Finding Hope and Help with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

An Interview with Jolene Philo

Anyone who has experienced it knows: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder provides huge challenges. Jolene Philo understands.

Jolene is the daughter of a parent with special needs as well as a parent to a son with special needs.

In this interview, Jolene offers a wealth of wisdom as she talks about the many special needs in her family as well as the diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

She models an example of a person who has learned to trust Christ as Lord over all things. She encourages us to do the same.

Watch the Interview

Interview Questions

  1. What drew you in to the world of disabilities?
  2. Your son was diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. What is PTSD is and how does it affect an individual?
  3. Because PTSD is not a visible disability, how did others respond to you?
  4. The symptoms of PTSD are similar to other disabling conditions such as OCD or ADHD. How did you discover the specific diagnosis to be PTSD?
  5. What was it like for you and your son to finally know the cause of his challenges?
  6. You spent years waiting for a diagnosis. How did you endure?
  7. What are the signs and symptoms of PTSD?
  8. What do you say to parents who are in the midst of searching for help?
  9. How common is PTSD?
  10. How do churches typically respond to this diagnosis, and how could they respond better?
  11. How can a church come alongside as a companion to help a family in need?

Let Me Hear from You

Life can diminish our hope, drive us to despair, and disconnect us from others.  None of us can make it on our own; we all need support and encouragement.

Jolene shared much about life with special needs and about her son’s challenges with physical and mental health challenges. Perhaps you or someone in your family has similar difficulties and this message stirred some thoughts in you. I want you to know, you are not alone.

Question: How do you identify with Jolene’s circumstances, and what struggles have you encountered?

You can leave a comment by clicking here.

Connect with Jolene

Jolene PhiloJolene Philo is a teacher, blogger, and the published author of two books for special needs families:

  1. A Different Dream for My Child: Meditations for Parents of Critically or Chronically Ill Children
  2. Different Dream Parenting: A Practical Guide to Raising a Child with Special Needs.

She blogs about special needs parenting at and about daily life along her little gravel road at You can contact Jolene at either Web site.

Recommended Resources from Insight for Living Ministries

Our Special Needs Topical page offers many supportive resources as well as biblical truth that applies to facing life’s challenges.

We also have a Special Needs Blog and Facebook Page where you can interact with me and others along the same journey.

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2 thoughts on “Finding Hope and Help with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

  1. Thank you for this video. I am 58 years old and a Registered Nurse. This video brought up so much for me. At 9 months of age I was hospitalized and diagnosed with a genetic disorder of Turners syndrome. My parents were unable to accept this and were not able to be at the hospital while I was there. This continued with 4 more hospitalizations and surgeries by the age of 13 years old. That is not including the multiple time of testing and visits to the hospital and all between. I was without explanation or outlet since my parents would not talk about it. The hospital was not into as they are today connecting in with the hospitalized child either. The video was such an encouragement for me. I for years was running from life and actually everything. The physical and emotional symptoms of PTSD described in the video were me. I was unable to focus or finish anything in my life. I ended up in addictions, food, drugs and alcohol. I was always wondering why I was so different and did not fit in. I ended up in the 12 step program. I always say “God brought me to AA and AA brought me to God”. I was brought up in the church yet there was no reference to prayer or connecting in with the power and strength of God. I am happy to say Connecting in with God and turning to him as a loving caring father has changed everything. With God and with wonderful counseling I have be able have a life. A life of hope and dreams come true. I now have many special people in my life. I cannot express the importance of this video for parents of special needs children. I am grateful for this ministry and what you are providing. Thanks

    • Nancy,
      What a statement of God’s faithfulness through years of darkness. I found this video to be one of our best as PTSD is often overlooked in the disability community. I am so sorry to learn of the years you suffered in silence…but not alone as God brought you through and to this page where your words will be an encouragement to so many others. I hope you share your experience with others as well. PTSD is so powerful; isn’t it comforting to know God is greater still. Thank you for your honesty and willingness to be open. As you probably know, AA was started by a devout group of men who wanted to learn and grow in their faith and understanding of Christ. The steps apply to us all; we are in need of His healing touch and eternal grace. May you continue to reach many others by sharing your story with them. Thank you for your comment here. Have a blessed day. I would love to hear back from you; about your continued journey which will encourage other’s as they press on as well. Colleen