Posts Tagged ‘ACCEPTANCE’

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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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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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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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.”

Continued in response

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Things to repeat for us and others

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May you be happy

May you be healthy

May you be safe

May you be at ease
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Inheriting Anxiety

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In a discussion with my daughter about my defense mechanism, she disagreed with me.

I judged my defense mechanism was broken, she said that judgment was erroneous.

My defense mechanism, my hypervigilance was very, very, very sensitive, she said, not broken.

In the right environment, a hyper-sensitive defense mechanism would keep me alive.

If spotting danger was an asset, I would thrive.

How do we navigate normal life with a nervous system like this?

I inherited anxiety.

Childhood abuse made the anxiety much worse.

Fear and intense anxiety are hard to differentiate.

How do you handle an active defense mechanism?
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PTSD: High Anxiety

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My body feels paralyzed from the level of anxiety and unrest in my solar plexus and gut regions.

At this intensity, my mind races, and it is hard to think level-headed.

It is almost overwhelming.

Funny, how we always try to escape intense anxiety.

I find myself pacing, trying to distance myself from anxiety.

Being on edge has always been close to me.

As a kid, my anxiety was so intense I would freeze up, finding it hard to speak.

My dad brutalized me, it made me an anxious mess, and I felt helpless to protect myself.

All this followed me into adulthood.

Hard for joy or happiness to exist inside intense anxiety and fear.

I fight for my security and sanity, happiness seems a pipe dream.
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