Posts Tagged ‘exposure therapy’

PTSD: Navigating life

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Exposure therapy allowed me to beat agoraphobia, my plight of being trapped in my garage was over.

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The last place you will find me is in a crowd like this. How do they feel safe?

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I could tolerate functioning in public at times but some of those times led to suffering.

Exposure therapy was awkward, and at times, the aftermath was painful for days.

I could function around people but there was a price to be paid when triggered.

Exposure therapy never made me comfortable or feel safe, it allowed me to function amidst my fear.

Life was never going to resemble how a normal person lives, thinks, or navigates.

I think it’s why we isolate, we fear what others covet.

We do not fit into this dynamic, we are more outcasts, loners by choice.

When we have to mingle and socialize, we yearn to get back home to safety as soon as possible.

We do not receive great benefits others seem to enjoy being with other people.

Exposure therapy is similar to military training, they train soldiers to kill, but never teach them how they will handle it later.

Exposure therapy has benefits but also carries suffering for us.

I guess it’s worth it but not easy.

Healing says we need more community, more exposure therapy.

It’s a painful life, every exposure therapy has suffering before and after the event.

Wonder why we isolate?
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Exposure Therapy

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Yesterday I was way out of my comfort zone, meeting parents at practice for Brighton, then a game for Bowie, followed by a dinner at a restaurant.

When we face our triggers in real life, it is called exposure therapy.

If we avoid often, we go out and engage people, take perceived risks, and challenge our PTSD.

The ballgame was at a park with four fields in a circular pattern.

Four times the fans, a crowd greeted me at the game.

After the initial shock, my thoughts patterns freaked out then settled down.

We can expect an anxious reaction, so having a plan to calm ourselves in the midst of unrest is a necessity.

What a day. I was exhausted but thrilled at the risks taken yesterday.

Oh yes, take time to re-energize, today I will take it easy and soothe my frayed nerves a little.

Healing is an everyday challenge, a call to arms.

Do you use Exposure Therapy?
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Navigating life with PTSD active

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My PTSD has come alive again with a repressed memory. How do I navigate life until this new trauma is integrated?

For most of us, PTSD either survives our healing efforts or there is much more trauma below the surface.

How do we live life until we heal? How do we respond to our trauma, do we avoid going near anything that feels dangerous?

I sure did for a long time. PTSD got much worse avoiding.

At my worst, agoraphobic for six months, I started a weekly exposure therapy. I would pick one day a week and go out and face my triggers.

The emotionally tainted fear was palpable, my resistance acute, it felt extremely dangerous. Part of PTSD’s irrational nature, it is an invisible battle inside our body and mind.

What is real and what is trauma? I do not have an answer for that, I am way to close.

Looking back, it took enormous courage to face mundane, neutral situations other people take for granted.

Where others see opportunity for attachment, we see danger.

How do we act like normal people who feel no danger, no anxiety? I have never pulled it off when my PTSD was active.

Even if I had the courage to practice exposure therapy, I was a mess, anxious and guarded the whole time.

My mind could hardly think, it was scouting for imminent danger instead, confused and nervous.

A few minutes felt like an hour, I was heading right at my trauma fears, the opposite of avoidance.

All of this is invisible to everyone around us. It is a lonely journey until we improve.

Afterward, I was euphoric, in the face of PTSD fear, I had triumphed. A small victory, but a vital one.

For me and for you, we must find the courage to face our trauma fears or we will suffer.

I focus on improving, healing is to large a concept for us.

Work to improve a little each day, healing is so much bigger an animal. Keep it simple.

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