Posts Tagged ‘MINDFULNESS’

A PTSD brain: wired differently

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I would love an fMRI scan and evaluation of my brain, a look into its dysfunction, and a snapshot of the defective wiring of child abuse.

Nothing I have read comes close to describing how my brain works.

My abuse, my betrayals, and my losses dominate my thought patterns.

What do you do when the negative, violent, and traumatic events of your life replay over and over?

Why does my mind concentrate on past trauma, past betrayal above all else?

Happy, kind, or trusting thoughts rarely enter my mind, and feeling safe has a battle with the danger these thoughts bring.

We avoid and isolate, a nomad-like existence, not belonging to any group, always on the fringes of society.

Few relationships tether us to this world.

I have no idea what a normal person thinks or what his/her life is like, and they have no clue about mine.

Life is different for us.

I have accepted this as reality.
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PTSD: Our Nervous System

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I inherited a flighty or elevated nervous system from my mother.

She was an extremely emotional person, easily excited, and a constant worrier.

Worry intensifies anxiety, a vicious cycle.

An elevated nervous system impacts the intensity with which I experience PTSD.

My fight or flight mechanism paralyzes me with the gigantic shock to my solar plexus, a numbing feeling of terror.

I freeze or flee as quickly as possible, it is hard to fight when you can barely move.

Those were my early days of PTSD.

It took five years of meditating 5 hours a day for me to calm my fight or flight mechanism.

Now PTSD has changed and haunts me in thought and a different kind of internal fear.

PTSD brings depression, a lethal one-two punch.
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PTSD: Exposure Therapy did not heal me

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Exposure therapy scared me.

Going agoraphobic for six months, avoiding everything, hiding in my dark garage, the thought of facing my demons terrified me.

It’s like teaching someone to swim by throwing them into the deep end.

It is terrifying and feels life-threatening without skills or tools.

mindfulness skills had to be developed, learning how to focus and stay present before exposure therapy was beneficial.

In my opinion, Exposure therapy can cause damage if the PTSD client is not ready.

I developed the skill to visit my triggers, to dissipate the anxiety with my breath.

Exposure therapy was supposed to heal me.

It did not.

After I did the work, faced my demons, and was able to navigate life better, PTSD still caused me to avoid and suffer.

Exposure therapy did not increase my self worth, restore my trust or improve my life much.

Exposure therapy did calm my nervous system and allow me to take actions I could not before.

I could go out now if I had to.

What does heal PTSD?

All the therapies have helped me improve, but PTSD persists and brings daily suffering.

Maybe psychedelics to expand my mind to other possibilities.

How do you afford or find some of these new cures?
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PTSD: is it a Mirage, bad Imagination?

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Is it all a mirage, PTSD that is?

I read my posts about fear, anxiety, triggers, and intrusive thoughts, they seem so small, so feeble looking on paper.

Words can not convey PTSDs power over me, parts of my brain shut down during triggers firing, or while grasping intrusive thoughts.

Life changes when PTSD becomes active, confusion and anxiety dominate our being.

Is this real? Imagination? Mirage or fact?

I can not see concrete evidence, it is all about the past, it is abstract, only memories that are distorted.

Was my childhood that bad, the memories are confusing and out of sequence, time is distorted, and my fear spikes.

Physically we are unharmed, our defense mechanism works all too well.

Danger was spotted, the fight or flight mechanism fired violently, then calmed back down to our normal.

Why do we fear another trigger firing then?

Why do we avoid and fear something that does no physical damage?

The dumping of cortisol and adrenaline is extremely uncomfortable, our being is ramping up to face a perceived lethal threat.

We try to avoid these chemicals and any person or situation that is connected to them.

Our fight or flight mechanism firing as we secrete cortisol and adrenaline is what we label as fear.

That intense jolt in the solar plexus, like a numbing punch, is what we call fear.

PTSD fires that mechanism over and over, he has access to the switch.

PTSD would not be so powerful without access to that switch.

Thoughts, opinions?
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PTSD: is it background music for us?

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My mind developed in survivor mode, it plays as background music now, always lurking in the shadows, always looking to increase its volume.

My mind is drawn to problems (danger), like a bug to a light, it is a habitual trait, it allows the background music to amplify the tune.

Our defense mechanism is more sensitive, more developed, and more used than a normal person.

We are superstars at spotting potential danger.

Focusing on the present becomes problematic.

My emotions intensify, some of the left prefrontal cortex shuts down, we are in full-blown survivor mode.

The cognitive engine will only make things worse, he heightens panic, as he judges and grasps trauma thoughts.

Failure or Fear of failure has always been a worst-case scenario for me.

My childhood was filled with fear of failure, it became habitual, my default mode of existence.

I try to meditate, try to distract myself, try to let this bombardment of thoughts go, and try to calm down.

My mind is mush, the best I can do is play defense until the spell breaks.

I have traveled this path so often it has become a freeway.

This path is filled with pain and suffering.
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PTSD: Hyper-vigilance and fear

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Triggered the other day, I became more hyper-vigilant for a couple of days.

I am acutely aware, super sensitive to external stimuli while feeling extremely vulnerable.

This is PTSDs mechanism of influence and control.

Everything is heightened as my body recoils, bracing for my fight or flight to fire.

Perceived dangers have multiplied, thinking is compromised, and my nervous system is on high alert.

No physical danger exists, it is all perceived emotional damage I fear.

It feels real, my body’s physical mechanisms for protection are near tilt.

Feels like I am going into battle or my PTSD symptoms have exploded.

I would avoid and isolate however I have outings planned with my grandkids.

Sometimes I can block out most of the world, and feel like I am wearing a protective shield around me, impenetrable and safe.

My mind wants to focus on past triggers, feelings of danger, and vulnerability.

Thoughts of what if and worst-case scenarios fly by my consciousness.

Thoughts interrupt my serenity, perceived fear wants control.

How will I handle today?

It is emotionally draining as the fear seems real.
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PTSD: Not Knowing

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From The Deep Heart:

“Not knowing refers not only to our inability to know what will happen; it also means that we cannot know our true nature solely by thinking about it.

Who we really are is not something we can define or confine with thought.

Who we really are is quite literally inconceivable and unimaginable.

Our true nature is not an object — it exists prior to the mind.

We can say what our true nature is not, at least initially, but we cannot definitively state what it is.

Yet we can know it directly by consciously being it.

When the mind clearly recognizes that it is not going to understand what is prior to it, a spontaneous letting go occurs, and attention quite naturally rests in the heart.
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Introverted or Extroverted Marty?

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When I improved the first time, life was much better, the craziness had calmed to a tolerable level.

It almost felt euphoric in the beginning.

So all my life, until this point I was an introvert.

All that changed and this other self, the extroverted me arrived.

At the ballgame yesterday, I engaged two different parents, separately during the game, guys in conversation.

It was easy, and enjoyable with two lively conversations about kids, sports, and life.

It is funny, like it’s a caricature of me, animated, engaging, confident, almost at ease.

Who is that guy?

The PTSD Marty is shy, calculated, and avoidant.

The true self is at ease, extroverted and engaging.

Is this a success or what?

It’s startling to look back and wonder, how did I do that?
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I have not read an accurate description of intrusive thoughts,

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I have not read an accurate description of intrusive thoughts, what it’s like, the intensity, or the volume.

We have no control over what thoughts arrive in our consciousness (60,000 daily).

Neuroscientists tell us negative ones are like velcro, while positive more like Teflon.

It’s all related to the defense of our being, self-preservation, survival mode overrides everything else.

Life is drastically altered by these intrusive trauma thoughts.

No way to ignore or control them. Letting go is the only path.

So many thoughts arrive in my consciousness that I get tired and overwhelmed.

It is hard to describe in words. Intrusive thoughts come at me non-stop.

An image of a Gatlin gun firing round after round is what it feels like in my head.

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They arrive connected to external stimuli, or on their own without any perceived danger.

I have never been able to get away from PTSD, no matter what I have done.

It is one of the those things you will never understand unless you experience it.

Does anyone else experience thought patterns like this?
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PTSD: Blatant facts:

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Blatant facts: PTSD thoughts hide at an extremely shallow depth.

Piercing the surface is child’s play for them.

What a visual!!!!!!!

In my daily world, these thoughts haunt me, I want answers, accountability, responsibility, and justice.

None of that shit is ever going to happen.

There are few answers, and thousands of questions, we will never know or understand.

My PTSD self is elusive, he benignly senses danger.

It is hard to know what is real, and what is perceived, especially when you agitate my PTSD emotions or triggers.

I have reacted to perceived triggers over and over and over with no solution in sight.

Triggers can be unplugged, calmed, or handled, but not eliminated or controlled.

They happen outside our control, external and internal forces collide.

This has been a violent, drama-filled life.

Fear of failure should be on my gravestone.

That is hard to write.

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