Stepping Away

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I am stepping away from this blog for a while.

Trying to help others has come with too high of a price lately.

A long-time follower’s response has made me reflect on the cost of exposing myself to criticism.

At this time it is not worth it.
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Fear of PTSD regaining power

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In my mid 50’s PTSD ignited my fight or flight mechanism 15 times a day.

Those years were horrible, avoidance turned into agoraphobia, and I did not leave the house.

Normal life stopped completely, I became a recluse.

Intense therapy and meditation calmed my nervous system and gave me some relief for a couple of years.

Then three things happened, covid quarantine, a prescribed medicine launched my nervous system and an old hidden trauma erupted into my consciousness.

I do not fear my anxiety, but I do avoid triggers, people and situations.

Fear of PTSD regaining power haunts me and scares me.

I handled and calmed my fight or flight mechanism, but it is the symptoms and triggers that do the damage.

PTSD is like living in the middle of a crisis.

Trusting the world or people has never been easy.

Any thoughts?
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Implicit memories bring intrusive thoughts

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How do we define PTSD fear?

Our fight or flight mechanism firing is what we think of normal fear.

Cortisol, adrenaline gets dumped into our bloodstream along with bp, heart rate, and respiration increasing.

That deep thud in our solar plexus freezes us temporarily.

Some of PTSD fear uses the same mechanism when a trigger fires.

Other PTSD fears are more abstract, they are connected to past violent trauma

I think these are implicit memories, subconscious and abstract.

“Implicit memory relies on structures in our brain that are fully developed before we are born. Because it’s an unconscious, bodily memory, when it gets triggered in the present, it does not seem like it’s coming from the past.

Instead, it feels like it’s happening now.

Thus, we react as if we are back in the original situation.”

From These Invisible Memories Shape Our Lives
Lisa Firestone, Ph.D.

This is why PTSD feels so alive, so ever-present.
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My history with triggers

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In the beginning, I learned to avoid my triggers, yearned to keep my fight or flight mechanism from firing, and yearned to let go of all the intrusive thoughts.

Using meditation, I learned to focus and stay present when amid a trigger firing. This was the first step in trying to neutralize the impact of my adrenal stress response.

My nervous system settled, limiting both the intensity and frequency of triggers firing.

The next step was searching out trigger situations, then sitting in the middle of them until they calmed.

This part of healing was gratifying and freeing.

Then covid quarantine uncovered more trauma and all hell broke loose again.

My triggers do not fire violently anymore but my system still fills with anxiety and negative emotions.

After all this healing and hard work, avoiding and isolating are still coping strategies.

Some of the deep, dark vulnerabilities are hard-wired from my childhood.

How normal people socialize so freely and without fear or anxiety puzzles me.

Looking back, I can see high levels of anxiety and fear were always present in my life.

From childhood on these high levels were normal for me.
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Military suicides undermine Army’s ability to solve readiness crisis

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Excerpt from Fox news By Frank Larkin full article here: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/military-suicides-undermine-army-ability-solve-readiness-crisis


The U.S. Army is in the throes of a burgeoning readiness crisis with military service leaders anticipating a significant drop-off in their ability to recruit enough Americans to its ranks.

And at least part of the reason is the grinding suicide crisis in the military. Not only do recruits have to worry about their safety on a battlefield; they now must be concerned about ailments that trail them after their service to the nation.

“To compete for talent, the Army must provide a workplace environment free of harmful behaviors, to include sexual assault, sexual harassment, racism, extremism, and the risk factors which lead to death by suicide,” Gen. Joseph Martin, the Army’s vice chief of staff, told a House panel last month.

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth echoed the frank admission. “We need to show that we are doing something about suicide prevention in the Army,” she said.

To be sure, several factors contribute to the current recruiting deficit – they include a robust labor market in the civilian world, fewer Americans who are physically qualified, and a pandemic that prevented recruiters from meeting with prospects. But it’s also no coincidence that the deficit has emerged as the service is experiencing historic levels of suicide in its ranks.

“Suicide has proven to be an incredibly difficult issue for the military to get its arms around,” said the publication Task & Purpose. “The Army specifically saw its highest rate of suicides in 2021 since 1938, coming in at 36.18 suicide deaths per 100,000 soldiers.”

By comparison, among all U.S. adults, the suicide rate per 100,000 is about 18 deaths. Among veterans, the suicide rate also well surpasses the civilian rate.

For example, experts at the Department of Veterans Affairs acknowledge the powerful physiological connection between brain injury and suicide. Some portion of those who die by suicide in the military and among veterans – and it is unclear how many because it has yet to be adequately studied – may have undiagnosed brain injuries from their training and service that present as mental illness but require an entirely different approach.

Whatever the root causes, suicide in the ranks is particularly tragic because it is the opposite of what the military is supposed to be about – an esprit de corps, a sense of connection and fellowship, where someone always has someone else’s back, where no one is left behind.
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Implant may reduce OCD symptoms with electrical pulses

Deep brain stimulation,” or DBS, can offer significant relief to as many as two-thirds of patients with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder, a new study found. Photo by Raman Oza/Pixabay


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by Alan Mozes, HealthDay News


When traditional treatments fail to help patients with severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), an implant that zaps the brain with electrical pulses just might, a new research review shows.

It found that the remedy — known as “deep brain stimulation,” or DBS — can offer significant relief to as many as two-thirds of such patients. On average, it can reduce OCD-triggered symptoms by nearly half, the review found.

“[OCD involves] intrusive and bothersome thoughts that the individual cannot silence, and compulsions that are repetitive, ritualistic behaviors performed to reduce the anxiety produced by the compulsions,” said study author Dr. Sameer Sheth. He is an associate professor of neurosurgery at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

An estimated 3% of the global population is thought to be affected. For those with severe OCD that is uncontrolled, the symptoms can be “all-consuming,” Sheth said. Examples of OCD include repeated handwashing, ordering and arranging, repeating words in one’s head, and checking and double-checking.

“They can prevent the person from being able to perform other necessary activities of life, and therefore be extremely disabling,” Sheth said. “Some people cannot leave their room or home because of the cleaning rituals that would be necessary to re-enter, or cannot interact with others because of incessant taboo thoughts.”

The good news is that a combination of behavioral therapy and standard antidepressants — such as serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SRIs) — help many individuals.

The bad news: “About 10% to 20% do not respond” to those treatments, Sheth said.

Continued in response section

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Healing spiritually

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A decade of therapy helped me but did not stop the demon from doing damage. My spiritual healing offers me hope, calming what therapy could not.


The online kundalini group is doing a 40-day meditation on positivity (love).

Ten minutes of breath work: Inhaling for five seconds, a short pause, exhaling for five seconds followed by a 15 second pause, then repeat.

Thoughts subside with intense focus on the breath like this.

Next, we chant for ten minutes. Chanting is new for me.

We rarely chanted at the zen center, silence was cherished.

We finish with ten minutes of deep breathing.

Instructions are to think of ourselves in the most positive, healthy, and happy way.

This is a task for us. No negativity, no gossiping all day.

I am working on opening my heart and trying to heal more spiritually.

Our job is to continually find new ways to improve, then take action.

The act of trying, and never giving up sustains us during the rough times.
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The Wounded Heart

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Excerpt from The Deep Heart

“We are continuing to learn more about the origins and impacts of childhood conditioning, particularly when it comes to developmental trauma.

Researchers have discovered that children respond differently to traumatic events than adults do.

In part this is due to their undeveloped nervous system, in part due to the ongoing nature of the traumas, and in part due to the fact that their primary caretakers — those the children rely on for stability, guidance, and protection — are the source of these traumas.

Developmental traumas arise from ongoing neglect, abandonment, or abuse.

The impacts of chronic, relationally oriented trauma are pervasive and long lasting.

All aspects of children’s experiences become distorted.

Their ability to self-regulate, experience relative control and mastery, think clearly, self-soothe, take care of themselves, recognize and articulate needs and feelings, feel worthy, focus attention, learn, trust others, bond, and stay physically healthy are all compromised, sometimes severely.

Studies have shown that 75 percent of prison inmates suffer from developmental trauma.”
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Achievement equaled my self worth

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My healing journey uncovered many of the reasons that make me who I am.

In my father’s eyes, I needed to outperform others to have value.

I had no intrinsic value besides my ability to achieve for him.

The constant criticism and violence lay waste to my ego and self-worth.

Now, I realize this has always been with me.

My life is filled with achievements.

I learned to persevere, focus and exert all-out effort over long periods.

Piece of mind, self-worth, or happiness was never connected to any of these achievements.

Achievement brought distraction and momentary joy, then the next test was upon me.

Achievement does not last long, my trophies collect dust.

The fear of loss always came back after any achievement.

I have always searched for self-worth, a calm peace of mind.

Do we ever get there?
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My traits from childhood abuse

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Traits from my Childhood abuse (Complex PTSD):

Fear of abandonment, low self-esteem, lack of trust, heightened sense of danger (hypervigilance), the anticipation of significant loss or worry, and a strong drive to avoid or isolate.

As everyone describes the benefits of community, of healthy attachment, we feel the opposite and take action to avoid people and organizations.

We have an issue with our safety, as a child, we never felt safe.

I think this fear drives us to isolate or avoid people.

It is hard to understand this cognitively, most feelings are subconscious, abstract, and confusing.

All of this is complicated by the way trauma is stored in a high-priority way and in a place we do not have conscious access.

PTSD has its own key to our defense mechanism, and our fear drugs (cortisol and adrenaline).

This feels like real power, real danger, and real harm.

Knowing these mechanisms of PTSD can help us navigate better.
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