Originally posted on Addicted To Living: (Image source: http://covingtonweekly.com/2017/06/29/disposable-heroes-ptsd-awareness-day/ ) More often than not, people tend to associate the acronym, PTSD, with veterans returning from war. This is because throughout the years of World War I and after World War II, many veterans faced severe PTSD, or “shell shock.” However, this is only one possible…
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a trauma and stress-related disorder that may develop after exposure to an event or ordeal in which death or severe physical harm occurred or was threatened. People who suffer from the disorder include military troops, rescue workers, and survivors of shootings, bombings, violence, and rape. Family members of victims can develop the disorder […]
A Exposure to actual or threatened death, serious injury, or sexual violence in one (or more) of the following ways:
1 Directly experiencing the traumatic event(s).
2 Witnessing, in person, the event(s) as it occurred to others.
3 Learning that the traumatic event(s) occurred to a close family member or close friend. In cases of actual or threatened death of a family member or friend, the event(s) must have been violent or accidental.
4 Experiencing repeated or extreme exposure to aversive details of the traumatic event(s) (e.g., first responders collecting human remains; police officers repeatedly exposed to details of child abuse).
B Presence of one (or more) of the following intrusion symptoms associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred:
1. Recurrent, involuntary, and intrusive distressing memories of the traumatic event(s).
2. Recurrent distressing dreams in which the content and/or affect of the dream are related to the traumatic event(s).
3. Dissociative reactions (e.g., flashbacks) in which the individual feels or acts as if the traumatic event(s) were recurring.
4. Intense or prolonged psychological distress at exposure to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s).
5. Marked physiological reactions to internal or external cues that symbolize or resemble an aspect of the traumatic event(s).
C Persistent avoidance of stimuli associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by one or both of the following:
1 Avoidance of or efforts to avoid distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s).
2 Avoidance of or efforts to avoid external reminders (people, places, conversations, activities, objects, situations) that arouse distressing memories, thoughts, or feelings about or closely associated with the traumatic event(s).
D Negative alterations in cognitions and mood associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following:
1 Inability to remember an important aspect of the traumatic event(s) (typically due to dissociative amnesia and not to other factors such as head injury, alcohol, or drugs).
2 Persistent and exaggerated negative beliefs or expectations about oneself, others, or the world (e.g., “I am bad,” “No one can be trusted,” “The world is completely dangerous,” “My whole nervous system is permanently ruined”).
3 Persistent, distorted cognitions about the cause or consequences of the traumatic event(s) that lead the individual to blame himself/herself or others.
4 Persistent negative emotional state (e.g., fear, horror, anger, guilt, or shame).
5 Markedly diminished interest or participation in significant activities.
6 Feelings of detachment or estrangement from others.
7 Persistent inability to experience positive emotions (e.g., inability to experience happiness, satisfaction, or loving feelings).
E Marked alterations in arousal and reactivity associated with the traumatic event(s), beginning or worsening after the traumatic event(s) occurred, as evidenced by two (or more) of the following:
1 Irritable behavior and angry outbursts (with little or no provocation) typically expressed as verbal or physical aggression toward people or objects.
2 Reckless or self-destructive behavior.
4 Exaggerated startle response.
5 Problems with concentration.
6 Sleep disturbance (e.g., difficulty falling or staying asleep or restless sleep).
F Duration of the disturbance (Criteria B, C, D, and E) is more than 1 month.
G The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
H The disturbance is not attributable to the physiological effects of a substance (e.g., medication, alcohol) or another medical condition.
i was scared of you from the word ‘go’
you didn’t see me, but you used me as your special little goat
i hid in a makeshift house that followed me from room to room
i was spider-man
swinging from veranda to clothesline
you took away my innocents
you used me for your pleasure
without my consent
you said: “you must not tell anyone”.
from age to teens
you chose me to hate
i hide among the weeds
skipping school, to stare up at the blue sky
the mice were my only friends
when i escaped, i was in a state of pure ecstasy
free from violence, free from hatred
i danced all night
i slept by day, under the palm tree
i was free…
then my demons returned to roost among the pigeons
you tracked me down
to use me again for your own pain
i never went back to live
my neck was frozen
i could not move
i lived a dream of body narcissism
day by day
i stole what i thought was mine
you came along
like a God
you took me in your arms
at last i was loved
and so was my body
when you left i died
then i woke with fierce determination
to learn about the world
to find peace
to find the now
to find God
to find new friends
to find film and history
through crazy eyes
you stalked me to end of the earth
i was shattered
tried hard to stay afloat
her i am
standing in front of you
my image machine
finding joy once more
the lens is my new friend
i found art once more
the tree had grown tall…
leading my life back to the soil
C.P.T. stands for cognitive processing therapy, and is used for people with PTSD.
CPT is a specific type of cognitive behavioral therapy that helps patients learn how to modify and challenge unhelpful beliefs related to trauma.
I’ve started a 12 week PTSD support group, in conjunction with seeing a PTSD psychologist. Has been very helpful, and I’m already getting the benefits from the group as well as the therapy. This is the first time I’ve had specific help with my PTSD issues, so I am very grateful.
For a very long time I didn’t know what was wrong with me. I always had fear in the workplace. Difficulty with anger in intimate relationships. Nightmares and night terrors. Very poor sense of self worth etc. It wasn’t until I stopped drinking in 2003, that I got a correct diagnosis for my condition.
The diagnosis was a blessing (not a curse), because I now new what the problem was and could respond and get help that I needed. I stopped work in 2009 due to strong PTSD symptoms that had been plaguing me all of my life.
I always hoped things would get better as I got older, but the opposite has happened. My symptoms have gotten worse over time.
Yesterday morning my sister received her results and they positive for cancer in the breast, she petrified and we were both filled with sadness as we spoke the possibilities through. ..today she sees oncology and Friday they operate. ..
It’s hard to hear that a loved one is battling it tore me apart, as we spoke of my mom’s journey with breast cancer to and last night she had her 3rd operation on her femur and hip replacement too our brothers tell us mom’s one eye is swollen shut ?not sure yet why …
Last night I kept busy I slept little and then communicated back and forth to south Africa with my brother’s around mom’s progress my mental illness feels agrivates by this change at present my sister isn’t telling any family other than me maybe next week she says I worry but hear to her concerns mom’s not well and dad’s away. ..
The feeling she been through enough in life why more I do not know but god sure had lots thrown at him last night from me:'(
We arrived home late afternoon yesterday and the drive wasn’t quite as bad Hooray for that!Well driving we reflected on our weekend e cried listened to music ,it was hard all in all watching my sister in laws husband battle cancer its slowly popping up in all places and breathing is compressed by his tumor in the lungs that one can hear him breath miles away with much difficulty ..well we were there my in laws phoned they booked there tickets they arrive 20 July with there sister who we haven’t seen in more than 10 years ..excited to see the three monkey to they all under ten and one aged 3 .
So we booked our tickets well at his sister to fly well his parents are here to new Plymouth this is massive for me,but we all excited .This week is huge my mom went in for a third op related to her broken femur and hip replacement last night in south Africa its hard to try encourage when she battles to .And today my sister will find out whether she has cancer in the lymph nobs as well ,one weeks ago they removed a tumor in the breast and then sent away for extensive testing today she finds out the results .Hubby i must say is very understanding of the emotions right now.
I took my usual meds the whole weekend to satisfy hubby but last night left them and this morning well hubby was searching for his medicine he came across my stock pile and woke me at 5 am with holly crap theirs about three months here for you how fucking long have you not taken Groan its only 4 weeks not thee months relax …i cant do this im only trying to please others and that hard enough ..I NEED TO KEEP REMINDING ME ITS ABOUT ME AND ME ONLY.
This mornings side effects of starting and stopping meds is one hell of a headache its throbbing,but too a feeling of been isolated from the world i look out side and dream to walk patches by our sea side but the gripping fear some how arises and home i wish to stay rather were its safe ,quite ,and no one can touch me.
The reason I’ve decided to revive this post is because a friend from Flickr informs me that a pathological narcissist is posting to the streams of people I don’t know on Flickr that I’ve accused her of trolling my art group.
That’s not correct.
I’ve accused her of stealing my art group.
When you keep things that don’t belong to you it’s stealing.
When you lie about people it’s called slander.
And when you feel entitled to hurt people for your own sadistic
amusement you are probably a malignant narcissist.
In October of last year this woman claimed on an unrelated topic posted to The Neighborhood that she was the Narcissist I was writing about on my blog.
I am not sure what to think of a woman who identifies herself on the blog of someone she doesn’t know as one of two unnamed women I described as malignant narcissists
In this post I use ‘we’ instead of ‘I’ because my subjective experience is that of multiple separate people.
The children of pathological narcissists must blind themselves to behaviors that healthy people consider unspeakable.
Food deprivation, the theft of money, a lack of boundaries, triangulated relationships in which the child must either see the other parent as an enemy or hate the other parent outright, contempt for the achievements of others, the competitive behavior of a child, and the threat of psychological annihilation.
For the narcissist the worst crime is independent thought.
The child has no needs of his own.
He must have no dreams, and no vision of life without the clinging demands of a parent or parent surrogate who is essentially a two-year old with no insight.
The psychological death-blow is that the child must never surpass the parent.
How do you relate to the people in your life with PTSD?
This post is part of a series of poems dedicated to my girlfriend. She has PTSD and severe anxiety and you will understand her story with each post. Each time I learn something about the mental conditions she lives with, I add a “part” to the series.
History becomes Her story-
She’s a beautiful soul, trapped deep in her keep,
In a place she won’t let most inside.
So I’ve entered slowly and cautiously here,
Not breaking the trust she confides.
Her levels and layers, her pain and her hurt
Run as deep as the red in her blood.
And I sit and I listen, to all that she says,
Which comes from her core that is good.
She tells me of rape, of the breaking of bones,
And a tear glistens down over my cheek.
For I’ve known the warrior, the battle hardened victor,
Not imagining her soft soul so meak.
Sometimes she gets up, in the middle of the night
She says that it’s just too hard.
She’ll leave then apologize because she’s flashed back
I’m not angry, I’m honored ’cause she let down a wall.
We tell each other, “You get me.” “You understand who I am”,
And we hold each other tight.
And I’ll hold her and treasure her, ’til peace arrives,
And helps her sleep through the night.
She’s grown on me, and taught me her life,
My mouth hangs open in awe.
For I’m getting her condition, her PTSD
I’m beginning to understand it all.
Do you have suggestions for supporting people with PTSD? Will you share them with us?
Today’s therapy session focused on the fact that I still “discover” that someone I cared about and admired is a pathological narcissist.
I repeatedly “discover” that the breach of boundaries, the use of my resources without consideration, the inflated claims of competence and the derision for anyone who dared to contradict these claims are signs that I’m in another cycle of repetition.
Their Quality of Life Model is based on the categories “being”, “belonging”, and “becoming”, respectively who one is, how one is not connected to one’s environment, and whether one achieves one’s personal goals, hopes, and aspirations.
Therefore quality of life is defined as the extent to which…
The latest episode in my ongoing resistance to Kaiser’s efforts to snuff me out with lethal neglect comes courtesy of my stupid belief that Kaiser would actually give me basic psychiatric services without a struggle.
To understand my anger I should explain that I use words for clarity, not obfuscation; therefore, when I use the words Case Manager I have the following definitions in mind.
“A case manager helps you complete paperwork and get to appointments. Your case manager may meet with you at the mental health agency, in-patient facility, your home, or another community setting. Case management is usually covered by Medicaid or state funding.
Children’s case management is a similar service that works with parents and caregivers to support healthy growth and development for children.”
The policy of deinstitutionalization was premised on the idea that human rights and class mobility are a national priority.
“We as a Nation have long neglected the mentally ill and the mentally retarded. This neglect must end, if our nation is to live up to its own standards of compassion and dignity and achieve the maximum use of its manpower. This tradition of…
Some people skip my posts as they don’t want to know that breast cancer can strike more than once. They believe that my story must be a real downer as who wouldn’t be depressed to have their cancer come back again and again and again? Others look to find differences in their stories from mine to reassure themselves that this will not have to them. I don’t know how many people have asked me if this whole mess couldn’t have been avoided if I just had a double mastectomy with my first breast cancer at 29? Hindsight is usually 20/20 but even my oncologists aren’t convinced that would have stopped the cancer from coming back. I had new primaries, not recurrences, and it is very possible they still would have grown in my mastectomy scars. I would like to assure you my story is not all doom and gloom and…
I was first diagnosed with breast cancer at 29. February,2015 will be 27 years from the time of my first diagnosis. I have spent almost half my life battling breast cancer.
“Finding your new normal” is one of those popular buzz phrases spoken by oncologists, counsellors, and other cancer survivors. I’ve always felt that this word was like a password to a secret clubhouse that everyone in Cancerland belongs to except for me. Although I know this password, I am obviously missing something that would allow me to gain entry. Maybe a special knock or a secret handshake is also required. While I can spout the phrase “new normal” without difficulty, I’ve never quite understood how those words applied to my life.
If we uttered the phrase “changes to your life” due to cancer, I could easily relate to that. I could draw up a long list of the…
When you are a parent, you want to protect your children from all the bad things in life as you love them so fiercely. You feel like this lioness with her cub, trying to shelter them from all impending harm. But when you are diagnosed with cancer, you are the one that sends your children’s world into a chaotic tailspin. Between the shock of diagnosis, the demands of treatment, and the uncertainty of what the future holds for you and your family, your children can’t help but be threatened by this disease that has invaded their lives.
Although I have had breast cancer 4 times, I only had children during the last bout in 2011. At that time, they were 9 and 11, old enough to understand what was going on but young enough that they still needed a parent who could be there for them 24/7. As a single…
One’s dignity may be assaulted, vandalized and cruelly mocked, but it can never be taken away unless it is surrendered. ― Michael J. Fox
It’s my pleasure to bring you another poem submitted by Topaz Winters. Her poem takes us inside the maelstrom of a wounded spirit stuck between feeling the reality of unrelenting anguish from abuse, trauma, abandonment, and the dream of love and life as first imagined. The journey to healing is never swift or without setbacks captured in the line, “I sometimes pretend I’m a phoenix.” Topaz’s advocacy for survivors and awareness is greatly appreciated. Topaz offered her poem as a tribute to the readers and authors that know abuse and trauma all too well. Thank you for your continued support, Topaz. And now, dear reader, I submit to you, Sticks and Stones by Topaz Winters. Continue reading “STICKS and STONES by Topaz Winters”→
Having made and promptly broken every resolution made for New Years in the past, I’m trying something different this year. I have decided to pick 2 keywords as my themes for the year which will hopefully guide my actions in the 12 months ahead.
The words I have chosen for 2015 are “create” and “giving”. I want to build up and not tear down. I would like to make something new, whether it is a new blog post, an article written out of my comfort zone, an e-book, or building a sense of community in my online and virtual worlds. I want to share my experiences more transparently and honestly in the hopes that even one reader will say to herself, “hey, I’m not alone feeling this way”. As I wrote in an earlier post, The Winning Ticket, I want to give back to my community, not keep…
My newest blog post is on the psychological effects of a breast cancer diagnosis and treatment. Much of the content would apply to any other significant trauma as it covers anxiety, depression, and PTSD.
A breast cancer diagnosis is a life altering event, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Surprisingly, little attention has been devoted to conducting scientific studies that measure anxiety, depression, and PTSD rates in first time breast cancer patients. Even less scientific attention has been paid to these psychological effects in patients who have experienced a recurrence or a metastasis of their cancer. The statistics available are all over the map but it can safely be said that almost all breast cancer patients will suffer from depression and high anxiety levels sometime on their journey from diagnosis to post-treatment.
These feelings may be short-term for many, disappearing within a few months after treatment ends. A significant percentage of first time breast cancer survivors (US studies say 25% while European and Australian studies say at least 50%) will go on to develop long term post-traumatic stress disorder. There is very little statistical evidence pinpointing…
This is a repost of a chapter from one of my short stories. It wasn’t very popular as far as likes, comments or views. It seems counter intuitive to beat that old dead horse again here. I replay it because much is said about post traumatic stress disorder in service members but it’s not well understood by the public. It can manifest years after the event as the memories suddenly drift in like a cold breeze through a forgotten open door. Internal dialog of scenes long forgotten play out when and wherever they will – triggered by a thought, sound, a vision, a taste or smell. Continue reading “The End of War”→