Posts Tagged ‘Anxiety’

How can PTSD sufferers ignore their PTSD then choose to be happy?

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Yesterday during a conversation, a friend told me they choose to be happy.

I think I need to choose to be healed first. Which is easiest, to be healed or be happy?

That hit a nerve, I knew the implication was aimed at me, my PTSD.

Is our problem with PTSD the inability to choose happiness?

I can say the words, my PTSD pays no attention.

My symptoms come from a place where words can not reach.

How can PTSD sufferers ignore their PTSD then choose to be happy?

How do you accomplish this?

This means symptoms disappear, anxiety, unworthiness, fight or flight firing, depression, hypervigilance, and intrusive thoughts.

I know words do not heal PTSD.

From my vantage point, PTSD has to recede to a level few of us reach to be happy.

I would settle for being out of suffering.

Me, not healing, angers some of my friends.

They need easy solutions to all life problems.

I frustrate them.
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The ACE Study

https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/aces/about.html

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Beginning in 1994, the “adverse childhood experiences” (ACE) Study, a partnership between the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Kaiser Permanente assessed the relationship between adult health risk behaviors and childhood abuse and household dysfunction.

  • The study began with a sample of 9,508 individuals representing a 70.5% response rate.
  • Respondents were given a score of one for each ACE category that they experienced.

Findings showed that people who experienced four or more adverse childhood events had:

  • increased risk for smoking, alcoholism and drug abuse
  • increased risk for depression and suicide attempts
  • poor self-rated health
  • 50 or more sexual partners
  • greater likelihood of sexually transmitted disease
  • challenges with physical inactivity, and severe obesity

A follow-up sample combined with baseline data for a total sample of 17,337. Additional findings show that ACE Score is associated with:

  • likelihood of attempted suicide across the lifespan
  • increased risk for broken bones
  • heart disease
  • lung disease
  • liver disease
  • multiple types of cancer

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Check out the blog: https://ccsme.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/01/ACE-Chart-and-ACE-Score-Questions-Feb-2011.pdf

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Old age and PTSD

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At 70, therapy has been productive, however, the residual trauma combined with my dysfunctional brain wiring brings suffering.

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It is all emotional but powerful, mostly abstract, and always confusing.

I fight for free parts of my day, space where PTSD thoughts fade for a while.

I do not trust the universe, the unknown, or what else could happen today, tomorrow, or next week.

I am old and weak now, the mirage of being healed has long passed me by.

It has been a driven life, grinding through decades without direction, running from something deep inside.

Deep attachments have been few, as fear and distrust made relationships shallow and dysfunctional.

Covid and old age have given my PTSD enormous power over the last two years.

Life changed instantly and drastically when my PTSD exploded during a family crisis over a decade ago.

It wears you out, even if you are brave enough to take action and improve.

It’s never-ending, the thoughts never stop, and the pain never leaves for good.

How do you stop a brain wired to spot danger, set up to worry for protection?

Therapy never rewired my brain.

How much rewiring is possible?

Do they even know?
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PTSD: our inner world is a Battlefield

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Being aware of my internal world, spotting the negative undercurrent, the danger, exposes some of my daily battles.

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Worry arrives early in the morning, before the sun is up my consciousness is greeted by perceived danger.

During my morning meditation, the unrest enters my consciousness.

When you slow down, focus on the breath, letting thought evaporate, the undercurrent is exposed and inflamed.

It takes special tools to let it go, to be able to come back to now, to my focus.

I avoid things that carry danger and worry as much as possible, now.

Other times it can be white knuckle exposure therapy, tiptoeing into perceived danger, feeling about to explode, or faint.

Some things are just too painful to be worthwhile, crowds and people ignite my distrust, and it is a arduous ordeal that leads to more isolation.

We avoid it differently as PTSD ages, as we slowly heal certain areas.

My fight or flight does not erupt for triggers but my intrusive negative thoughts have taken over carrying my danger.

The time and energy spent dealing with all this turmoil are enormous.

My internal world as you can see is a battlefield.

It is a war created by childhood abuse.

Old age has either weakened me or PTSD has gained power or a combination of both.

There are many pitfalls to combating this mental illness, the chance of self-medicating to stop the pain, the chance of becoming a victim, or the chance of self-harm.

Giving up brings real danger, real consequences.

Be strong, discount the noise, and keep swimming upstream.

Life has always arrived at a fervent pace for us, always too quick and with way too much danger.
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Fear and worry arrive before Thought

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My kid brain was always grappling with fear, worry, and doubt, always receiving negative feedback from my caregivers, always anxious, and on edge.

This made a lasting impact on early habits, the fear must have been off the charts to emblazon such a permanent trait.

Worry, doubt, and fear were my dominant emotions, I hid back then, trying to avoid failure.

I find myself at 70 becoming aware of this negative river flowing under the surface, in my subconscious.

It is all abstract, the mind’s pattern of thought, our neural network, what comes out of the ether.

What’s the point?

To attempt change, awareness is the first necessity.

How do you change that which precedes thought, and consciousness?

My fear and worry show up before thought.

So far my successes have come from discounting the fear and worry after they enter consciousness.

I am at a loss to change my worry and doubt in my subconscious, sort of changing the wiring of my brain.

At 70 is that even feasible.

Healing starts with awareness.
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PTSD: The Internal Dialogue

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We enter situations with past fear of failure and distrust looming inside us. This is the battle we face every day, engage and risk or choose safety and isolate.


Navigating some situations and people requires mental and physical preparation combined with an enormous amount of energy.

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It is an internal dialogue, sometimes an internal battle, an immense distraction to the flow of life.

While we carry on a conversation, this dialogue runs in the background. We are distracted, confused while trying to respond intelligently.

Before we reach a destination, a party, a class, a meeting, etc., we weigh the risk assessment, then devise a plan if possible.

People and places can hold special danger from past triggers.

Can we leave, and retreat if things go wrong? Do we have an escape plan? I do!

We multitask inside our minds, two thoughts, and two conversations run simultaneously.

Reacting quickly is difficult, our intake needs time to decipher both dialogues.

If we reach the firing of our fight or flight mechanism, we freeze.

It is beneficial if we can find a safe place to participate.

I have ventured out joining two groups lately.

It is not easy, nothing worthwhile has ever been easy, has it?
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Trust can sneak up on you


I was triggered yesterday in the online Kundalini group. We have a daily online group at 7 am During the week and at 8 am on weekends.

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We have a WhatsApp group chat to facilitate sharing and community.

I experienced the PTSD upset, a sense of danger, the physical reaction, intense sweating, and intrusive thoughts.

Instead of isolating myself, I shared my experience with the group.

Inside this group, I feel respected and safe.

That sounds like trust.

It can sneak up on you when you least expect it.

Sometimes we have to lean in more, risk a little more and do the opposite of what PTSD wants us to do.

Instead of the usual aftermath of being triggered, isolated and upset, I feel part of the group, calm, and included.

They supported me and gave me great feedback and empathy.

PTSD still rages at times but as Rudid96 says, I will continue swimming upstream for a while.

P.S. What a pain in the ass I must be. I am a lightning rod for discussion, never at a loss for topics.
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PTSD: Are we the walking wounded?


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We do not want to be part of the walking wounded, we yearn to be normal, to fit in, to feel safe and accepted.

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We loathe how we feel about ourselves, unworthy, flawed, outcasts!

All the hard work to improve and act normal still finds us more isolated and buried in traumatic thoughts.

After a decade of intense healing, PTSD still haunts my being.

PTSD has changed over the years, gone is the fight or flight mechanism firing, gone is the intense fear, replaced by thoughts, hate, resentment, and depression.

Where others see attachments as beneficial, I see the chance for betrayal, this perceived danger is powerful inside my brain.

All therapeutic endeavors and meditation have helped me improve, healing is impossible in my opinion.

Show me serious childhood abuse being healed completely. Show me a happy, free-flowing life after serious childhood abuse. Show me more than a few isolated successes.

How do you heal completely? I see a sea of suffering and pain instead.

It is a fear that revs up my nervous system and makes suffering a part of every thought, life is worse than miserable.

PTSD people will understand the last sentence, and normal people will have no clue what I meant.

I guess our dreams were shattered in childhood, and our ability to trust pretty much destroyed.

I fear certain things more than death, always have.

Of course, I envision a peaceful death, not being burnt alive or tortured.

Do you have these thoughts, my normal friends never do.

What is the craziest thing a friend has commented on your PTSD behavior?

Do you feel broken?

I walk zombie-like around people, feeling vulnerable, exposed, fearful, and anxious.

Is that PTSD or just my personality after childhood?


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PTSD: Does it have a sexual component?

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From my experience, PTSD takes a dark turn when sex is part of the abuse.

Whether it be rape, sexual assault or betrayal, this type of PTSD is damaging.

Except for war, females are twice as likely to have PTSD.

PTSD discussion boards are full of women who had been sexually assaulted as little girls.

How does this impact intimacy and trust?

They never go back to normal or the way things were before the rape.

Some are trapped and suffer, it is sad to witness their hopelessness.

Does your PTSD have a sexual component?

How much does it impact today?
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It takes action, practice, hard work and guts to heal

https://www.boredpanda.com/titanic

First class menu

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“Meditation is a matter not of theory but of practice, just as it does not satisfy your hunger to read a restaurant menu if you are not going to eat something from it.”

Matthew Ricard from “Happiness”

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https://www.boredpanda.com/titanic

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My two cents: Healing is not a spectators sport, reading heals nothing, it takes daily action.

We PTSDers avoid and isolate, go numb and sedentary.

Taking action in the face of fear and anxiety is a necessity.

It takes great desire, focus and persistence, besides courage to heal.

It is a moment-to-moment battle with our thoughts, anxiety, and fear.

Know the playing field, be prepared, have an attack plan, and finally develop your tools.

Healing is not for the faint of heart, victims find it difficult if not nearly impossible to take action.

We must prepare and accept PTSD’s suffering, then take healing action in the face of this fear.

We start with small actions and small incremental gains with daily work.

Sedentary is closer to death, action closer to life.

Your decision, your life.

happy Healing!


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Third class menu not so elegant!

https://www.boredpanda.com/titanic

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