Posts Tagged ‘C-PTSD’

Stored Trauma: Implicit Memory

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From Mindfulness Skills workbook for clients and clinicians”. Debra Burdick,

“What is implicit memory?

• Encoded throughout our lives. 

• Probably the only type of memory infants have. 

• Allows us to remember how to do something without being conscious of how to do it, such as riding a bicycle, walking—anything procedural.

• Gets stored without our conscious awareness.

• Gets retrieved without our awareness—“I don’t know I’m having a memory.”

• Past memories come flooding in without knowing they’re from the past; it feels like it is all coming from the present.

• Drives behavior without our awareness—often negatively.

• Primes us to respond in a certain fashion.

• Readies us for the future.

• Designed to protect us.

Can create here and now perceptions and beliefs that are actually from the past.

• Can show up as a physical feeling in our body, an emotional reaction, a behavioral pattern, or a bias.

• The amygdala is responsible for implicit memory as it scans earlier memories of danger.

• Procedural memory is a subset (how to do things).”

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My two cents: Trauma, implicit memory is stored in the right amygdala.

We can not reach this right side consciously, so trauma has a ghostly quality for us.

This is why talking to PTSD consciously or thinking our way out is impossible.

Meditation transports us to this right hemisphere.

I did most of my healing exploring this right hemisphere safely, while meditating.

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Discovering PTSD’s hidden components

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PTSD has a hidden component, Childhood trauma (C-PTSD) is much stealthier because our brain was still developing.

For abused kids, our biggest hidden component is an unworthy, a damaged “Ego”.

At 69, finally, my unworthy “Ego” has been exposed.

We have to explore our inner world, discovering what is hidden, then determine its influence in our life.

We create this person for identity “Ego”.

Heavy influencers are initial caregivers, peers, friends and enemies.

We create Marty at his core from my attachment or lack of it in childhood with my initial caregivers.

Next we evaluate how the world treats us, peers, friends and enemies, then we add how we see ourself into the mix.

Then we create our identity based on these life experiences.

Wow!

Look at how much of our self image, self worth is based on external factors.

We all need to work on changing self image, it’s kind of our “Ego”.

Our wellbeing depends on a healthy “Ego”.

Our “Ego”, the thinker is the one who has PTSD.

PTSD dies when I meditate, when I reach a focused no thought space.

Words, judgment, right or wrong, good or bad do not exist in this space.

Our right hemisphere, the expansive side of the Brain, does not know the past or future even exists.

PTSD lives, thrives in the past and future.

It’s called Dissociation, the lynchpin, the power of PTSD.

PTSD proliferates inside thought, the longer the duration the more fuel.

My healing is a moment to moment awareness or lack of it.

That building block determines my wellbeing.
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Do we get a Reward from Trauma?

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A friend asked me about my old trauma, what reward, what benefit did I receive from having it in my daily life?

What a quandary? My being resisted the thought, enjoyment, hell all I felt was shame and suffering.

I guess Preventing a future betrayal or somehow calming my internal fears could be the answer. Has to be something stronger to endure suffering.

Is it subconscious?

Do we receive a benefit from old trauma?

If so, my search has commenced.

Many behaviors are influenced or indirectly dominated by subconscious traumatic memories.

My trust issues were driven by a repressed betrayal in college.

How do we fix what we can not see or feel consciously?

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Our Storyline is so biased

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Shaila Catherine:

“Most people perceive things through the distortion of desire, aversion, or delusion; grasping for objects with thoughts, “I like this, I don’t like this,” or grasping for self with assumptions of “I am this, I am not this. It is our predisposition and assumptions that distort perception.”
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My two cents: I believe our “Ego” distorts desire.

Our “Ego” craves importance, approval and reacts when he/she receives criticism and loss.

He/She (Ego) judges, comparing our storyline to our life.

In fact our “Ego” is the ultimate judgment center, highly emotional and adolescent with emotions.

Criticism and loss are followed by outrage and anger or an attack.

The “Ego” has great impact on our storyline, how we see ourselves, worthy or unworthy, victim or thriver (surviver).

Follow your “Ego back to its source. You will not find a source, he/she is created for identity.

My PTSD improves when my storyline losses importance.

We do not take our storyline with us when we die.

Must not be important.
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Transitions and Mindfulness

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Mindfulness works best with acute awareness. What does that mean?

If your sitting down, bring awareness to your thought of standing up, as you stand up. Bring awareness to the thought of walking, one leg then the other.

Can you notice how your mind works, how a thought precedes action. We can not function with this level of awareness but we need to understand how our mind works.

Our most important transitions are extremely simple and immediate. Any guesses?

The transition from inhale to pause, pause to exhale, exhale to pause and finally pause to inhale, one complete cycle.

These transitions determine many things in life.

Our nervous system is heavily influenced by the cadence, depth and ease with which we breathe.

Remember the brain uses 25% of the bodies oxygen.

Unless we are exercising or excited for a reason, our breath serves us better going slow and deep into our diaphragm.

Another transition for PTSD sufferers is letting go.

Yes transition from trauma thoughts back to this present moment.

This transition helps us heal.

You can learn to meditate or deepen your current practice.

Will you change an old habit or start a new one this year?

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What drives your desires

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Can we say desires have different origins and consequences.(yes)

Some desires are beneficial in proper perspective, bringing depth and purpose to our lives.

Some desires can be dysfunctional, destructive for us and others.

Desires mixed with emotions always have our Ego heavily involved.

Do desires lead to wellbeing or suffering?

Both!

Let’s look at the mechanism:

Take a wonderful buffet: The smells, colors, and presentation of the food invade our senses, creating desire.

The important part is not in the selection of the entree, it is the quality of our satisfaction that determines our behavior.

The first banana split was delicious, the second wonderful and by the middle of the third, a belly ache ensued.

Satisfaction never meets desire and definitely does not last for long.

That is mans issue, nothing satisfies for long, so desire never ends

Even with a buffet, stuffing my face, I will be hungry, possibly starving in a week.

Our ultimate desire, the need for oxygen (breath) goes unnoticed everyday.

Our Ego craves more satisfaction than is healthy for us.

Our Ego may desire to harm others who have wronged him.

So while desire is a necessity, moderation and perspective are always needed.

Mindfully we could choose desires that lead to Wellbeing.

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New Years Resolution for PTSD

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Do you want to heal (improve)? How badly, I would ask?

Our trauma patterns, our everyday habits, will not change with half ass effort.

Will not change, if we give up when things get difficult.

Our resolution has to be a dedicated daily effort or PTSD wins easily.

Do we need to add courage as part of our resolution?

Definitely we need willpower, the desire to heal has to Outwiegh our fears.

Part of our resolution has to include taking action with our new direction.

Next, write it down, display it in plain view. Hold yourself accountable, keep a daily journal.

We will need skills. Research and practice. Meditation/Mindfulness was my cornerstone of daily effort and healing.

Lastly, we need purpose.

Our purpose must be unwavering, trauma brings imminent danger when confronted.

Realize this journey is arduous and scary, purpose must be bulletproof.

Start with a daily affirmation, repeated, recorded, and played back throughout the day.

This is such an easy way to jump start self image and attitude.

In this moment, right now I feel my body overflowing with kindness, approval and safety.”

Customize your resolution, add the words that mean something to you. Love is a word that does not connect for me, kindness and approval come across as organic and soothing.

What I control: If I get up each day with a good attitude and give all out effort, then I have done my best.

There is satisfaction and wellbeing in this effort alone.

I can not guarantee results but attitude and effort, I do control.

Assess what you control, place effort into these actions.

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Meditation actually promotes the growth of new brain tissue

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from “The Transformation: Discovering Wholeness and Healing after Trauma”

“Meditation enhances functioning in the hippocampus, a crucial structure for quieting agitations and consolidating memory.

As you meditate, you also repair the brain connections that trauma has ruptured and rebuild brain tissue that has been damaged and destroy.

In recent years, researchers such as Harvard Sarah Lazaro and Brittany Holzel have repeatedly shown that meditation actually promotes the growth of new brain tissue in areas of the frontal cortex that trauma often damages, areas responsible for self awareness, thoughtful judgment, and compassion.”

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My two cents: I healed the first time in small increments from multiple skills and practices.

Having a skill that can grow new brain tissue in trauma damaged areas, along with better self-regulation, enhanced memory, clearer thinking, greater ability to deal with life’s stresses, seems quite valuable.

What therapy or healing skill has more impact than this?

Meditating was my anchor, my greatest healing asset.

Meditating brought me a peace of mind, I never experienced before, a calm knowing.

I strive to regain that calm.

New Years resolution coming. Have you ever changed a habit?

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PTSD, Chronic Pain and Aging complicates things

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My daughter has a psychology degree, a great resource. She notices the change in me lately and has recommended going to a psychologist, checking my dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine levels.

I agree. My chronic pain has escalated the last two years and other systems may not be producing enough neurotransmitters.

Clinical depression does not fit me well.

So being stuck, I am researching ways to break free..

Three important Neurotransmitters

Dopamine

Dopamine (DA) is often referred to as the “pleasure chemical” because it is released when mammals receive a reward in response to their behavior; that reward could be food, drugs, or sex. It is one of the most extensively studied neurochemicals, mainly because it plays such diverse roles in human behavior and cognition.

DA is involved with motivation, decision-making, movement, reward processing, attention, working memory, and learning. But it isn’t just a pleasure chemical. New work suggests DA also plays an important role in Parkinson’s disease, addiction, schizophrenia, and other neuropsychiatric disorders.

Serotonin

Serotonin (5HT), sometimes called the “calming chemical,” is best known for its mood modulating effects. A lack of 5HT has been linked to depression and related neuropsychiatric disorders. But 5HT is farther reaching, and has also been implicated in helping to manage appetite, sleep, memory, and, most recently, decision-making behaviors.

Norepinephrine

Norepinephrine (NE) is both a hormone and a neurotransmitter. Some refer to it as noradrenalin. It has been linked to mood, arousal, vigilance, memory, and stress. Newer research has focused on its role in both post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and Parkinson’s disease.

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A crazy PTSD journey: a Rollercoaster ride for free

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My childhood trauma broke loose in my mid 50’s with a vengeance, life changed drastically, my nervous system exploded.

Improving (healing) was slow, arduous and painful. Took five years of all out effort with the new tools and skills I acquired.

My spirit was triumphant, much much freer, calmer as life had real joy for the first time. That horrible haunting feeling stopped, that unworthy to the core feeling dissipated.

To my shock five months ago, another super charged, hidden trauma exploded. Determined to quickly integrate this new trauma, frustration ensued.

I would meditate, let it go, time after time. Two days later the intrusive thoughts returned.

Three times these thoughts ceased for a couple of days only to return in force.

From my perch: Reading many, many books, meditating five hours a day, actively participating in therapy and applying all the skills learned, I was not your normal PTSD client a therapist would see.

I was a great success healing the first time. My therapist and friends agreed.

Now, confused, these same skills, more mature and adept, fail to impact this new trauma.

I revisited the Internal Family System therapy, it seems betrayal is my kryptonite.

It is like my soul, my spirit, my core Or my ego fears anihilation from this event and will not let go.

Hell no, I do not understand it. I know rationally it is the distant past and no danger is present.

Knowing that, life is still a rollercoaster ride at times.

He is an irrational ghost with inside power, who holds me in this invisible prison.

This monster (PTSD) runs on its own, has enormous power at times, and robs us.

For me, I am engaged in the battle again, maybe lost but looking for the crack in its armor.

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