Family and Caregiver Schizophrenia Discussion Forum

The Caregiver Space - PTSD and the Caregiver


by Wendy Gilker
I have been caring for my profoundly handicapped daughter, Bree, for almost 34 ½ years now. Some people say it’s not Post Traumatic Stress disorder (PTSD) that I’m experiencing. Others tell me that, because I’m her mother it’s not a job, but my responsibility to take care of her.

As I look back in retrospect on these years, I am amazed that I am even still on this planet and the only reason I am here is because of my beautiful little daughter.

My daughter fought to be here
She was two weeks overdue, and she was literally dying inside of me. The embolic fluid had turned green, she was totally wrapped up in the embolic cord and the Placenta was turning to calcium. Then when the C-Section was performed, it took her 20 minutes to breathe on her own.

Within 2 months, we were told that our daughter had a syndrome call 4 P- or Wolfs-Hirschhorn Syndrome. It was not genetic, as both Walter and I were tested. It was just what it was.


Sounds like a strong, mature selfless person who deserves lots of respect and admiration. I really hope she gets her good karma from this. Never heard of this disorder, I read there are children born without a brain that live 30 years sometimes. Anencephaly means you never hear your child speak, react, walk as they just have a brain stem. I wonder what being a caregiver for these people is like.


Hi Babrie,

I appreciate you bringing up articles such as this. Many people think PTSD is only something vets experience, or all about visual flashbacks-but it can be cause by any trauma-and trauma is defined by the individual, and PTSD is defined by it’s symptoms, one’s reaction to trauma. PTSD has a accumulative effect, the more traumas experienced the more debilitating it becomes. PTSD (sort of like sz in this way) is very diverse in it’s presentation even though there is a diagnosable symptomology. If you feel like you’ve been traumatized-you have-the proof is in how you feel-not by the details of the event itself. Since caregivers have an important responsibility-and avoidance of triggers is frequently at the heart of PTSD is is very important for someone to get checked out if they think they might have this. It can be very debilitating. I unfortunately have some experience with this as well.