Posts Tagged ‘worry’

How PTSD and Emotions Like Worry Are Connected

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By Matthew Tull, PhD

PTSD and Worry

“Several studies have found that people with PTSD may be more likely to worry than those without PTSD.

Why do we often see excessive worry among people with PTSD?

Well, PTSD is associated with high levels of anxious arousal, as well as other strong emotions.

In addition, people with PTSD may have difficulties identifying healthy ways of managing these intense emotional experiences.

Therefore, given that worry may temporarily bring down arousal and can distract people from more emotionally distressing topics, people with PTSD may worry in order to obtain some relief from their distress.

In fact, one study found that desires to avoid emotions explained the association between PTSD and worry.

Unfortunately, as with other emotionally avoidant coping strategies, this relief will be short-lived.

Because the anxiety is not really being addressed or processed, it will only come back and sometimes stronger than before.“
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My two cents: Worry is connected to fear, survival mode, and PTSD.

Worry helps spot danger, in a way my subconscious uses it to protect me.

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Old age and PTSD

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At 70, therapy has been productive, however, the residual trauma combined with my dysfunctional brain wiring brings suffering.

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https://pixabay.com/users/openclipart-vectors-30363/

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It is all emotional but powerful, mostly abstract, and always confusing.

I fight for free parts of my day, space where PTSD thoughts fade for a while.

I do not trust the universe, the unknown, or what else could happen today, tomorrow, or next week.

I am old and weak now, the mirage of being healed has long passed me by.

It has been a driven life, grinding through decades without direction, running from something deep inside.

Deep attachments have been few, as fear and distrust made relationships shallow and dysfunctional.

Covid and old age have given my PTSD enormous power over the last two years.

Life changed instantly and drastically when my PTSD exploded during a family crisis over a decade ago.

It wears you out, even if you are brave enough to take action and improve.

It’s never-ending, the thoughts never stop, and the pain never leaves for good.

How do you stop a brain wired to spot danger, set up to worry for protection?

Therapy never rewired my brain.

How much rewiring is possible?

Do they even know?
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What are the social-community expectations of appearance?

https://unsplash.com/@andremouton

“First, what are the social-community expectations of appearance?


Brene Brown:

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From a societal level, appearance includes everything from hair, skin, makeup, weight, clothing, shoes and nails to attitude, confidence, age and wealth.

If you pile on community-specific expectations, you might have to add things like hair texture, hair length, skin color, face and body hair, teeth, looking “done-up,” not looking “done-up,” clothing and jewelry.

Why do appearance expectations exist?

I would say they exist to keep us spending our valuable resources—money, time and energy—on trying to meet some ideal that is not achievable.

Think about this: Americans spend more each year on beauty than we do on education.

How does it work? I think the expectations are both obvious and subtle—they are everything we see and everything we don’t see.

If you read fashion magazines or watch TV, you know what you are “supposed to” look like and how you are “supposed to” dress and act.

If you look hard enough, you also see everything that’s missing—the images of real people.

If you combine what’s there and what’s missing, you quickly come to believe that if you don’t look a certain way, you become invisible; you don’t matter.

What is the impact of these expectations? Well, let’s see. . . .

• About eighty million Americans are obese.

• Approximately seven million girls and women suffer from an eating disorder.

• Up to nineteen percent of college-aged women are bulimic.

• Eating disorders are the third most common chronic illness among females.

• The latest surveys show very young girls are going on diets because they think they are fat and unattractive. In one American survey, eighty-one percent of ten-year-old girls had already dieted at least once.

• A research survey found that the single largest group of high-school students considering or attempting suicide are girls who feel they are overweight.

• Twenty-five years ago, top models and beauty queens weighed only eight percent less than the average woman; now they weigh twenty-three percent less.

The current media ideal for women is achievable by less than five percent of the female population—and that’s just in terms of weight and size.

• Among women over eighteen looking at themselves in the mirror, research indicates that at least eighty percent are unhappy with what they see.

Many will not even be seeing an accurate reflection.

Most of us have heard that people with anorexia see themselves as larger than they really are, but some recent research indicates that this kind of distorted body image is by no means confined to those suffering from eating disorders—in some studies up to eighty percent of women overestimated their size.

Increasing numbers of women with no weight problems or clinical psychological disorders look at themselves in the mirror and see ugliness and fat.

• According to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, since 1997, there has been a 465 percent increase in the total number of cosmetic procedures.

• Women had nearly 10.7 million cosmetic procedures, ninety percent of the total. The number of cosmetic procedures for women has increased forty-nine percent since 2003.

• The top five surgical procedures for women were: liposuction, breast augmentation, eyelid surgery, tummy tuck and facelift.

• Americans spent just under $12.5 billion on cosmetic procedures in 2004.”
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When do we decide to stay or quit?

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/402861129176554161/

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In the online Kundalini group, we are working on the inner critic and the goal is to never take what others say personally.

I fail miserably, with my childhood abuse and betrayals, it seems impossible. While the group celebrates, depression takes hold, I can not behave like them, feel like them, or even fake it for a half hour.

Ten people in group celebrate the benefits of letting go criticism as if it were ordering a sandwich.

How can others do what has become next to impossible for us?

Maybe it is the smaller hippocampus, larger amygdala and compromised prefrontal cortex that makes us different, makes us incapable of being normal.

What others do seamlessly, my 🧠 brain can not accomplish.

My criticism is from a caregiver, a complete childhood and his criticism was constant and violent.

It changed my brain, I see it clearly when I join any group.

Joining a group reinforces how different my mind works, how different my thoughts and daily battles are.

I can not even fake joy for short periods.

Finally, at my age, I want the pain to just stop.

I am conflicted, do I stay in the Kundalini group?

Is it doing more good than damage?

How can we decide being inside our traumatized brains.

When we can not perform like all the others in a group, does that separate us more or what?

How do we navigate life, keep going no matter how much we suffer?

At the end of the day I have a decade of therapy, meditation and practice, it has helped tremendously but I still suffer.

I have always been an outcast soul, my father had more control in childhood with me isolated.

Can We change our basic nature?

I have changed some, the evil shit still lives on.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/611785930635528346/

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PTSD: Things that are automatic; Worry

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Pinterest: Zachary Phillips

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Worry.

Worry starts way before thought for me. I know the reasons, know that severe trauma in childhood impacts our genes and undeveloped brain.

My mind worries subconsciously. I have observed it, felt how even in happy times, I never felt safe or free.

I guess it stems from the inevitability of being a prisoner, I could not escape my father, I was trapped, isolated, helpless.

My father told me athletically I needed to be twice as good as everyone else, so no one would question him as coach.

With his constant criticism, this mantra evolved into I need to be twice as good as others just to be normal. Adding to this, school brought ridicule from having a big nose.

Nowhere was safe and free in childhood.

I tried to be perfect everyday. It was the only way I could survive.

That is immense pressure on an extremely unworthy kid.

Worry was always close, always percolating, always with a level of hypervigilance, on guard, life was never safe.

In childhood my worries were accurate, and every week there would be violent beatings and criticism.

When my PTSD is active, danger is alive, close and worry becomes acute.

My work, my goal is twofold. First unplug worry when it surfaces, second change the subconscious patterns.

Exploring my inner world has revealed a mind that is partially hijacked from PTSD.

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Looking back on the Week

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Description of this week: There is an internal war going on, battles are intermittent but intense.

My moods can switch instantly, the morose part brings many emotions, seemingly before thought even starts. Remember the defense mechanism fires immediately, the cognitive side is 5 seconds delayed.

PTSD triggers fire our defense mechanism, called our fight or flight mechanism. This is part of the mechanical, physical side of trauma. Think of that, a trigger fires before directed thought even knows what the hell just happened.

I have eliminated this repressed trauma three times, gaining some freedom for a few days, then it appears again. With my childhood trauma, once a piece was integrated, my improvement lasted.

So part of my day is good, part horrible and then the rest spent distracting my mind.

I have to play solitaire while I watch 📺 tv, it takes two things like this to prevent my mind from ruminating. Having chronic pain and being 69, I do not have the energy to go back to my workaholic distraction.

Much of my adult life, I see now, was spent working or being busy, overloaded to outrun what was chasing me. Spending time alone with my mind was avoided at all costs. Sound familiar?

Fear is not a big part of my PTSD lately, humiliation and shame are far more dangerous and debilitating.

Humiliation and shame have a huge impact on unworthiness.

Childhood abuse brings anxiety, fear and unworthiness at its core. Unworthiness and abandonment were my big fears as a child.

I was going to get beat severely no matter what.

I feared, but never cried, giving that son of a bitch (dad) any satisfaction.

Even as a little kid, there was a apart of me that would not let him think he could hurt me.

That’s hilarious now as he has stolen most of my adult life. I was using my only strength against him, sadly it was not enough.

It was the emotional crap that carried on inside. We all have strengths and weaknesses.

I can endure pain, unworthiness and shame are my weaknesses. Know your strengths and weaknesses.

For me going after the physical part of PTSD first, was using my strengths. I needed to take as much power away from PTSD before I attacked my weaknesses.

Common sense for me, comes from pro ball, how to improve and fill in your weaknesses.

It’s called the off season.

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Worry is a Bully

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Worry is a bully.

Worry only takes, never gives anything.

Yes, an abused kid learns to worry like a champion.

My worry was well founded, we had reason to worry in childhood.

I have worked on this habit.

Our PTSD symptoms, hypervigilance, Dissociation, flash backs, and triggers bring a big volùme of worry to our doorstep.

We worry about criticism, approval, fitting in, ridicule and unworthiness.

We need to limit as many of these worries as possible.

When PTSD is active our worry increases without input from us.

Worry is not a necessity.

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Worry, Worry, Worry, Worry, Worry, Worry,

Pixabay: cafepampas

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We can not fix everything at one time. I believe a laser approach to healing works far better than a shotgun blast.

Working on one specific issue, symptom or habit at a time has benefitted me the most.

Let’s concentrate on Worry!

A little bit of worry, momentary anxiety is not what we are addressing.

If you are a worrier, life is dominated by an over active mind, finding danger in the near future.

Our worrier can spot danger no one else can see or sense.

Worriers create suffering that may somehow happen later.

Worry is predicting future loss. Worry enough and that prediction becomes reality.

First, Worry robs us of any chance of happiness, now.

All my time to invest in myself is lost on negative, emotional noise.

The Worry ship is captained by our “Ego”.

Champion of being upset, outraged, jealous, angry and anxious, our ego never finds another “Ego” equal to it.

When we Worry, the “Ego” is in total control.

The “Ego” is always in control when we venture into the past and future without direction.

If your a worrier, leaving this moment to think is like a beer to an alcoholic or a fix for a drug addict.

Worry seems to have a power to consume an entire life.

How does worry impact your life?

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Worry Quote

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“Worry is a misuse of imagination.”

Dan Zadra

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My two cents: Worry can occupy all our senses, rob of us of a chance to live fully.

Worry or not, we die same day, same hour.

Worry has little benefit then!

We can train the mind to let most worry go.

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Another look at Worry


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Worry seems to have its own engine, a way of entering our consciousness without an invitation. It seems to be one of the function of our mind, everyone has worried, some incessantly.


When we worry the mind is engaged cognitively in the past and future, it’s speed increases. Awareness of reality, of this present moment, disappears when the mind speeds up.


Fear enters our consciousness with the possible consequences of our worry. Mental confusion makes it difficult to move, to take action, to let go of this created problem (Worry).

 

Worry seems to be a battle between the what if’s in life and living freely.  Worry in a way is a prediction of future doom created inside our doubts and fears.

 

So for me, my first task when confronting worry, is to slow my mind. I slow my breath, try to slow my heart and focus intently below the thoughts and emotions.

 

I know when my mind is racing, trouble is coming.


We always have our practice to slow us down and bring us back to now.


Worry does not exist with a mind that is present, empty and focused on the senses.

 

Worry will still visit but the stay will be shorter.
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