Attack Euthanised After Struggling With Ptsd
Shanti De Corte was 17 when she escaped the explosion physically unharmed which, along with two other detonations, killed 32 and injured over 300.
A young woman who survived the Brussels airport terror attack has sadly died after choosing assisted suicide.
Shanti De Corte passed away on May 7 after two psychiatrists approved her request to be euthanised. The 23-year-old struggled with severe depression and PTSD following the ISIS bombing in 2016 that killed 32 and injured over 300.
Shanti was walking through the departures lounge of the Belgian airport in Zaventem on March 22, six years ago, with her school classmates ahead of a trip to Italy when terrorists detonated a bomb. She was just 17 at the time and managed to escape the harrowing explosion, which was followed by two further detonations.
Despite running free and physically unharmed, Shanti was left with constant panic attacks and bouts of dark depression as the psychological effects of what she saw took a grip of her life, the MailOnline reports.
She attended a psychiatric hospital in her home town of Antwerp for rehabilitation, and also took a range of anti-depressant medications, but attempted suicide on two different occasions in 2018 and 2020. Her heartbroken mother Marielle told Belgian outlet VRT of her daughter’s pain earlier this week and said: “That day really cracked her, she never felt safe after that.
How To Help Someone With Post
Post-traumatic stress disorder sometimes occurs when a traumatic event is experienced. The illness is marked by uncontrollable thoughts, extreme anxiety, nightmares and flashbacks. PTSD sometimes causes short-term memory loss and can have long-term chronic psychological repercussions. Its imperative to seek treatment for PTSD as early as possible. Symptoms can become more severe over time, and for some people, PTSD can last for many years.
Openness And Trust Are Key
Weve been working with folks dealing with PTSD for some time, and we know that openness is an important step in overcoming this disorder.
Hopefully, talking about it helps your loved one feel like they can trust you. Thats perfect because thats what you need to start the next step.
Yes, there are steps you can take. You can call the National Mental Health Hotline to speak with our experienced mental health experts. We may be able to make a difference in your loved ones life.
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Ptsd Episodes: Flashbacks And Dissociation
The amygdala doesnt forget anything that it has deemed as dangerous and doesnt discern whether the threat is real or imagined. This plays a big role in untreated PTSD, especially when these symptoms occur:
- Flashbacks are a nightmarish and intense reliving of a traumatic event. Whether it is momentary or lasts a few minutes, hours, or even days, someone going through a flashback is unable to distinguish it from reality. Flashbacks are uncontrollable and are very vivid, likely evoking strong sensory memories associated with the trauma that was endured and the environment in which it happened.
- Dissociation occurs when a person feels separate or disconnected from their body and surroundings as though they are observing things from outside of themselves. This tends to occur automatically as a coping mechanism to manage traumatic memories and the emotions associated with them. Like flashbacks, dissociative episodes can be fleeting or last for a long time.
What Are Flashbacks
A flashback is a vivid experience in which you relive some aspects of a traumatic event or feel as if it is happening right now. This can sometimes be like watching a video of what happened, but flashbacks do not necessarily involve seeing images, or reliving events from start to finish. You might experience any of the following:
- seeing full or partial images of what happened
- noticing sounds, smells or tastes connected to the trauma
- feeling physical sensations, such as pain or pressure
- experiencing emotions that you felt during the trauma.
You might notice that particular places, people or situations can trigger a flashback for you, which could be due to them reminding you of the trauma in some way. Or you might find that flashbacks seem to happen at random. Flashbacks can last for just a few seconds, or continue for several hours or even days.
I feel like I’m straddling a timeline where the past is pulling me in one direction and the present another. I see flashes of images and noises burst through, fear comes out of nowhere. My heart races, my breathing is loud and I no longer know where I am.
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How To Treat Ptsd
If self-coping doesnt work for your loved one, youll need to know how to treat PTSD another way. Find a doctor to talk to and offer to go to the visit together. Many people find answers in formal treatment. Psychotherapy and medication are very effective for recovering from a trauma. Learn about cognitive behavioral therapy and medications used to treat PTSD, and share this information with your loved one.
Rebuild Trust And Safety
Trauma alters how a person with PTSD sees the making, and it might even seem like a dangerous and frightening place. If theres any way you can rebuild their sense of security, it will contribute to their recovery in the long term. You should express your commitment to the relationship and let them know youre here for them so that they feel supported and loved.
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Common Symptoms Of Ptsd
These are some common signs and symptoms that you might recognise. Everyone’s experience is different, so you may experience some, none or all of these things.
Reliving aspects of what happened
This can include:
- vivid flashbacks
- intrusive thoughts or images
- intense distress at real or symbolic reminders of the trauma
- physical sensations such as pain, sweating, nausea or trembling.
Alertness or feeling on edge
This can include:
- panicking when reminded of the trauma
- being easily upset or angry
- extreme alertness, also sometimes called ‘hypervigilance’
- disturbed sleep or a lack of sleep
- irritability or aggressive behaviour
- finding it hard to concentrate including on simple or everyday tasks
- being jumpy or easily startled
My heart was constantly racing and I felt permanently dizzy. I couldn’t leave the house and became afraid of going to sleep as I was convinced I was going to die.
Avoiding feelings or memories
- feeling like you have to keep busy
- avoiding anything that reminds you of the trauma
- being unable to remember details of what happened
- feeling emotionally numb or cut off from your feelings
- feeling physically numb or detached from your body
- being unable to express affection
- doing things that could be self-destructive or reckless
- feeling like you can’t trust anyone
- feeling like nowhere is safe
- feeling like nobody understands
- blaming yourself for what happened
- overwhelming feelings of anger, sadness, guilt or shame.
Why does PTSD have physical effects?
What Is The Difference Between Ptsd Symptoms And An Attack
PTSD symptoms are ongoing, while an attack is a specific, acute issue, which may come and go for an individual with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. PTSD attacks can mirror the symptoms of panic attacks, and as a result, may feel similar to a heart attack, asthma attack, or other biologically based concern. The greatest difference between an attack and symptoms of PTSD is duration: PTSD symptoms arise and persist, while an attack is usually limited to a matter of minutes or hours. The effects of both, however, are painful and can cause significant distress.
Not all individuals with PTSD symptoms will experience regular panic attacks some will only experience the ongoing symptoms of PTSD. Nevertheless, panic attacks are not uncommon alongside a diagnosis of PTSD, and treatment for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder may include treatment for anxiety attacks. Additional treatment steps can be undertaken as well, such as learning how to recognize the onset of an attack, and how to remain grounded and aware for the duration of an attack.
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Stay In Clear Communication
Each person will have different symptoms and triggers. Clear communication can help you plan the most supportive ways to respond when they arise. Communicating about symptoms and triggers can help you to create an intentional, supportive response.
For example, one common symptom of PTSD and complex PTSD is dissociation. If your partner or friend experiences dissociation, they may display a sense of numbness or detachment.
Foo told Psych Central that when her dissociation is at work, her voice can become flat.
If your loved one starts interacting with you with a flat voice, or flat affect, it may be initially hard to interpret. Its helpful to ask questions about what their expression or tone may or may not indicate.
One way you can support your partner is by asking them, Hey, you sound kind of irritated. What are you experiencing right now? Is there anything I can do?
If you and your loved one have developed a rapport around symptoms, you may feel comfortable asking them directly about what a blank expression may mean. If youre still learning about how PTSD manifests for your loved one, it may take time to figure out what your communication style will be.
In any case, it helps to stay in close contact about both parties needs and expectations to show love and avoid miscommunication.
Seeing Original Trauma Happening To Someone Else
It happens indeed. Lets take an example. Lets say, you are a PTSD attack survivor and you see on the news that another mass shooting has taken place. You might have a PTSD attack because you feel like you are reliving the trauma all over again. Its normal to feel this way and it doesnt mean that you are weak.
Another reason why it triggers PTSD attacks is that you might be feeling hopeless and helpless. You feel like there is nothing you can do to stop it from happening again.
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Challenges For Loved Ones
Loved ones of someone with PTSD often face the challenge of trying to understand whats going on. This can be difficult, as PTSD symptoms can vary from person to person.
Loved ones may also feel like they need to take care of their loved ones all the time or that theyre not doing enough. Loved ones need to remember that PTSD is not their fault and that theyre not responsible for what happened.
Compromising Your Own Needs
People living with someone who has PTSD also need to manage their own emotions while understanding the importance of taking care of themselves, too. This can be difficult because its easy to get caught up in trying to take care of your friend or family member all the time without taking care of yourself.
NOTE: Its important to remember that you cant take care of someone else if youre not taking care of yourself first.
When To See A Doctor
Many people experience symptoms after a traumatic event, such as crying, anxiety, and difficulty concentrating, but this is not necessarily PTSD.
Prompt treatment with a qualified professional can help prevent the symptoms from getting worse.
This should be considered if:
- symptoms persist for more than a month
- symptoms are severe enough to prevent the person returning to normal life
- the person considers harming themselves
psychotherapy and counseling, medication, or a combination.
Options for psychotherapy will be specially tailored for managing trauma.
Cognitive processing therapy : Also known as cognitive restructuring, the individual learns how to think about things in a new way. Mental imagery of the traumatic event may help them work through the trauma, to gain control of the fear and distress.
Exposure therapy: Talking repeatedly about the event or confronting the cause of the fear in a safe and controlled environment may help the person feel they have more control over their thoughts and feelings. The effectiveness of this treatment has been questioned, however, and it must be carried out with care, or there may be a risk of worsening of the symptoms.
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How To Manage Work While Coping With Ptsd
When I got to work that morning, I had to stand to keep myself calm. I couldnt sit down. I couldnt concentrate. My vision was blurred. A coworker peeked her head into my cubicle to say good morning and I almost jumped out of my skin. I texted my husband to tell him what was going on. He texted back to say that hed made an appointment with my primary care doctor and he was leaving work to take me there.
In the doctors office, I started off calmly describing these symptoms, but when she had me describe the car crash Id been in a few weeks before, I unexpectedly burst into tears. I hadnt been sleeping and when I did, Id dream about my teeth flying out of my mouth from the force of the crash. I took crazy routes to avoid the exit where crash had happened, but Id downplay the crash to anyone whod asked. Everyone told me theyd been in worse accidents. What was wrong with me?
When my doctor diagnosed me with post-traumatic stress disorder , she suggested that I go home for the day and to go on leave, using Family Medical Leave Act . Id gone to the appointment from work and thought Id be able to go back to the office. But she compared my condition to a stroke or a heart attack: you wouldnt go back to the office after one of those, would you?
Educate Yourself About Ptsd
Healthwise is an excellent website with many informational articles on PTSD. You will recognize the Healthwise logo by the three red circles with one embedded into the other. Adam Husney MD, Kathleen Romito MD, and Jessica Hamblen Ph.D. are practitioners in family medicine. They are a few of the medical reviewers on the site, so you know the information is accurate and current.
There are many blogs, websites, and videos that can teach you about anger management, unhealthy behaviors, and trouble dealing with anger and PTSD. An internet search will help you find them and there are many informative articles at BetterHelp.
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Is It A Ptsd Attack Knowing The Signs And Symptoms
Once relegated to the annals of wartime histories and considered a plague specific to individuals who have seen or fought in the war, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is an increasingly common problem and one that does not require a history of military service or presence in a war-torn country. Instead, PTSD is being recognized as an issue plaguing adults and children alike, with causes ranging from a traumatic event recognized by almost everyone , to a more covert traumatic event, such as a case of narcissistic abuse. Regardless of the exact trigger or traumatic event at the core of PTSD, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder is a treatable disorder, and individuals who have been diagnosed are not alone in their experiences. If you start to notice any signs of PTSD, it’s important that you seek help in case a treatment plan is necessary.
A Look At The Symptoms Of Ptsd:
There are multiple PTSD symptoms, but we will discuss a few which are common:
- Intrusive Memories Intrusive memories can have several symptoms, which include memories of the traumatic event, flashbacks, nightmares, emotional distress, and physical reactions.
- Avoidance Symptoms of avoidance can include not thinking about or talking about the event and not going to places or seeing people that remind them of the event.
- Negative Changes in Thinking and Mood Many negative changes happen with thinking and mood when you have PTSD. These include negative thoughts about yourself or the world around you, hopelessness when you think about the future, an impossibility to remember things, a hard time with relationships and issues with detachment, a lack of interest in things you enjoyed, an inability to feel positive emotions, and general emotional numbness.
- Changes in Physical and Emotional Reactions Many physical and emotional changes are related to PTSD. These can include being easily startled or frightened, being on guard, self-destruction, an inability to sleep and concentrate, being aggressive or acting out in anger, and shame or guilt that is overwhelming.
Children can have PTSD just as adults can. In some cases, children re-enact the traumatic event through play or have nightmares that seem unrelated. If you or someone you love are suffering from any of these, you can learn how to stop PTSD attacks.
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What Is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a type of anxiety disorder that comes as a result of a traumatic event. It can be a uniquely presenting disorder, as it may not show symptoms immediately, but may have a delayed onset. In some cases, a traumatic event will spark an immediate onset of symptoms. While the most well-known causes of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder include war, extreme violence, natural disasters, and fatal or extremely harmful accidents, these are not the only known causes of PTSD PTSD can develop as a result of any traumatic event, though violence is the most common cause.