Posts Tagged ‘Judgment’

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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PTSD: Avoidance

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The question is not if we avoid, but how much.

I avoided the most when my fight or flight mechanism was firing 10 plus times a day.

My agoraphobia lasted six months, it left me scarred, afraid, and lost.

Meditation and exposure therapy helped me past agoraphobia.

It was a great victory however it was painful and I suffered.

Childhood abuse (Complex PTSD) wires the brain differently, mine searched for danger, then fired my fight or flight mechanism for protection.

Remember that shuts down some of the executive branch, our prefrontal cortex.

Triggered, we sense a near-lethal threat, the prefrontal cortex is confused and partially offline.

Our whole being shifts to surviving, we are scared to death.

Thinking is confused as cortisol and adrenaline flood our system.

Forget trying to explain this to others, you have to experience an out-of-control nervous system, the severity, and FEAR produced.

My PTSD and avoidance have matured.

Now, I navigate life a little better but do not even think about going to social functions, crowds, or certain events.

If I have to go to a function, I can block out and distract myself to limit the damage.

Normal people do not understand how much energy and pain we go through preparing to face our PTSD Triggers.

Then there are all the questions and exploration of the interaction afterward.

Our mind wants to judge, and prepare for the next time we venture into dangerous waters.

Childhood abuse brings a danger that never leaves our brain, it is like a big stain ruining the whole carpet.

How does avoidance impact your life?
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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: 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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https://unsplash.com/@tomjur

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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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Sunday: Week in Review

https://unsplash.com/@itfeelslikefilm

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It has been a stellar week, PTSD has receded back into the cracks of darkness.

Less symptom activity, more letting go is happening, a big break in the action with neutral and positive emotions flowing.

I am still guarded but optimistic.

Mornings are happier, life has opportunities and some joy at times.

I see this more as PTSD receding, opportunity is always there just covered up by active trauma.

PTSD is a dark cloud that follows us, our personal bad weather machine.

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https://unsplash.com/@alex_andrews

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PTSD is abstract, confusing but powerfully charged with partial control of our nervous system (defense mechanism).

Healing happens at optimum rates when we can stay calm over longer periods.

Being triggered, full of cortisol and adrenaline, this upset confuses and damages our chances of well-being.

The ability to dissipate cortisol and adrenaline becomes a soothing skill for recovery.

Learn to use your breath to calm the nervous system.

I hope this period of relief holds.

Happy Healing!
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PTSD: I fear my Mind!

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I fear my mind when it’s not focused, When distraction is waning or when boredom spooks me.

PTSD preys on me in old age, memories haunt me, as my well-being is threatened.

This is the daily battle, the lifelong war against childhood abuse.

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https://unsplash.com/@grakozy

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I am happy when I am supporting my grandson’s baseball team, when I meditate, when I am lost hiking in the woods etc.

Later in the day, the darkness arrives, I fear what’s coming, and my mind races.

Entering the twilight zone, old memories come alive, and past tragedy is projected onto a future, unknown crisis.

Nothing is solid, highly abstract, almost undefinable, confusion reigns in this space.

Time is distorted, thoughts are jumbled, and sequences are out of order.

Since childhood I did not expect things to turn out ok, you just navigate life the best you can.

This is when I retreat into my bedroom, my ultimate safe spot.

We never live life fully, never stop watching for danger, for criticism, for betrayal.

We get lost, retreat, think too much about taking risks beforehand.

We never let loose, become happy go lucky in any situation.

I am guarded around others, most of the time I wish I were back home or out in nature.

Life does not to work out in my PTSD world.
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Updated: 3 tools for calming the nervous system

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I know of three ways of depleting cortisol and adrenaline.

First is our diet, what we eat and how much body fat around our belly is influenced by our cortisol levels. Certain foods help deplete cortisol.

Second tool is Slowing the breath, focusing intently, activates our parasympathetic nervous system, applies the brakes.

This calms us, settles us down and lowers cortisol and adrenaline. It’s called meditation, it has many variations.

The third way is purely physical, aerobic exercise works like a charm.

Aerobic exercise to near failure works like a miracle. Start slow and adapt, then build up so you can exert maximum energy.

We have to want to heal more than any desire we entertain. I have never read that in any psychology book.

Therapy and my two therapists, one in San Diego then another in Eugene , helped me on my journey. I was encouraged to explore and try new things outside therapy.

Aerobic exercise and meditation were my two most valuable skills. Being a former pro jock, aerobic exercise was easy for me.

All my friends doubted I could ever meditate, I was always amped up, excitable and kind of high strung.

Do not let other people’s judgments rule our behavior. We get lost and run over by others because we are different, stay strong and try like hell in the face of worry and doubt.

I laughed at my friends, you think focusing on the spin of a baseball while hitting with 25,000 screaming fans can not be turned internally.

For a jock, being told we can not do something, is not something you want to bet against.

When my mind was frozen from trauma, my legs could still move and my willpower drove me to exhaustion.

Mechanically I can calm my body completely down.

We can not separate our mind from our body, they work as one.

There are many skills or tools we can learn to improve.

Yesterday, I started hiking to exhaustion again.

It’s half mental and half physical. It builds willpower.

How bad do you want to heal?

What is your level of commitment, are you in a little, a medium involvement or are you all in.

Intensity is a necessity for optimum results.

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Being in Fellowship with other PTSD sufferers

https://pixabay.com/users/emailamyd-189232/

It would be nice to have a fellowship of PTSD people like this group.

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Rudid96 states: “Being in fellowship with others that are actively working at coping with life while navigating trauma is bonding.”

“I feel more comfortable with people that understand PTSD and C-PTSD.”

My two cents: Being in fellowship describes this blog, we are actively working to heal and help each other.

My blog is sacred ground for me, a safe space where others understand my journey and challenges.

I do feel others understand me more on this blog.

How do we transition those feelings to strangers who have not been abused as kids?

Being misunderstood and judged harshly is part of the complex PTSD experience.

How do we act normal when triggers are nearby?

How do we act like danger is not near, how do we ignore the emotional thoughts streaming in?

My meditation practice, my ability to focus and let go works most of the time.

Nothing I have tried has ever shut my PTSD down completely.

This is a war (mental disorder) that lasts from childhood to death.

As Rudid96 says our life is lived in parcels, some parcels are happy, others are irrational PTSD parcels.

Some desirable, some detested, these are life challenges.

Thank you to all for following and participating on this platform, we journey together.

Filling in Idle moments

PTSD causes me to fill idle moments with distractions, some action or actions to occupy the space trauma covets.

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https://pixabay.com/users/creozavr-2567670/

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It is early, 4 in the morning, up early with a sick cat, somehow I need an action that fills two hours.

My trauma thoughts of negativity and unworthiness are looming on the sideline, ready to dominate and create suffering.

This is our moment-to-moment battle for control of our brain.

We suffer if trauma gets an audience, we win if we can stay present and focused.

The road is a rollercoaster ride through life.

The alternate brings pain and suffering at higher intensities and duration.

So fight like hell for the smallest improvement.
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PTSD: HOW do we handle Loss, Failure?

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Childhood abuse on its own feels like we are losers, a big failure at an early age.

Our minds are wired thinking we are failures, reinforced by an abusive caregiver, Life’s opportunities are for normal kids.

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https://pixabay.com/users/simedblack-5480894/

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I have trophies, awards, sparkling accolades, however, these golden idols melt on PTSD’s doorstep.

External, impermanent things are shiny objects that do little to heal Ptsd!

We try like hell to extinguish PTSD’s suffering with limited results.

Improvement is possible, it is an extremely difficult existence, that’s the truth.

Do not let books, therapists, or anyone else tell you differently.

Failure and loss show up when I think, ruminate or my mind is idle.

I play solitaire while watching tv to distract myself.

It takes two actions to distract my mind from the pain.

Trauma sneaks into thought easily, seamlessly.

My failures have brought shame to my being.

We resent what has happened to us, I am outraged at my two abusers.

Ptsd can take an ancient trauma and make it come alive.

How do we handle Failure?

We suffer when failure visits, it reinforces all those unworthy thoughts we have carried.

My best efforts have isolated these failed feelings in a compartment.

It is a battle, some days that compartment works, other times PTSD breaks out.

Be aware of the inner battle, the desire for worthiness, and the pain of failure.
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