PTSD - Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

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Green Eyed Fairy

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I did a forum search for PTSD.....only came up with some old posts....one of them being my own.

I was diagnosed about 9 years ago with PTSD. It came from childhood abuse.

What is PTSD aka Post Traumatic Stress Disorder?
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

It's natural to be afraid when you're in danger. It's natural to be upset when something bad happens to you or someone you know. But if you feel afraid and upset weeks or months later, it's time to talk with your doctor. You might have post-traumatic stress disorder.
What is post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD?

PTSD is a real illness. You can get PTSD after living through or seeing a dangerous event, such as war, a hurricane, or bad accident. PTSD makes you feel stressed and afraid after the danger is over. It affects your life and the people around you.

If you have PTSD, you can get treatment and feel better.
Who gets PTSD?

PTSD can happen to anyone at any age. Children get PTSD too.

You don't have to be physically hurt to get PTSD. You can get it after you see other people, such as a friend or family member, get hurt.
What causes PTSD?

Living through or seeing something that's upsetting and dangerous can cause PTSD. This can include:

* Being a victim of or seeing violence
* The death or serious illness of a loved one
* War or combat
* Car accidents and plane crashes
* Hurricanes, tornadoes, and fires
* Violent crimes, like a robbery or shooting.

There are many other things that can cause PTSD. Talk to your doctor if you are troubled by something that happened to you or someone you care about.
How do I know if I have PTSD?

* Your doctor can help you find out. Call your doctor if you have any of these problems:
* Bad dreams
* Flashbacks, or feeling like the scary event is happening again
* Scary thoughts you can't control
* Staying away from places and things that remind you of what happened
* Feeling worried, guilty, or sad
* Feeling alone
* Trouble sleeping
* Feeling on edge
* Angry outbursts
* Thoughts of hurting yourself or others.

Children who have PTSD may show other types of problems. These can include:

* Behaving like they did when they were younger
* Being unable to talk
* Complaining of stomach problems or headaches a lot
* Refusing to go places or play with friends.

When does PTSD start?

PTSD starts at different times for different people. Signs of PTSD may start soon after a frightening event and then continue. Other people develop new or more severe signs months or even years later.
How can I get better?

PTSD can be treated. A doctor or mental health professional who has experience in treating people with PTSD can help you. Treatment may include "talk" therapy, medication, or both.

Treatment might take 6 to 12 weeks. For some people, it takes longer. Treatment is not the same for everyone. What works for you might not work for someone else.

Drinking alcohol or using other drugs will not help PTSD go away and may even make it worse.
http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-easy-to-read/index.shtml

I also have an eating disorder.....and have suffered from depression and anxiety.

PTSD and eating disorders co-occur. This may not be too surprising given that a number of psychiatric disorders have been found to co-occur with PTSD, including, for example, major depression, anxiety disorders, borderline personality disorder, and substance use disorders.

Eating Disorders

Eating disorders are characterized by severe problems in eating behaviors. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th edition recognizes two eating disorders: anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa.

Anorexia nervosa is condition where a person refuses to maintain a healthy body weight (determined by a person's age and height). Bulimia nervosa, on the other hand, is characterized by a cycle of uncontrolled bingeing behaviors following purging (such as vomiting or the use of laxatives), restricting behaviors (for example, fasting), or excessive exercise.
Trauma, PTSD, and Eating Disorders

People with eating disorders often report a history of trauma. Childhood sexual abuse, in particular, has been found to be a risk factor for the development of an eating disorder.

There is also some evidence that having PTSD may increase a person's risk for developing an eating disorder. Specifically, it has been found that people with PTSD are approximately 3 times as likely as someone without PTSD to develop bulimia nervosa. Likewise, people with bulimia nervosa may be more likely to have co-occurring PTSD than people with anorexia nervosa.

How Are Eating Disorders and PTSD Related?

In regard to bulimia nervosa, it has been suggested that the behaviors associated with this eating disorder may be a way of managing or regulating uncomfortable and distressing emotions. For example, it has been found that depression may be connected to the development of bulimia nervosa-related behaviors. People with PTSD often experience many strong unpleasant emotions (such as shame, guilt, sadness, and fear), and to the extent that people with PTSD do not have healthy ways of managing these emotions, they may develop or rely more on unhealthy behaviors, such as bingeing or purging.

The behaviors connected with anorexia nervosa may be a way of establishing a sense of control over one's body and life. This may be especially important for a person who has not felt as though he has had this control, such as someone who has experienced a traumatic event. Likewise, a person who has been abused may be more likely to be dissatisfied with his body and have a low self-image, leading to the unhealthy behaviors of anorexia nervosa.
Treatments for PTSD and Eating Disorders

There are currently no combined treatments for PTSD and eating disorders. However, there are effective treatments for both conditions, and learning how to better manage symptoms of PTSD may reduce a person's reliance on unhealthy behaviors, such as those found in bulimia nervosa.

http://ptsd.about.com/od/relatedconditions/a/PTSD_EatDis.htm

I'm also an addict.....
Addiction Rates High Among People with PTSD

A new report finds that 45 percent of people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) smoke cigarettes, 52 percent have been diagnosed with alcohol abuse or dependence, and 35 percent have been diagnosed with drug abuse or dependence, the Navy Times reported Feb. 20.

The smoking rate among people with PTSD is about double that of the general population, as is the rate of alcohol abuse and dependence. The drug addiction and dependence rate is almost three times that of the general adult population.

The authors of the report, "PTSD and Health Risk Behavior," said the high addiction rates may be because many PTSD victims try to use alcohol and other drugs to self-medicate. Heavy use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs, along with the fact that people with PTSD are more likely to be overweight or obese, also may explain why other research has shown that veterans with PTSD tend to have more heart problems.
http://www.jointogether.org/news/research/summaries/2007/addiction-rates-high-among.html

In the past, "flight or fight" would kick on, fight usually winning when I felt "threatened" or "attacked" and then when I cooled down, I would flood with self-doubts about whether or not someone had wronged me or if I was crazy/over-reacting.
My reflex to react kicked on too easily. Drugs didn't help this but a year and a half with a counselor that showed me how to love myself and find inner peace. In essence, he told me that I can self control it to an extent....even though it will never "go away". This was contradictory to what the psychiatrist that put me on medication said.......

I now seem to be able to not "over-react" now and it has also spread over into treating myself better now. Instead of being filled with self-doubts when I start thinking someone is treating me badly, I can now step back, analyze it calmly and make a good conscious decision with my logical mind. Life is much better now with no guilt for sticking up for myself and treating others better.

I can be "hot and cold"....this is the best way I can describe it. That and the numbness that sometimes comes over me.....the feeling always returns though. I am grateful for that....and that knowledge makes me feel better about myself.

Also, I found this article about EMDR for the treatment of PTSD.

EMDR to Treat Underlying PTSD in Drug Addiction
Addiction Therapies

When a person experiences a traumatic event they often internalize the event and re-experience it. In effect, they are not only traumatized during the “activating” event, but every time something triggers a memory of the event. A traumatic event is an experience that causes physical, emotional, psychological distress, or harm. It is an event that is perceived and experienced as a threat to one’s safety or to the stability of one’s world.

The most well known cases of PTSD are seen in war veterans. Vietnam War vets who suffered from PTSD showed significant impairment in their ability to re-integrate into the “normal” (that is, non-combat) world. Many of these vets did not seek treatment, but even more disheartening is the fact that many probably could have been treated if effective programs had been available. Now with Iraq War veterans also showing significant signs of post-traumatic stress, we are poised to either end up with another generation of battle-rattled young men or to face the problem with the resources these war vets deserve.

PTSD is not only caused by war. Any significant traumatic event or a series of traumas over time can lead to symptoms of PTSD. Some common causes are:

* Child or domestic abuse
* Living in a war zone or extremely dangerous neighborhood
* Sexual Assault
* Violent Attack
* Sudden death of a loved one
* Witnessing a violent death such as a homicide

One of the most effective treatments was discovered incidentally by Francine Shapiro, PhD, in 1987. When Shapiro was hiking and became anxious and overwhelmed, she noticed that as she scanned the environment with her eyes, moving them back and forth, she began to relax. This led her to assume that eye movements had a desensitizing effect, and when she experimented with it clinically, she found that other people had the same response. It became apparent that eye movements alone weren’t comprehensive, so she added other treatment elements and developed Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing – known as EMDR.

Untreated trauma can be a significant source of psychic pain and emotional turmoil, which leads many of those suffering to self-medicate with alcohol or drugs. If those people seek treatment for drug addiction, they are at high risk for relapse if they do not find a way to re-process and cope with the trauma.

One of the current practitioners of EMDR is Los Angeles-based psychotherapist Barbara Brawerman, Psy.D, MFT a Certified EMDR therapist and an EMDRIA-Approved EMDR Consultant who has trained in affect regulation skills training as well as somatic-based psychotherapies. Brawerman became interested in EMDR when she noticed that traditional talk therapies weren’t working for her complex clients who had multiple diagnoses, particularly those who also suffered from alcohol or drug addiction. She wanted to develop a more integrated approach that treated both the left and right hemispheres of the brain, which she found in EMDR.

Brawerman teamed up with Promises, a Malibu drug addiction treatment program, to develop a trauma recovery program that uses EMDR.

“Many people struggling with addiction have underlying traumas and use alcohol or drugs to withdraw and numb their memories; when the drugs and alcohol are taken away, they’re left with a sense of emotional overwhelm that is not alleviated through talk or cognitive therapies,” explains Brawerman.

Talk Therapy Doesn’t Always Work

Brawerman founds that talk therapy often kept patients stuck in the traumatic event, essentially reliving it and even intensifying the traumatic feelings.

“Eye movements and bilateral stimulation remind the patient that they are still in the present. They’re attending to the trauma in the past while being consistently reminded that they’re now in a safe environment in the present with a therapist they can trust,” she explains. “Trauma lives in the right hemisphere of the brain, so treating just the left hemisphere, such as with talk therapy, doesn’t work. EMDR connects the left and ride sides of the brain, allowing the person to look inward and get in touch with his or her innate ability to heal and self-soothe.”

Originally designed to treat traumatic memories, EMDR has been found to effectively treat PTSD, panic disorders, anxiety, and other psychological distress that may follow a distressing experience. Several studies report a 77-90% remission in after just five treatments in those patients who have experienced a single traumatic event.

Brawerman believes this type of intervention lessens the risk of relapse. “If there’s a particular incident or belief about self that has been haunting a patient, if I can help to desensitize and reprocess their experience into a more healthy perspective, then when they are discharged, they’re less likely to be triggered by that experience,” Brawerman says.

Brawerman says that with those addicted to drugs it is critical to review any traumatic incidents during the developmental and individuation processes, whether a patient has the ability to separate themselves from others and adaptively define a personal relationship with the outside world.


http://www.drugaddictiontreatment.com/featured/post-traumatic-stress-disorder-and-drug-addiction/

Discuss? Share links or experiences?
 

shadowmaker87

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thx 4 the post! some ppl wont admit tht they have it till it's too late! i just came back frm iraq n i thought i had iut but i dont THANK GOD! i have an "adjustment disorder" which i thought it was the same but it's not ; totally different! ! i'm just taking one day at a time n makin sure tht i tk to my family n friends ! hope u r doing the same take care n ty for posting this!
 

Fat.n.sassy

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thx 4 the post! some ppl wont admit tht they have it till it's too late! i just came back frm iraq n i thought i had iut but i dont THANK GOD! i have an "adjustment disorder" which i thought it was the same but it's not ; totally different! ! i'm just taking one day at a time n makin sure tht i tk to my family n friends ! hope u r doing the same take care n ty for posting this!


Thanks very much for your protection and service for our contry. I hope your adjustment back to regular life goes well!
(((Hugs)))
 

Fat.n.sassy

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Wow GEF, you have been through the ringer! (((Hugs)))!

I used to think that people had the same kind of life I had when I was younger. What an eye-opener when I learned different!

It really pisses me off when people say how resilient kids are. Since the effects of abuse/trauma aren't seen till much later, it's easy for people to attribute what they're going through (i.e., flashbacks, addiction, bulimia, depression, etc. things you have listed) as failure on their OWN part! It would certainly seem logical too since kids usually blame themselves for any abuse they received in the first place. Heck, they're often even TOLD it was their fault.

Sorry, I type the same way I talk, I hope this is readable and understandable. You are truly a courageous woman. By the way, the EMDR has been a huge help for me in dealing with some hellacious flashbacks.

Thanks again!
 

Green Eyed Fairy

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thx 4 the post! some ppl wont admit tht they have it till it's too late! i just came back frm iraq n i thought i had iut but i dont THANK GOD! i have an "adjustment disorder" which i thought it was the same but it's not ; totally different! ! i'm just taking one day at a time n makin sure tht i tk to my family n friends ! hope u r doing the same take care n ty for posting this!

I would be interested in you posting more about "adjustment disorder" if you didn't mind to do so?

Wow GEF, you have been through the ringer! (((Hugs)))!

I used to think that people had the same kind of life I had when I was younger. What an eye-opener when I learned different!

It really pisses me off when people say how resilient kids are. Since the effects of abuse/trauma aren't seen till much later, it's easy for people to attribute what they're going through (i.e., flashbacks, addiction, bulimia, depression, etc. things you have listed) as failure on their OWN part! It would certainly seem logical too since kids usually blame themselves for any abuse they received in the first place. Heck, they're often even TOLD it was their fault.

Sorry, I type the same way I talk, I hope this is readable and understandable. You are truly a courageous woman. By the way, the EMDR has been a huge help for me in dealing with some hellacious flashbacks.

Thanks again!

Would you mind telling me more about the EMDR? What it entails in your own experience and where you acquired the help?
 

Elfcat

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I would suspect there is quite a bit of PTSD among fat people.
 

Miss Vickie

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Greenie, thank you for posting this. I think it's good information for people to have, because a lot more people suffer from this than are diagnosed. I think people have the misconception that you had to have been in a war or something to have it. While it's true that it was initially relating to GI's coming back from combat, it's also been diagnosed in people who suffer from childhood abuse or neglect. In my own case, mine stems from a childhood of physical abuse by a much bigger, much older brother who locked me in trunks in our attic, tried to drown me, and physically assaulted my cousins. I was saved from the abuse by the death of my parents, and then I was molested by an "uncle", my father's best friend, months after my parents died.

I've worked very hard over the years to overcome this, and yet I still occasionally suffer from PTSD, although it's mild and I only very infrequently have problems. Recently, however, an event at work pushed my buttons and I'm still having PTSD symptoms. A co-worker stood over me, intimidating me with her posture and gaze, and shamed me in front of my colleagues and patients. She had misunderstood something I said in a semi-private conversation and "went with it", piling on comment after nasty comment and then the last bit where I felt physically threatened by her.

The worst part was that when I went to my boss, she was no help at all. The co-worker in question has little memory of the event (past the first nasty comment she made and no memory at all of standing over me, threatening me) and my boss called me a "drama queen", implying that I'd exaggerated or made it up. This had its perhaps intended effect of shutting me up. For awhile. I felt totally shamed, like I had over reacted, etc and started doubting my memory of the event. But the more I thought about it, the angrier I felt. So finally, last Friday, I had my Towanda moment and talked to my boss. I told her how I felt about what she said, and that how, given my history, it is particularly difficult for me to speak up about abuse, and when people respond as she did, it puts me back into that place of abuse. She apologized, asked how she could make it right, and said that she DOES believe me. Knowing that made me feel better. But it's been tough. I've had physical symptoms -- neck spasms and headaches -- had have been really anxious since then. Now I have to work with this woman and I find myself shrinking from her. I'm trying to work my way through it, and part of that was going to my boss and telling her how I felt. As for the rest of it? I just need to keep working on it. :(

I'm really glad you mentioned EMDR. I'm the poster child for EMDR working miracles. Due to my history of being locked in small spaces, I was huuuuuuuuugely claustrophobic. I couldn't be in closed spaces at all. Elevators were tough. Tunnels were a nightmare. Even using the bathroom I'd have to leave the door open a crack. About 14 or so years ago, my therapist was first learning to do EMDR and asked if I wanted to give it a try. I said sure, and she used it to help me with my claustrophobia. I worked through a memory of being locked in a trunk, and since then my claustrophobia is GONE. I swear, if a miracle existed, that's as close as it comes. It's great stuff.
 

Green Eyed Fairy

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Greenie, thank you for posting this. I think it's good information for people to have, because a lot more people suffer from this than are diagnosed. I think people have the misconception that you had to have been in a war or something to have it. While it's true that it was initially relating to GI's coming back from combat, it's also been diagnosed in people who suffer from childhood abuse or neglect. In my own case, mine stems from a childhood of physical abuse by a much bigger, much older brother who locked me in trunks in our attic, tried to drown me, and physically assaulted my cousins. I was saved from the abuse by the death of my parents, and then I was molested by an "uncle", my father's best friend, months after my parents died.

I am truly surprised by how much of this echoes my own childhood. I was beaten daily by my now mentally ill older brother, told "too bad" by my mentally ill mother and when he moved away, a family friend that I thought of as my grandfather molested me.
I have/had issues aside from the PTSD but I think it stayed with me longest.....and has caused many problems for me in adulthood.
Stepping into abusive/co-dependent relationships didn't help me to heal either.



I've worked very hard over the years to overcome this, and yet I still occasionally suffer from PTSD, although it's mild and I only very infrequently have problems. Recently, however, an event at work pushed my buttons and I'm still having PTSD symptoms. A co-worker stood over me, intimidating me with her posture and gaze, and shamed me in front of my colleagues and patients. She had misunderstood something I said in a semi-private conversation and "went with it", piling on comment after nasty comment and then the last bit where I felt physically threatened by her.

The worst part was that when I went to my boss, she was no help at all. The co-worker in question has little memory of the event (past the first nasty comment she made and no memory at all of standing over me, threatening me) and my boss called me a "drama queen", implying that I'd exaggerated or made it up. This had its perhaps intended effect of shutting me up. For awhile. I felt totally shamed, like I had over reacted, etc and started doubting my memory of the event. But the more I thought about it, the angrier I felt. So finally, last Friday, I had my Towanda moment and talked to my boss. I told her how I felt about what she said, and that how, given my history, it is particularly difficult for me to speak up about abuse, and when people respond as she did, it puts me back into that place of abuse. She apologized, asked how she could make it right, and said that she DOES believe me. Knowing that made me feel better. But it's been tough. I've had physical symptoms -- neck spasms and headaches -- had have been really anxious since then. Now I have to work with this woman and I find myself shrinking from her. I'm trying to work my way through it, and part of that was going to my boss and telling her how I felt. As for the rest of it? I just need to keep working on it. :(

How awful.....I, too, sometimes have a lot of trouble sticking up for myself....and frequently feel like I have "over-reacted" when I do so.
It feels like everything is "over-done" or has to be over the top - working on that middle ground has been something I have been striving for these past couple of years. I feel especially proud of myself for "boundary setting" mainly because it takes away a lot of that over-reaction.
So glad to read that you had that talk with the boss - sounded like you needed to set up some boundaries for him/her, as well.

I'm really glad you mentioned EMDR. I'm the poster child for EMDR working miracles. Due to my history of being locked in small spaces, I was huuuuuuuuugely claustrophobic. I couldn't be in closed spaces at all. Elevators were tough. Tunnels were a nightmare. Even using the bathroom I'd have to leave the door open a crack. About 14 or so years ago, my therapist was first learning to do EMDR and asked if I wanted to give it a try. I said sure, and she used it to help me with my claustrophobia. I worked through a memory of being locked in a trunk, and since then my claustrophobia is GONE. I swear, if a miracle existed, that's as close as it comes. It's great stuff.

I never knew about EMDR until google searching for information for this thread......but is sounding like something I need to look into.

I sometimes wonder if I have a form of claustrophobia but always end up thinking it's "different" and related to the PTSD. I have to get out of my house, car, setting, etc sometimes or I lose my mind/blow my top. Those feeling were much worse when I was still married.....feelings of being trapped is probably a better way to describe it.

Do you mind to share more about EMDR and your experience with it?
 

Miss Vickie

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How awful.....I, too, sometimes have a lot of trouble sticking up for myself....and frequently feel like I have "over-reacted" when I do so.
It feels like everything is "over-done" or has to be over the top - working on that middle ground has been something I have been striving for these past couple of years. I feel especially proud of myself for "boundary setting" mainly because it takes away a lot of that over-reaction.
So glad to read that you had that talk with the boss - sounded like you needed to set up some boundaries for him/her, as well.

Yes, it's hard. Boundaries (mine, anyway) were never respected in my family so I have a hard time setting, and enforcing, boundaries for myself. Perhaps interestingly, I'm especially sensitive to other people's boundaries and am usually in such fear of imposing on them that I may seem standoffish. I'm always afraid of being too pushy or imposing myself on others that I no doubt miss out on opportunities with friends because if they don't ask me I don't "push the issue".

I sometimes wonder if I have a form of claustrophobia but always end up thinking it's "different" and related to the PTSD. I have to get out of my house, car, setting, etc sometimes or I lose my mind/blow my top. Those feeling were much worse when I was still married.....feelings of being trapped is probably a better way to describe it.

I've been there. Some of the bruises I got from my ex were from him holding me in place when I needed to get away during a heated argument. :( In my case, it was different from the claustrophobia, which used to rear its ugly head in even non-stressful circumstances -- although it frequently created a lot of stress and anxiety for me. The getting away... yep... I remember feeling that need. It's like I'd get overstimulated or something and it was just too intense. Having a few moments to myself would help me calm down.

Do you mind to share more about EMDR and your experience with it?

I'll think about it. I'd be happy to share with you personally, so feel free to PM me. I just feel a little uncomfortable with what I've shared so far, so I'm not sure with how much more I feel comfortable posting. But you can chat me up any time!
 

Green Eyed Fairy

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Was reading another site with information about it.....this one seems very detailed. Thought I would share it here.

http://www.palace.net/llama/psych/trauma.html

7. What is PTSD?


Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is the name given to a cluster of symptoms often seen in trauma survivors. The more severe the trauma, the longer these symptoms will persist. In cases of major and/or repeated trauma, strong reactions may continue for years.

Symptoms of PTSD can include:

* Hypervigilance and scanning
* Elevated startle response
* Blunted affect, psychic numbing
* Aggressive, controlling behavior (a high degree of insistence on getting your way)
* Interruption of memory and concentration
* Depression
* Generalized anxiety
* Violent eruptions of rage
* Substance abuse
* Intrusive recall -- different from normal memory in that it brings with it stress and anxiety
* Dissociative experiences, including dissociative flashbacks
* Insomnia
* Suicidal ideation
* Survivor guilt


8. What causes PTSD to develop?


The simple answer, of course, is trauma. But it's more complicated than that. During a traumatic experience, you adapt and choose new approaches that are survival-oriented for the situation you're in. The problem comes after the trauma, when those approaches and response are no longer functional. Recovery involves recognizing what responses are and aren't functional, and getting rid of the ones that hurt you. In effect, trauma reprograms your reactions very quickly; recovery is a kind of process of deprogramming.

Some practitioners believe that trauma causes changes in brain chemistry, changes that are helpful in the short term by reducing the level of emotion to something bearable but that are harmful in the long term because they reinforce the PTSD symptoms.

9. What can be done for PTSD?


Healing begins when the survivor realizes that the trauma was real and had real effects on his/her life, not all of which are adaptive in terms of "ordinary" living.

Trauma creates overwhelming fear and leaves in its wake a feeling that the world is not a safe place. Many practitioners (Herman, Colodzin, Miller, Hybels-Steer, Dee) thus believe recovery begins with establishing a safe place, a situation within which the survivor can feel some sense of safety and predictability. This usually involves developing an honesty about and awareness of the fear. As the fear subsides, the survivor is able to focus on other feelings and symptoms, to recognize them, search them for meaning, and decide whether or not to act on them.
 

activistfatgirl

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Thanks for these posts, Greenie and others. I suppose the long and short of it for me is that I have been suffering from high anxiety and a constellation of PTSD-like symptoms since April. My trauma was a extremely stressful organizing event that I was putting 100 some hours a week into and fumbled a speech in front of, oh, 900 people. I overworked myself into pure panic attacks, not being able to sleep, jolting out of bed into a pure run to get to a crisis that didn't exist, and maddening dissassociation and paranoia. I thought it'd all go away in a week or so with some rest, but was terrified when feelings persisted. Even tonight I'm doing quite well and sat down to a flashback of the traumatizing event. It's a tough nut to crack!

The symptoms are traumatizing in themselves, creating a cycle that can be difficult to break, but I'm hopeful that time (and, for me, temporary medication) can heal all wounds. I'm trying to laugh at myself instead of getting stressed out when I get startled by a shadow or fear normal activities (who knew driving would suddenly get difficult after 14 years?) I haven't been able to remember normal details, but I laugh it off. If I feel aggressive, I just try to breathe. I'm sleeping normally now, mostly.

I've learned that I HAVE to take time for me and SLOW DOWN.

It takes a tremendously strong person to live with anxiety and trauma. Much love to any and all sufferers!
 
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