There is no doubt that it’s often hard to recognize the progress in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery. The symptoms of PTSD can be overwhelming and seem to be never-ending. Many times, in my own PTSD recovery, I feel like it’s one step forward, two steps back — and my focus is usually on the two steps back. But when I actually choose to look at the one step forward instead, I find that I am making progress, and that recognizing progress in PTSD recovery is important.

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Coping with feeling overwhelmed while in recovery from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be challenging. I know when I become overwhelmed with anything–emotional, physical, or mental–I am likely to just want to shut down and avoid life. My anxiety kicks in and it feels like everything is out of control, moving too fast, and I become irritable, whiny, and tired. Sometimes when that happens, I absolutely need a full-stop (a nap or a good night’s sleep) to recharge and feel better. But more often, I’m able to use coping skills that I have learned in PTSD recovery to deal with feeling overwhelmed (What’s Your PTSD Recovery Program?). Keep reading »

It is the age of the smartphone, and there is a mobile app for everything–including mental health recovery apps. You can find applications designed to help with everything from depression and anxiety to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), addiction recovery, eating disorders and self-esteem. Some offer interaction with others in recovery, some provide feedback and advice based on the information each individual records, and some simply give users techniques for reducing anxiety and encouraging gratitude and optimism. No app is meant to take the place of face-to-face treatment, but I have found these mental health recovery apps you should try can be a useful addition to my mental health recovery. Keep reading »

For me, dealing with the hyperarousal symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is an ongoing thing. I think it’s the one group of PTSD symptoms that currently affects me the most, even with all of the therapy I have had and the medication I take. In my last post, I wrote about how the brain functions during trauma and how, for those of us with PTSD, it can get stuck in the reactive state . In this post I want to talk about what it feels like to be in the hyperarousal symptoms of PTSD and how to deal with it. Keep reading »

Have you ever wondered how trauma affects the brain? It’s something that I thought about a lot after being diagnosed with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I wanted (needed) to know that there was a physical reason I wasn’t able to let go of the trauma, to just “get over it,” like other people have done. The fact is, trauma affects the brain and some of us who suffer trauma and develop PTSD do so because our brains process trauma differently than others. Keep reading »

Are you are interested in taking a closer look at how eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy works for recovery from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)? If so, I recommend a book I read recently, Every Moment of a Fall, A Memoir of Recovery Through EMDR Therapy, by Carol E. Miller. The book gives a first-hand account of what EMDR therapy is like and how it helps with PTSD recovery (see also PTSD Treatment: My Experience With EMDR Therapy).  Keep reading »

You hear more about posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) now than ever before. However, have you heard these 10 things you should know about PTSD?  Keep reading »

The National Center for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder designated June as posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month in an effort to raise awareness, reduce PTSD stigma, and encourage people to seek help for posttraumatic stress disorder. The theme of the awareness campaign is “Learn, Connect, Share,” so I thought it would be a good idea to talk about how we all can do those things to raise awareness about PTSD this month.  Keep reading »

Recognizing the signs of unresolved trauma can be tricky. Sometimes people who are having difficulties enter therapy without even knowing that they have suffered the trauma that is causing disruptions in their daily lives. The very nature of trauma lends itself to that. Often, when a person goes through a traumatic event, there is some degree of dissociation that happens and the person essentially “blocks out” all, or part, of the event, so his or her awareness of the trauma isn’t accurate, making diagnosis difficult. However, there are some common signs of unresolved trauma that you can look for.  Keep reading »

Reducing the stigma of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is something that we all can, and should, help in doing. If you are reading this post, then it’s probably because you, or someone close to you, suffers from PTSD or some other type of mental illness. Those of us who are familiar with PTSD are, undoubtedly, also familiar with the stigma and discrimination that comes along with it. The good news is, there are things that we all can do to help reduce the stigmatization of PTSD sufferers.  Keep reading »