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Protective Rituals Help Combat Holiday Stress

Protective Rituals Help Combat Holiday Stress

Holidays are full of rituals, but what happens when we intentionally create personal rituals to protect ourselves? For me, that's writing. What is it for you?

Seasonal holidays involve many inherent rituals, but have you considered creating your own protective rituals? I had the opportunity to discuss rituals–both helpful and harmful ones–with psychologist Stanton Peele while researching an article I wrote about addiction for Vice. He describes the ways in which some rituals actually protect people from developing addictions–such as Jewish customs of drinking wine only during certain occasions. He finds that Jews who associate wine in that religious context often find it odd to think of alcohol as a “party drug.” This conversation made me think of the rituals we encounter during the holidays. Can trauma survivors intentionally create protective rituals as a means of coping with some of the extra stress associated with holidays?

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Setting Goals for PTSD Recovery Success

Setting Goals for PTSD Recovery Success

Setting goals for PTSD recovery can be slowed by unrealistic expectations and the resulting frustrations. Learn a way to set realistic goals for your recovery.

Setting goals for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery can be difficult, in part because PTSD impacts every aspect of daily living, every day. When seeking help for recovery, it is understandable to want to feel better as quickly as possible in order to put the worst behind you and move on. Sometimes it can be difficult to notice what progress is being made when you are still experiencing the symptoms of PTSD daily. This is where understanding your PTSD diagnosis as well as any coexisting conditions and setting goals for PTSD recovery can help you feel successful.

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Change the Stigma Around PTSD by Changing Self-Perception

Change the Stigma Around PTSD by Changing Self-Perception

The stigma around PTSD makes many people with PTSD keep their PTSD and symptoms secret. This video explains one way to change the stigma around PTSD.

To avoid the stigma around posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), many people keep their PTSD symptoms secret. How others perceive people with PTSD creates the stigma. Yet, there is another form of derision at play here –that of self-stigma. Identifying, understanding and correcting self-stigma can significantly impact us and the stigma around PTSD as well.

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I Wanted to Make My Abuser Suffer

I Wanted to Make My Abuser Suffer

Victims of abuse often want to make their abuser suffer, but hatred can make recovery from PTSD difficult. Dealing with your anger helps you heal. Here's how.

In the course of my recovery, there came a time when I wanted my abusers to suffer. Most people who have been, or are being abused, don’t seek help. Statistics on abuse show that as many as 60 percent of perpetrators are never prosecuted. In my case, my abusers were never called to account for their actions. When I began to talk about my abuse and work through all that had occurred, I came to a point where I was angry and resentful. My nightmares of abuse shifted to ugly visions of ways in which I could cause as much suffering to them as possible without killing them. I had to work to reconcile these intense emotions where I wanted to make my abusers suffer to continue healing.

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How to Appreciate Success, Even When It’s Scary

How to Appreciate Success, Even When It’s Scary

Success is wonderful, but for those of us with posttraumatic stress disorder, it can also be terrifying. Learn how to appreciate success while living with PTSD.

Do you appreciate your successes, or does pausing to appreciate success scare you? Even though success is a very normal aspiration, feeling happy about a success (or feeling happy for any reason) can be scary for trauma survivors. The definition of success varies greatly between individuals and can even change during different stages of the same person’s life. However, for those of us living with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the experience of success is sometimes a little extra complicated, even scary. I’m slowly learning to appreciate success in my life with PTSD.

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Finding the Right Level of Self-Care with PTSD

Finding the Right Level of Self-Care with PTSD

Managing self-care with PTSD can be a balancing act between making excuses and doing too much. Here is how the author approaches self-care decisions.

Finding the right level of self-care for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) shouldn’t be that hard considering that self-care is a concept I read or hear about daily. The Internet is replete with self-care checklists and ideas for busy parents, overloaded students, and almost every mental health condition ever diagnosed. However, balancing my level of self-care with PTSD becomes lopsided because self-care frequently presents as an activity or item that is considered to be a treat. Manicures, chocolates, long baths, and time to read are common self-care suggestions. Personally, I find self-care to be more complicated, as it is not always about taking it easy on myself. Here is why I balance my indulgence level of self-care with PTSD against challenges.

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Trauma Is Unfair: But You Can Heal Anyway

Trauma Is Unfair: But You Can Heal Anyway

Trauma is unfair. It's unfair that some develop PTSD when nobody deserves to be traumatized. Why is accepting the unfairness of trauma so important to recovery?

Everyone experiences trauma differently, but one fact is universally true: trauma is unfair. Living with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is also unfair. Nobody deserves to be traumatized. So how do we heal from something that should never have become our burden in the first place? How do we deal with unfair trauma?

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You Can’t Always Avoid PTSD Triggers: Here’s One Way to Cope

You Can’t Always Avoid PTSD Triggers: Here’s One Way to Cope

You can't avoid PTSD triggers all the time; sometimes important situations come up that you must attend to. Watch how I deal with PTSD triggers I can't avoid.There will always be unavoidable triggers on our posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) journey. While we can become skilled at avoiding some PTSD triggers, coping with many other triggers, and adept at implementing self-care, there will still be times when our most challenging PTSD triggers are unavoidable.

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How to Talk with Someone Who Has PTSD

How to Talk with Someone Who Has PTSD

When someone who has PTSD opens up to you, it's not easy to know what to say or do. Here are some ways to react that will help you support someone with PTSD.

When someone who has posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) tells you about the illness, she also entrusts you with an important piece of her life. For most people, having PTSD is not something that pops up in casual conversation. Even for someone who has PTSD who is ready to talk about their experience fears the possible unsupportive response. I’m convinced that in most situations, people simply don’t know how to react to PTSD disclosures, and are reluctant to ask. Here is what I’d like everyone to about talking with someone who has PTSD.

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Negative Self-Talk Gets in the Way of Finding Help for PTSD

Negative Self-Talk Gets in the Way of Finding Help for PTSD

Negative-self talk can keep people with untreated PTSD from realizing they deserve help. Here's why negative self-talk shouldn't keep you from PTSD help.I have experienced a lot of negative self-talk around my posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Before my PTSD diagnosis and therapy, my daily life was filled with stress and feelings of worthlessness. I had lived with my anxieties, depression, and dissociation for most of my life. I had no frame of reference for what life could be like without these symptoms. I had to reach a point where I was unable to do anything but sit on the couch and obsess over imagined diseases and an untimely death before I sought out a professional. Even then, I had a difficult time allowing myself to heal as if I wasn’t significant enough for help. Here are some things I wish I had known about negative self-talk and PTSD when I first began reaching out for assistance.

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