Rockford resident copes with PTSD - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Rockford resident copes with PTSD

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -

Rockford resident Sheila Bunting knows first hand about PTSD.

"I was diagnosed with post traumatic stress and then bipolar," Sheila Bunting said.

Bunting is in her 40's now, but when she was a teenager, she says she was sexually abused and now has trouble remembering and forgetting the experience.

"It comes out like a little clip and then it gets clearer and clearer and you don't want to close your eyes because you're going to see it," Bunting said.

Her daily routine of reading her bible, writing, taking care of her dog and exercise has helped her move forward. She said she also goes to counseling.

"People like me women that go through post traumatic stress and trauma and abuse," Bunting said. "They don't want to talk about it because they don't think people will believe them."

Rock Valley College professor Dr. Erin Fisher has researched PTSD.

"Its a chronic and somewhat debilitating anxiety stress related disorder characterized by flashbacks, sleeplessness, hypervigilance, memory problems," Fisher said.

She will discuss new research on the condition at an upcoming lecture at RVC.

"New research is showing that if we focus first and foremost on reducing that level of arousal sort of bringing them out of a fight or flight state, then its easier to deal with all the other psychological symptoms," Fisher said.

She said research shows there are ways to reduce stress for people with PTSD.

"Yoga, mediation, animal assisted therapy," Fisher said.

Bunting has this message for others going through PTSD.

"Anyone out there who is suffering the way I did, then you just need to get some help and talk to somebody because talking is really good," Bunting said.   "It helps you".

RVC's first Tuesday lecture on PTSD will be Tuesday March 1 at RVC student center.

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