Archive for the ‘Assorted’ Category

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.

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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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What’s the difference between PTSD and Borderline Personality Disorder?

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From the blog ptsduk.org

Is it BPD or PTSD?

BPD (sometimes called Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, or EUPD) is a lifelong mood disorder which can affect how someone thinks, feels, perceives, and relates to others.

People with BPD may struggle with a fear of abandonment, impulsive behaviour, intense emotions and relationships, and an unstable self-image.

Although there’s no single cause, research suggests genetics and brain chemistry may make someone more susceptible to the condition.

BPD often stems from prolonged childhood trauma, which can also increase someone’s chance of developing PTSD. PTSD is a psychological response to a traumatic event (which of course might include childhood events).

The symptoms of PTSD can include flashbacks, depression, anxiety, shame, anger and relationship problems.

Can someone have both BPD and PTSD?

It’s thought that between 25% and 60% of people with BPD also have PTSD. This could be because living with a mood disorder can both increase the risk of experiencing a traumatic situation, and make it more likely that experiencing a traumatic event leads to PTSD.

When someone has both conditions, the symptoms tend to be worse than if they had BPD or PTSD alone.

PTSD can increase the likelihood of dissociative, intrusive and suicidal thoughts in people with BPD.

That’s why it’s so important to get the correct diagnosis.

Making a correct diagnosis for BPD or PTSD

BPD can sometimes be mistaken for PTSD or C-PTSD, and vice-versa.

C-PTSD is a subset of PTSD which is associated with long-term or chronic exposure to trauma – much like BPD.

Both can cause emotional distress, mood swings, flashbacks, anxiety and anger.

It’s thought there are some generalised key differences to look out for, but of course, everybody is different:

Although both conditions can lead to problems maintaining personal relationships, people with BPD tend to fear abandonment, whereas people with C-PTSD may avoid intimacy or relationships altogether because of ‘feeling somehow unlovable or undeserving because of the abuse they endured’.

People with BPD are more likely to self-harm, than people with PTSD or C-PTSD.

‘While both those with BPD and C-PTSD struggle with emotional regulation and often experience outbursts of anger or crying, those with C-PTSD may experience emotional numbing, emptiness, or a detachment from emotions.’

Someone with PTSD may be calmed by going to a familiar environment and being reassured that they are safe. This might irritate someone with BPD, who may respond more positively to being told their feelings are valid.

People with PTSD are more likely to be triggered by a specific external trigger and think and behave rationally outside those triggers.

For people with BPD, the triggers tend to be internal thoughts and feelings, which can be less predictable.

Unfortunately, because of the overlap in symptoms, and because some differences appear similar from the outside, some people with C-PTSD end up being misdiagnosed with BPD, or vice-versa.

Sometimes someone will have both conditions, but only one is picked up.”
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Symptoms of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD)

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Excerpt from PsychCentral

C-PTSD overlaps with PTSD, but it also has some unique symptoms, such as dissociation and negative self-image.


“Symptoms of C-PTSD often include the same types of symptoms seen with PTSD, such as:

* recurrent and intrusive thoughts or dreams

* flashbacks

* mental and physical reactions to reminders of the traumatic event

* avoidance of people, places, things, or events that remind you of the trauma

* memory loss

* negative thoughts toward yourself or the world

* self-blame

* bad moods that stick around

* detachment and disinterest

* difficulty showing positive emotion

* irritability

* recklessness

* hypervigilance, or being on “high alert

* trouble concentrating

* startling easily

* trouble sleeping

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But if you live with C-PTSD, you could have more severe you could have more severe DSO-type symptoms, like:

* a negative view of yourself

* dissociation, or disconnecting from yourself and your emotions

* emotions that feel “out of control”

* relationship difficulties

* loss of your belief system

* difficulty recognizing reality

* Negative view of yourself”

Continued in response
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How Does Social Anxiety Affect the Brain?

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Excerpt from PyschCentral

“Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia, is a form of anxiety that causes intense fear and embarrassment in social situations.

For example, it’s common to feel slightly nervous when meeting new people or speaking in public. People with social anxiety disorder can experience a paralyzing fear that makes it hard for them to live everyday life.

We now know that social anxiety disorder affects more than just relationships, work, and other daily activities — it also affects the brain.

Researchers have found that critical areas in the brains of socially anxious people function differently. These areas mainly involve processing emotion, danger, and social cues.

What causes social anxiety?


It’s still not clear exactly what causes social anxiety. Research from 2022 suggests that genetic and environmental influences cause social anxiety, such as upbringing and life experiences.

Research has revealed certain areas of the brain that play a role in fear and anxiety, and we know that genetics affects their function. But researchers don’t yet know which specific genes those are.

Children of controlling, overprotective, or intrusive parents are more likely to develop a social anxiety disorder.

Stressful life events such as sexual or emotional abuse also increase the risk of developing the disorder.

The hope is that by studying how the brain is affected by social anxiety, researchers can develop more effective treatments for the disorder.”

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