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 »

Learning to increase my resiliency when dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms and everyday stress has been essential in my PTSD recovery. While I thought that resiliency was something that would just naturally follow working an active wellness treatment plan, I have found that resiliency is actually something that can be built and strengthened during recovery, and it can be done by learning to be proactive in a few simple areas when triggered or stressed. As I have increased my resiliency, my PTSD symptoms have lessened and my stress and anxiety have decreased, making everyday life much more enjoyable.  Keep reading »

I have found that there are some really good reasons that we should not compare our posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery to the recovery of others. It’s easy to get caught up in the comparison of your recovery process to the processes of others. After all, you are going through the same types of struggles and are dealing with the same types of symptoms (PTSD Symptoms and Signs of PTSD). Not to mention we often find a lot of similarities that allow us to relate to one another, and that is beneficial — it lessens the feeling that we are alone. However, while that type of peer support is helpful to us, comparing our progressions in PTSD recovery is not. Keep reading »

I’ve learned about the benefits of practicing self-compassion in PTSD recovery. In my last post I talked a little bit about using self-compassion as one way of dealing with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the shame that is associated with trauma. In this post, I want to dig deeper into how to be kind to ourselves and cultivate a practice of self-compassion to alleviate some of the symptoms of PTSD. Being kind to myself is something that I know I need to do more of, but it isn’t something that comes naturally to me, and  I suspect that is true for many trauma survivors. When I am able to practice self-compassion in PTSD recovery, I find that dealing with PTSD symptoms is easier and my negative self-talk and feelings are lessened.

Keep reading »

We all need to heal the shame associated with trauma and posttraumatic stress disorder. Trauma survivors and those of us with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) often have a heavy feeling of shame attached to our trauma. Shame related to trauma is especially common in survivors of domestic violence, physical and sexual abuse, and rape. I have experienced shame related to the trauma that led to my PTSD, and it has been difficult to make sense of. It is something that I continue to work on in my PTSD recovery even now. Fortunately, there are some effective ways to deal with the shame that accompanies trauma and PTSD.  Keep reading »