PTSD Quote

cant-sleep

 

 

 

 

Advertisements
Posted in PTSD, Quote | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Tips: Fighting PTSD

When you get diagnosed with PTSD or suspect that you might have PTSD, it can be a difficult pill to swallow. You will most likely have a lot of questions or are at lost for what to do next.

Maybe you think that you are crazy. Maybe you feel ashamed. Even a little shocked. That’s normal. Give yourself some time to adjust.

images-2

Let me tell you this (and this might seem strange to you): Being diagnosed with PTSD isn’t the end of the world. In fact, it’s a good thing! Not that you have PTSD obviously, but at least now you finally know what’s causing your stress, anxiety and all the other stuff that’s been thrown at you. And now you know what you are up against, you can start to deal with it. You are not your diagnosis! Remember that.

1921660_1410791017_3062_app

Tip 1: Educate yourself!

It’s important to know as much as you can about what it is you are battling. It will make the fight easier and you will understand yourself, your actions and reactions better.

Search the web for information, talk to others who have PTSD or read books about the subject.

You can also start with reading this article on my blog: Battling A Memory Monster.

There are different types of Traumatic disorders and it’s useful to know which type you are dealing with.

All types have these 3 main group of symptoms:

1.Re-experiencing the traumatic event

2.Avoiding reminders of the trauma

3.Increased anxiety and emotional arousal

SANYO DIGITAL CAMERA

ASD: Acute Stress Disorder.

This type will occur right after the traumatic event happened. It comes with a lot of the same symptoms as PTSD, but it will usually last for 1 to 3 months. If treated early and in the right way, you may avoid developing full blown PTSD.

PTSD: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

To get diagnosed with PTSD, the symptoms must still be present after 10 months after the traumatic event. If not treated or recognized, it can evolve in Chronic PTSD.

Delayed PTSD: Delayed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

This type of traumatic disorder can develop many years after the traumatic event but for the diagnosis it has to be at least 6 months ago. This type develops when someone gets stuck in ‘survival mode’ or when exposed to multiple traumatic events who follow up on each other.

C-PTSD: Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

May develop after being exposed to multiple traumatic events. Although this category is not formally recognized in diagnostic systems, there are many articles to find about this type.

88c459badcf611461c73ddb4e20d95f9

Tip 2: Acceptance!

So, you are diagnosed with PTSD. That seriously sucks! But you have to know that you already were suffering from PTSD before you got diagnosed. Your struggles just have a name now. You are not crazy, there is nothing wrong with you and you are not responsible for it. The sooner you accept yourself with PTSD, the sooner you can start to heal.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can make you feel disconnected from others. You may be tempted to withdraw from social activities and your loved ones. It may seem easier to be just on your own. And although everyone needs some time and space on their own, do NOT push people away. Getting isolated is one of the worse things you can do.

It’s very important to stay connected to life and the people who care about you.

ptsd018001

Tip 3: Reach Out!

Support from other people is vital to your recovery from PTSD, so ask your close friends and family members for their help during this tough time.

Also, there is absolutely no shame in reaching out for help from a psychiatrist. In fact, it’s vital in most cases.

There are different treatments for PTSD. Find out which one fits you best.

Cognitive-behavioral therapy for PTSD and trauma involves carefully and gradually “exposing” yourself to thoughts, feelings, and situations that remind you of the trauma. Therapy also involves identifying upsetting thoughts about the traumatic event–particularly thoughts that are distorted and irrational—and replacing them with more balanced picture.

Since PTSD affects both you and those close to you, family therapy can be especially productive. Family therapy can help your loved ones understand what you’re going through. It can also help everyone in the family communicate better and work through relationship problems caused by PTSD symptoms.

Medication  is sometimes prescribed to people with PTSD to relieve secondary symptoms of depression or anxiety. Antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft are the medications most commonly used for PTSD. While antidepressants may help you feel less sad, worried, or on edge, they do not treat the causes of PTSD. In my opinion, medication should only be used if it’s necessary, because they don’t treat your PTSD.

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing)  incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral therapy with eye movements or other forms of rhythmic, left-right stimulation, such as hand taps or sounds. Eye movements and other bilateral forms of stimulation are thought to work by “unfreezing” the brain’s information processing system, which is interrupted in times of extreme stress.

self_medication_688x984

Tip 4: Avoid substance abuse!

When you’re struggling with difficult emotions and traumatic memories, you may be tempted to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. But while alcohol or drugs may temporarily make you feel better, they make post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) worse in the long run. Substance use worsens many symptoms of PTSD, including emotional numbing, social isolation, anger, and depression. It also interferes with treatment and can add to problems at home and in your relationships.

People with PTSD are known to be vulnerable to addiction. After all, it’s always easier to avoid than to deal with the problem. Dealing with PTSD takes courage. We all have courage, we just need to find it sometimes. Don’t make it harder on yourself by fighting two battles instead of one.

You think that you can drown your PTSD? You can’t. Drugs and alcohol are not magic, they won’t make your PTSD go away.

keep-calm-and-talk-about-it-7

Tip 5: Talk!

Probably the hardest thing to do is talk about what happened to you. But it’s one of the most important things too. Start small and don’t push yourself.

If talking about it is too hard, start by writing it down. The next step would be to let someone you trust read it. Talking about it after that will be easier because the person already knows a bit about your trauma and you won’t have to explain everything. Be prepared that talking can be a trigger and remember that things might get worse before they get better. Make sure that you are somewhere you feel safe and with someone who knows how to handle when you get a flashback or panic attack.

It’s okay to shut down in the middle of a conversation. Enough is enough. Recovery takes time.

f767e543fe40a43d99fefc0479b81d8c

Stay Strong & Keep Fighting!

Patty

Posted in Articles, information, PTSD | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Depression: What Not to say and What to say

Screenshot_2015-03-04-00-44-22-1

 

helpful-words-for-someone-who-self-injures

And especially:

Depressed

Don’t Judge, Just Care

Patty

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Battling a Memory Monster (PTSD)

Today, I would like to tell you a bit about the Memory Monster this blog is mainly about.

ptsd-awareness-month

It’s called Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

This particular monster will haunt you after you experience something very traumatic.

First of all, let’s see what the specialists can tell us about this monster:

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is an anxiety disorder that may develop after a person is exposed to one or more traumatic events, such as sexual assault, serious injury, witnessing the death of a loved one, losing someone close or the threat of death. The diagnosis may be given when a group of symptoms such as disturbing recurring flashbacks, avoidance or numbing of memories of the event continue for more than a month after the traumatic event.

That just sucks! You already have experienced something awful and afterwards you have to battle this monster as well!

posters-efb-3-300x231

How identify this Monster

After a traumatic experience, it’s normal to feel frightened, sad, anxious, and disconnected. But if the upset doesn’t fade and you feel stuck with a constant sense of danger and painful memories, you may be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It can seem like you’ll never get over what happened or feel normal again. Your mind becomes a dark place.

The symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can arise suddenly, gradually, or come and go over time. Sometimes symptoms appear seemingly out of the blue. At other times, they are triggered by something that reminds you of the original traumatic event, such as a noise, an image, certain words, or a smell.

While everyone experiences PTSD differently, there are three main types of symptoms:

1.Re-experiencing the traumatic event

2.Avoiding reminders of the trauma

3.Increased anxiety and emotional arousal

Symptoms of PTSD: Re-experiencing the traumatic event

◾Intrusive, upsetting memories of the event

◾Flashbacks (acting or feeling like the event is happening again)

◾Nightmares (either of the event or of other frightening things)

◾Feelings of intense distress when reminded of the trauma

◾Intense physical reactions to reminders of the event (e.g. pounding heart, rapid breathing, nausea, muscle tension, sweating)

63dbd5afd7f97c8039da31e0331e5024

Symptoms of PTSD: Avoidance and numbing

◾Avoiding activities, places, thoughts, or feelings that remind you of the trauma

◾Inability to remember important aspects of the trauma

◾Loss of interest in activities and life in general

◾Feeling detached from others and emotionally numb

◾Sense of a limited future (you don’t expect to live a normal life span, get married, have a career)

Symptoms of PTSD: Increased anxiety and emotional arousal

◾Difficulty falling or staying asleep (insomnia)

◾Irritability or outbursts of anger

◾Difficulty concentrating

◾Hypervigilance (on constant “red alert”)

◾Feeling jumpy and easily startled

ptsd-card_back-1200x6761

Other common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

◾Anger

◾Guilt, shame or self-blame

◾Trust issues

◾Change in behavior

◾Depression

◾Suicidal thoughts and feelings

◾Feeling alone

◾Physical aches and pain

How to deal with this Monster

Battling this monster yourself

First of all: Do NOT be ashamed! Do not hide and do NOT give up! You are NOT alone!

10858459_485977771543340_5344014951027854232_n

Treatment for PTSD relieves symptoms by helping you deal with the trauma you’ve experienced. Rather than avoiding the trauma and any reminder of it, treatment will encourage you to recall and process the emotions and sensations you felt during the original event. In addition to offering an outlet for emotions you’ve been bottling up, treatment for PTSD will also help restore your sense of control and reduce the powerful hold the memory of the trauma has on your life.

Types of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

◾Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for PTSD and trauma involves carefully and gradually “exposing” yourself to thoughts, feelings, and situations that remind you of the trauma. Therapy also involves identifying upsetting thoughts about the traumatic event–particularly thoughts that are distorted and irrational—and replacing them with more balanced picture.

◾Family therapy. Since PTSD affects both you and those close to you, family therapy can be especially productive. Family therapy can help your loved ones understand what you’re going through. It can also help everyone in the family communicate better and work through relationship problems caused by PTSD symptoms.

◾Medication is  sometimes prescribed to people with PTSD to relieve secondary symptoms of depression or anxiety. Antidepressants such as Prozac and Zoloft are the medications most commonly used for PTSD. While antidepressants may help (you feel less sad, worried, or on edge,) they do not treat the causes of PTSD.

◾EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) incorporates elements of cognitive-behavioral therap with eye movements or other forms of rhythmic, left-right stimulation, such as hand taps or sounds. Eye movements and other bilateral forms of stimulation are thought to work by “unfreezing” the brain’s information processing system, which is interrupted in times of extreme stress.

PTSD self-help tips

◾Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can make you feel disconnected from others. You may be tempted to withdraw from social activities and your loved ones. But it’s important to stay connected to life and the people who care about you. Support from other people is vital to your recovery from PTSD, so ask your close friends and family members for their help during this tough time. Especially when you relapse on PTSD.

◾Also consider joining a support group for survivors of the same type of trauma you experienced. Support groups for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can help you feel less isolated and alone. They also provide invaluable information on how to cope with symptoms and work towards recovery. If you can’t find a support group in your area, look for an online group.

◾When you’re struggling with difficult emotions and traumatic memories, you may be tempted to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. But while alcohol or drugs may temporarily make you feel better, they make post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) worse in the long run. Substance use worsens many symptoms of PTSD, including emotional numbing, social isolation, anger, and depression. It also interferes with treatment and can add to problems at home and in your relationships.

◾Overcoming your sense of helplessness is key to overcoming post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Trauma leaves you feeling powerless and vulnerable. It’s important to remind yourself that you have strengths and coping skills that can get you through tough times.

◾ One of the best ways to reclaim your sense of power is by helping others: volunteer your time, give blood, reach out to a friend in need, or donate to your favorite charity. Taking positive action directly challenges the sense of helplessness that is a common symptom of PTSD.

IMG_312206723462886

When a loved one is battling this Monster:

If a loved one has post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it’s essential that you take care of yourself and get extra support. PTSD can take a heavy toll on the family or friendship if you let it. It can be hard to understand why your loved one won’t open up to you—why he or she is less affectionate and more volatile. The symptoms of PTSD can also result in job loss, substance abuse, and other stressful problems.

Letting your loved one’s PTSD dominate your life while ignoring your own needs is a surefire recipe for burnout. In order to take care of your loved one, you first need to take care of yourself. It’s also helpful to learn all you can about post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The more you know about the symptoms and treatment options, the better equipped you’ll be to help your loved one and keep things in perspective.

Helping a loved one with PTSD

◾Be patient and understanding. Getting better takes time, even when a person is committed to treatment for PTSD. Be patient with the pace of recovery and offer a sympathetic ear. A person with PTSD may need to talk about the traumatic event over and over again. This is part of the healing process,  so avoid the temptation to tell your loved one to stop rehashing the past and move on. Remember that some people with severe cases of PTSD may never fully recover. Wounds leave scars.

◾Try to anticipate and prepare for PTSD triggers. Common triggers include anniversary dates; people or places associated with the trauma; and certain sights, sounds, or smells. If you are aware of what triggers may cause an upsetting reaction, you’ll be in a better position to offer your support and help your loved one calm down.

◾Don’t take the symptoms of PTSD personally. Common symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) include emotional numbness, anger, and withdrawal. If your loved  one seems distant, irritable, or closed off, remember that this may not have anything to do with you or your relationship. A lot of people with PTSD will try to push you away, either to protect themselves or to protect you from them.

◾Don’t pressure your loved one into talking. It is very difficult for people with PTSD to talk about their traumatic experiences. For some, it can even make things worse. Never try to force your loved one to open up. Let the person know, however, that you’re there when and if he or she wants to talk.

tumblr_mhyxq9cjZP1s5s9vdo1_500

Most important thing to remember about this Monster: It can attack anyone, so don’t judge, just care!

Posted in Articles, information, PTSD | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments