Posts Tagged ‘ACCEPTANCE’

Sex and gender differences in post-traumatic stress disorder:


Full article here:

“Prevalence and type of trauma: The lifetime prevalence of PTSD is about 10–12% in women and 5–6% in men.

There are similar differences between the sexes for (comorbid) disorders such as major depression and anxiety disorders.

PTSD subcluster scores have been found to be increased in women, e.g. for re-experiencing and anxious arousal (Charak et al., 2014).

Men and women experience different types of trauma, both in private life and at work (e.g. police officers, Van der Meer et al., 2017), with women being exposed to more high-impact trauma (e.g. sexual trauma) than men, and at a younger age.

Trauma early in life has more impact, especially when it involves type II trauma interfering with neurobiological development and personality.

Traumatic stress affects different areas of the brains of boys and girls at different ages.

“Acute phase, stress-coping and psychotherapy: In the acute phase, women generally score higher than men on acute subjective responses, e.g. threat perception, peritraumatic dissociation and known predictors of PTSD.

Women handle stressful situations differently and have evolved differentially to support these different behaviours. For instance, women in stressful situations may use a tend-and-befriend response rather than the fight-or-flight response that is often assumed.

Emotion-focused, defensive and palliative coping are more prevalent in women, while problem-focused coping is higher in men.


Women seek more social support, the lack of it being the most consistent predictor of negative outcome of trauma.


Women have been shown to benefit more from psychotherapy then men in the reduction of PTSD symptoms.

Psychobiological reactions and effects of oxytocin: Although only 2% of psychobiological research has been conducted in females (mainly rats), sex differences have been shown.

Women appear to have a more sensitized hypothalamus–pituitary–axis than men, while men appear to have a sensitized physiological hyperarousal system.”



My two cents: “Women seek more social support, the lack of it being the most consistent predictor of negative outcome of trauma.”

We men isolate, I do not trust men or women. My childhood had serious type two violence over 18 years.

Childhood abuse destroys trust, emotionally separates us men, our felt unworthiness reinforces the isolation.



This Quarantine is jet fuel for Ptsd!!!!


Yesterday, at my grandson’s soccer game, I found myself in a sort of out-of-body experience. A mundane event with no big crowds for an 8-year-olds first soccer game.

How did I become so unplugged from society? I was separate from the small crowd, feeling not part of normal life.

The full crushing impact of this Covid crisis is exactly as my therapist shared with me.

All his trauma patients have lost it.



Quarantine in America has caused those who suffer from anxiety, Ptsd, or other mental disorders to isolate themselves more, have increased symptoms, increased anxiety, and fear.

Substance abuse and aberrant behavior follow.

Something has happened, paranoia being around people became more real. The government told us other people carry danger.

This reinforces all my childhood trauma symptoms. My perceived danger became real, my government and science told us so.



Damn, we knew isolation well but never had real danger as a reason, we are now isolated as a country.

Requiring a face mask has allowed us to separate at a level we would have never approached without quarantine.

People feared each other, we kept a six-foot distance, it was impossible to read feelings or facial expressions with a mask on.

This is devastating for our mental health.

On the show “The Good Doctor”, Shawn an autistic surgeon, relates that he is like other people now, no one can read facial expressions.

He feels more normal, quarantine impacts all of us differently. Shawn became more normal and enjoyed it, unfortunately, trauma people suffered and deteriorated.

Real contact or conversations, interactions happened texting or on zoom. Life became remote, even school classrooms went virtual.

Kids need contact, interaction, connection.

This quarantine has changed my grandkid’s life. Who knows what the long-term consequences will be.

Avoidance was mandated, a key symptom of Ptsd was now the law of the land.

An old trauma erupted after 50 years of lying dormant, quarantine reached areas that would have never reached my consciousness.

How will we ever get out of this hole now?

At 70, I feel almost nonhuman, trust has faded more with quarantine.

How did my Ptsd advance to this stage?

Take a look at your symptoms, have they increased in intensity since quarantine?



Childhood PTSD is like herding cats


At my worst, my fight or flight exploded 15 times a day, things were out of control.

At one point, my mind and nervous system were not under my control, I was numb, frozen, shaken, and terrified.

Being overwhelmed, terrified, anxious, furiously trying to avoid further suffering, I would risk my life to escape that hell.

It’s easy to see how addiction and suicide are the solutions too many choose to stop the pain.

Ptsd was like herding cats, wholly irrational to try and corral trauma or felines, thoughts would escape from the pack.

Without notice intense emotional terror would arrive in an instant, my fight or flight would violently fire, I was in survival mode, sometimes in public, frozen, unable to speak.

I never wanted to be vulnerable around people.

Childhood taught me being powerless will get you abused.

It is almost impossible to not think, to try and stop thoughts.

Try to stop thoughts and they will proliferate like rabbits.

Focusing on the breath intently, letting thoughts fade on their own, can be accomplished.

When I played pro baseball, intense concentration was a skill all hitters possessed.

Sometimes, 30,000 screaming fans, along with the pressure of performing, the real danger from getting hit, possibly failing, creep into our minds.

If I could not block out everything else except that baseball, failure was assured.

You learn to spot spin, seeing the seams of the ball rotate quickly, knowing a breaking ball is coming.

If your thinking you fail. Thought is way too slow.

It sounds easy but you only have .4 seconds to locate the pitch, recognize it’s not coming towards your head, then have the hand-eye coordination to hit a round ball with a round bat.

On top of that, the sweet spot of the bat we need to hit the ball is about 8 inches long and maybe an inch wide at the barrel of the bat.

I had a head start on being able to meditate and did not know it.

Now instead of a ball, I focus on my breath, looking inward. All the while whether it is a ball or my breath, cognition has stopped.

Victory is unattainable, we fight for this moment, then the next, this simple, small, mundane existence, it is our life.

The ultimate goal is not healing, it is never giving up.



Different impressions of Ptsd


My daughter has a child psych degree and years of experience in the research of children.

We differ on certain things, her impression of intrusive thoughts is much more benign than mine.

She sees control with practice and the pattern of thoughts changing over time. I agree until we get triggered, survival mode tells a much different story.

Intrusive thoughts become the monster.

She thinks community and trust are important while being a loner, being more isolated, and not trusting have a negative impact.

Can not say I disagree with that, how many seriously abused kids trust or have a positive community around them.

Many abused kids go to prison as adults, is that the community that helps heal? Check out the ACE study detailing all the extra diseases, mental disorders, and early death.

She thinks the brain has plasticity but changing hard wiring from childhood is near impossible.

Plus thinking we can reverse the damage of abuse, the larger size of the amygdala or the undersized hippocampus is never going to happen.

I agree wholeheartedly.

As she says hurt people end up hurting other people.

There is a percentage that repeats the abuse of childhood on their kids.

She pushes me to find a hobby, join a group, take a class, make attachments and go meet people.

This terrifies me as I hear her words, the risk sends me in the opposite direction.

I am not like others, I am not part of the crowd and have no desire to participate.

I can give you a list of groups that ended with me leaving, triggered, and pissed.

My trust has the depth of the kiddie pool, I have a toe in the water but the other is ready to bolt for home at the first sign of PTSD.

We must see how irrational we are, how frustrating being our friend can be.

My daughter told me it was hard putting up with “My Crazy Ass.”

I wholeheartedly agree.

It is so humbling that damage in childhood still steals my well-being at 70.

I did not sign up to be abused when I was the most vulnerable and dependant in my life.



Violence inside my head

Pixabay Pavlofox



Do normal people have the violence inside their minds that childhood abuse people experience?

It feels dangerous, harm seems imminent, screaming and confusion are out of control.

How can I describe terror in my inner world, an unsafe place for me when trauma erupts.

Yes my mind is a dangerous place for me when it is active.

More appropriate, my minds defense mechanism is broken, perceiving danger everywhere then marking traumatic memories as so important, they need to be avoided at all costs.

Think a normal friend will understand our life, our challenges.

Hard to be included with a damaged brain like this.

We need to navigate whatever works best for us.

I try to be honest, almost blunt, in my writing.



A look at my PTSD at 70

I consider my PTSD to be matured after a decade-plus of activity.

Fear and high anxiety are a thing of the past, currently, PTSD brings hopelessness and depression.

To navigate this mess, I have reduced my desires then accepted the suffering.

I have a decade-plus of therapy and intense practice, further healing will be small incrementally if at all.

Now, I try to sit in the middle of my unworthiness without judging or trying to escape.

The more willing I am to accept and surrender to the hopelessness, the better chance I have at lessening its power and duration.

Healing is a pipe dream for abused kids, our lives, mental and physical health will be compromised and we will suffer much more than non-abused (normal) kids.

Lots of empirical data to support this assumption.

The Adverse Childhood Experience proves this:

Trusting people will always be an issue, as joining any group is a big risk.

When PTSD erupts my inner world becomes a confusing battlefield, the fog of war numbs me.

Fear and anger mix, low doses of adrenaline and cortisol are secreted, then sadness overwhelms me, my past is alive again.

I sit in the middle of this old trauma, succeeding to stay present somedays and losing the battle other days.

This is my life at 70, I have the perspective of a complete life on PTSD.

It has negatively impacted every decade of my life.

I fight for free moments, healing is a pipe dream.

The most important thing is that I continue to fight.



I am Triggered

Pixabay vainodesositis



Life changes, I find myself back in that terrified little boy’s body.



Ptsd is a curse.



Will we ever feel Included, Safe?


Childhood was a time where violence and criticism reigned supreme, never a time to enjoy a safe moment.

These trauma memories unconsciously haunt my soul, impact my behavior, and steal my sanity.

I got beat and criticized enough that I trusted no one.

Life was dark, filled with failure and loss, my nervous system was always a mess.

Spotting and surviving the next crisis is how I navigated my childhood.

My purpose was self-preservation. Not very lofty, not a lot of well-being, and not much of a future.

From my earliest memories, I depended on myself, trusted no one.

Hard to rewire all that damage.

We are different, isolated, and conflicted, always an uneasy, unworthy feeling permeating life.

My bucket list has one item, being healed from Ptsd!

Will we ever feel safe, included?



Understanding and Exploiting PTSD


Ptsd is like chronic pain, she fluctuates, intensity changes and our behavior can influence the outcome.

My behavior also fluctuates, during intense activation, I play defense.

Ptsd can be overwhelming in the beginning or when another old trauma surfaces, intrusive thoughts proliferate.

With daily practice, we gain some mastery over PTSD’s power.

The stronger my ability to focus, the more power I attain.

Letting go and diffusing trauma thoughts are at the apex of our wellbeing.

It’s a simple calculation, the more time I spend in this present moment focused, the more well-being, is earned.

The more I grasp and entertain trauma memories the more I suffer.

Time spent in the past is detrimental unless we are integrating the trauma to the present moment.

Questions to ask: Can I stay present today, can I enjoy well-being?

Just for today.

Easier to fight a one-day battle than the rest of our lives.

I have an impact on today, not tomorrow.

We gain well-being by winning these small moment-to-moment battles for control.

It’s a marathon, the journey is the reward, only permanent things count.

I love the sound of us Exploiting Ptsd.

We can develop skills to exploit PTSD!



Many kids had it much worse than me!



Many kids had it far worse than I did.

I have gratitude for the skills and opportunities provided Me to survive my ordeal.

My dad wanted me to be a pro baseball player, which gave me the escape and opportunity to develop willpower and persistence.

Dad could have been a destructive alcoholic without ambition who just beat and criticized me.

He demanded I be twice as good as the other kids, cruel but such a great outlet of physical expression and accomplishment.

I was lucky.

This sentiment was hatred for a long time, but my abuse made me who I am.

Some of my father’s abuse developed incredible skills other kids never had.

My ability to perform on a baseball and basketball court/field either lessened or increased my abuse.

There was great incentive to be the very best I could be.

Psychologically, you did not want to be my opposition, I could win in so many ways. I could find weakness and exploit it.

A big monster was waiting for me outside the ring, a kid did not have a chance against me most of the time.

Unfortunately, as a teetertotter works, great strength physically is balanced by weakness socially.

These skills helped me heal the first time.

We must help those left behind.

So many suffer a lifetime from their childhood.

We have skills and tools, many are isolated, frozen, terrified, suffering.

I hope to inspire a few to take action.


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