Posts Tagged ‘depression’

Updated: Adult survivors are often isolated, lacking the ability or courage to trust




Interpersonal Problems

Adult survivors of past abuse may also experience difficulties in relationships with others. These difficulties can influence your relationships with partners, friends, members of your family of origin, and your children.

Evvie Becker-Lausen and Sharon Mallon-Kraft describe two dysfunctional interpersonal styles that they characterize as “pandemic” outcomes of past abuse. Adult survivors may adopt an avoidant style, which includes low interdependency, self-disclosure and warmth, leading to few interpersonal ties. ( I have lived with few deep attachments and enjoy the security of my bedroom over any social gathering)

Or they may adopt an intrusive style, which includes extremely high needs for closeness, excessive self-disclosure and being smotheringly warm. We could call the intrusive style “codependent.”

The intrusive style is overly demanding and controlling. Interestingly, both styles result in loneliness. (You’ll also notice that the two styles are very similar to those of depressed mothers.)

Past abuse influences adult relationships. In a sample of incest survivors, those not in stable or secure relationships as adults were more likely to be depressed (Alexander, Anderson, Brand, Schaeffer, Grelling & Kretz. 1998).

Past abuse can influence your ability to trust others, make friends, and have relationships that are not exploitive. ( I have never trusted a woman in a relationship after the public humiliation in college. (Fear was the driving subconscious force that enabled me to not need people)

Adult survivors are often isolated and are less satisfied with their relationships than adults who were never abused. (I Isolated, had few deep connections, never joined groups, and became suspicious of others motives, people were not safe in my world)

If you are an abuse survivor, you may find it difficult to find an adequate support network to help you cope with the stresses of parenting. ( Abused kids have few resources and are oblivious that we need therapy)


PTSD: Sensing Danger

How do I describe my nervous system, my mood swings, or my behavior?

PTSD is the reason, the cause, the driving force behind my mood swings, intrusive thoughts, and distrust of this world.

Having attachments is not a priority, safety is number one, avoiding failure and humiliation number two.

I get this foreboding sense of danger, it’s spooky, abstract of course, nothing I can see or touch.

It is not someone shooting me or knifing me, it’s the dark unknown, out there in the mist.

Going out seems risky, I find myself hiding, on edge, and anxiously depressed.

This is like the Mafia going to the mattresses.

This is anxious downtime, days lost in a dark fog, clutching the safety of isolation.

Happiness is a dream, an unknown commodity, like love and trust for abused kids.

Complex PTSD does not end, I am 70, still battling for my sanity.

This is my life.

PTSD: Is Happiness possible?

I have read and studied PTSD in the military.

Many soldiers who went through a war unscathed by PTSD develop trauma symptoms later in life.

For me, it took a family crisis for my childhood abuse to explode at 55.

I can not tell you if it is better or worse to get PTSD immediately or 50 years later.

My symptoms functioned under the radar, I avoided without knowing it was a symptom.

My take on this: Serious childhood abuse and the gore of war always follow the victim through life.

The severity depends on many factors.

I never thought about seeking help (therapy), I did not know I had Complex PTSD.

The quicker you address trauma the better your chance at healing.

PTSD does not get better with time, it deepens its devastating hold on the host.

Being a senior is said to be the happiest time in life.

Complex PTSD changes that happiness into a battle for sanity.

Happiness is a strange, almost scary concept for me.

Are we failures without happiness?

PTSD brings challenges, pain, suffering, anxiety, intrusive thoughts, avoidance, and fear, and happiness has very little time and space to blossom.

Are you happy, and healed from your childhood abuse?

Part two: Eight Contributing Factors to the Development of C-PTSD


4 In-utero influence:

Infants born to mothers who were pregnant during a traumatic event that could have resulted in a diagnosis of PTSD (such as during the 9/11 attacks) had lower birth weights and increased levels of cortisols (chemicals that respond to stress). Although this does not necessarily result in childhood abuse or neglect, such infants can be harder to soothe, more prone to colic, and at increased risk for PTSD.

5 Family dynamics:

Parents develop different with different children. Factors that influence this bond with a child can include such things as comfort level with a child’s gender, readiness to have a child, and events surrounding the pregnancy or birth. For example, unplanned or unwanted pregnancies can lead to resentment or anger toward a child, or a difficult pregnancy or traumatic birthing process might cause a parent to reject or blame a child.

6 Modeling:

Children who grow up in abusive homes tend to be exposed to multiple risk factors. Medical care may not be consistent. There may be insufficient modeling of hygiene practices, or a lack of encouragement of health-promoting behaviors such as exercise or healthy eating. There may also be excessive modeling of high-risk behaviors like smoking or substance abuse.

7 Presence of a learning disability or ADHD:

There is a strong correlation between children with learning disabilities, including Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and child abuse. This connection appears to be bidirectional. Children who are abused are at greater risk for the development of learning disabilities because of the impact of chronic stress and trauma on their developing brain. Additionally, children who have a learning disability or ADHD are at greater risk of being abused when parents misunderstand or are triggered by their child’s cognitive differences, distractibility, or impulsivity.

8 Lack of resilience factors:

Resilience factors are those protective resources, such as parents, that alleviate the impact of childhood trauma. Research suggests that when parents are not supportive, even an attachment to an adult in your community who understands, nurtures, and protects you can lessen the impact of traumatic childhood events. Additional protective factors include participation in activities outside of the home and developing positive peer relationships. When resilience factors are lacking, the impact of neglect or abuse can be amplified by a feeling that those around you have failed to protect you.

PTSD: Pleasure and Pain

We have to know when to take a step back and recoup from the emotional strain.

Five straight days of practice or a ballgame had drained me emotionally.

It takes energy preparing to enter the crowd, energy to ignore my triggers, and energy to focus on the game.

Sometimes a battle is waging inside my head.

My cognitive side wants to judge, analyze and think its way through the danger.

Half of me is present the other half is subconsciously at war.

It is hard to concentrate and enjoy.

Yesterday, I had to hide and soothe my nerve endings.

Taking stock, I have gratitude for being able to mingle for five straight days.

Life is not easy, taking risks brings turmoil, and each situation has both pleasure and pain.

How do you navigate your PTSD pain?

The ACE Study


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


Check out the blog:


Mental Illness: Depression claims another life


The Associated Press
Wynonna Judd, left, and Naomi Judd

Naomi Judd, of Grammy-winning duo The Judds, dies at 76

Naomi Judd, whose family harmonies with daughter Wynonna turned them into the Grammy-winning country stars The Judds, has died. She was 76.

Her daughters, Wynonna and Ashley, announced her death on Saturday in a statement provided to The Associated Press.

“Today we sisters experienced a tragedy. We lost our beautiful mother to the disease of mental illness,” the statement said.

“We are shattered.

We are navigating profound grief and know that as we loved her, she was loved by her public.

We are in unknown territory.”

PTSD: Are we the walking wounded?

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



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?


It takes action, practice, hard work and guts to heal

First class menu


“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”




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!

Third class menu not so elegant!

Some days are worse than others.

Some days are worse than others. Yesterday was one of those days.

Yes, I was tired and sore from coaching baseball, at 70 working long-forgotten muscles has a price, this always adds a vulnerability with my defenses weakened.



Being tired is not the issue, it is this sense of anguish that hovers nearby.

Yes, it is abstract, nothing solid, that’s how PTSD works inside our minds.

I held such power over my PTSD before covid and my college betrayal exploded.

It is hard for me to ignore these strong emotional torments.

My nervous system does not explode, it feels way off center and agitated.

It is a feeling of imminent danger, a disconnected imminent danger, not real but scary in his special PTSD way.

PTSD has a place established inside our brains, wired since childhood, their power grid so to speak.

It is where trauma memories are stored and released at times.

My dismay at repeat days is palpable.

My PTSD seems to be on steroids these days.

I can not describe this fear accurately or is it danger I feel, the world does not favor some of us.

I fear things will happen to me and my family, things out of my control as life has taught me many times.

Since childhood life has carried so much more danger and worry than normal people.

It has always been with me, I can not remember a time when PTSD danger WAS NOT CLOSE.

Stepping back, yesterday was a disaster, another harmful experience survived.

I see how wasted yesterday was, it interrupts lifes continuity.

Birth was the ultimate lottery we lost.

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