PTSD: Exposure Therapy did not heal me

Exposure therapy scared me.

Going agoraphobic for six months, avoiding everything, hiding in my dark garage, the thought of facing my demons terrified me.

It’s like teaching someone to swim by throwing them into the deep end.

It is terrifying and feels life-threatening without skills or tools.

mindfulness skills had to be developed, learning how to focus and stay present before exposure therapy was beneficial.

In my opinion, Exposure therapy can cause damage if the PTSD client is not ready.

I developed the skill to visit my triggers, to dissipate the anxiety with my breath.

Exposure therapy was supposed to heal me.

It did not.

After I did the work, faced my demons, and was able to navigate life better, PTSD still caused me to avoid and suffer.

Exposure therapy did not increase my self worth, restore my trust or improve my life much.

Exposure therapy did calm my nervous system and allow me to take actions I could not before.

I could go out now if I had to.

What does heal PTSD?

All the therapies have helped me improve, but PTSD persists and brings daily suffering.

Maybe psychedelics to expand my mind to other possibilities.

How do you afford or find some of these new cures?

9 responses to this post.

  1. All of these therapies work for a subset of people, but not everyone.

  2. Complex PTSD from childhood abuse is difficult to heal

  3. Posted by rudid96 on August 8, 2022 at 2:46 pm

    Exposure therapy can work for many people if the trauma isn’t too deep. Micro-dose exposure is balanced with real-time support and additional exercises to balance the nervous system. This can be effective with small traumas. With deeper trauma, at that speed, one may never reach the epicenter of damage. The self-protective, unconscious part is always trying to keep the hurt person safe. Therefore, it’s a constant inner game of chess. One step toward healing, and another defense pops up.
    This is one reason, despite exposure to multiple forms of therapy, there’s no whole-hearted healing. Real healing requires a conscious, daily effort of turning to embrace this new-self-created stranger. One has to in-effect, abandon and excommunicate the old self. Unbelievably difficult given the patterns of early abandonment, neglect, and abuse.

  4. Great knowledge. Thanks for sharing

    I was a prolific mediator for five years, I did not say my technique was great but I faced my triggers

    I could focus on my breath in trigger situations, a strong well built focus

    I went to restaurants and events that triggered me violently.

    I would sit there until I calmed my nervous system down completely

    I hunted my triggers like I had a gun to defend myself

    My fight or flight mechanism calmed down and stopped firing for triggers…

    I would get small doses of the chemicals if any

    I could go places that I avoided with a passion

    It helped me alleviate a great pain

    PTSD has other pains though

    I still avoid these places and people like I did before exposure therapy

    They are unpleasant and can be painful experiences

    I accomplished that therapy but it did not heal me or bring me peace of mind or trust

  5. Well thank you

  6. This is good to know. I’m developing a course for self-healing. My first week will focus on safety. You have to provide tools to tell you’re brain you are safe before you start digging up all the trauma. Thank you 😊

  7. Most.people will need support along with a plan

    Mindfulness skills.helped me

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