Trauma! A PTSD Blog

Sometimes saying goodbye is a part of posttraumatic stress disorder recovery. A good friend used to end his emails with, “Nothing lasts. Everything changes.” That has proven true in my recovery from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I will be headed in one direction, and then life will take an unexpected turn. Sometimes, saying goodbye must be a part of PTSD recovery.
An important element of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery is to ask for help; but that didn’t come naturally for me (Are You Afraid To Ask For Mental Health Help?). My PTSD was caused by domestic violence while I was growing up in an alcoholic household. I learned at an early age to never ask for help and I had to overcome that learned behavior in order to recover. In my PTSD recovery, I had to learn to ask for help.
Finding out that you have posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be something that is hard to deal with and accepting your PTSD diagnosis is hard, too. It may be, quite simply, a diagnosis that you don't want to hear. However, I have learned that accepting my PTSD diagnosis has made living with PTSD much easier. There is a freedom and a positive side to life after I accepted my PTSD diagnosis and even learned to embrace it.
It takes a lot of courage to confront posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). When my PTSD symptoms flare up, I feel weak and unable to cope, but I keep going – by moving forward to make my life better. I exhibit courage when confronting PTSD -- more than I could acknowledge for many years.
It can be frustrating learning how to cope with triggers from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Triggers seem to be all around, yet it often feels like they have come out of the blue when they hit. Because so many different things have the potential to be a PTSD trigger, it may seem like an impossible task to prepare for them before they occur (When My PTSD Gets Triggered). The good news is, there are some effective coping strategies that can help deal with triggers during PTSD recovery when they do come up.
Making the decision to take psychiatric medication to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be difficult. Even though PTSD is most commonly (and successfully) treated with a combination of therapy and medication, some of us are reluctant to take psychiatric medication as part of our recovery. There are many valid reasons for and against using medication as treatment for PTSD, and careful consideration and education are needed to weed through them. Talking to your psychiatrist openly and honestly is important in making the decision whether or not to use psychiatric medications as part of your PTSD recovery.
Deciding when to share your diagnosis of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and with whom, can be difficult to do. Even though talking about PTSD and seeking support from others is an important step toward recovery, choosing who and when to share your diagnosis of PTSD may be stressful and anxiety producing. The uncertainty of how others will react to hearing that you have a mental health issue can be as troubling as dealing with mental illness itself (Stigma Busting: Things Not to Say to Anxious People). There are some ways though, to decide who and when to tell about your PTSD diagnosis.
For recovery from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it is important to have a safe place. One time a friend asked, “Dan, have you ever felt safe anywhere?” For years I walked around constantly on high alert and my posttraumatic stress disorder was on full display. Since I grew up in a household where violent domestic abuse occurred, it has been important for me to establish my own safe place in PTSD recovery where I can relax (How to Develop a Safe Place For Mental Illness Recovery).
Using mindfulness in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery can be a lifesaver. One of the most difficult things about having PTSD is dealing with the PTSD symptoms -- but mindfulness can help, even when triggered. There are a number of things that I know will trigger me, and I do my best to avoid those triggers. Some things sneak up on me, though, and I have to deal with the anxiety and fear that is caused by the fight or flight response my body has. One of the most effective ways I have found to get through those types of situations is by using mindfulness in my PTSD recovery.
There are many things that can trigger my posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Over the years, I have learned to adapt pretty well to living with posttraumatic stress disorder. But certain situations or settings can trigger, which means to cause an onset of, the anxiety of my PTSD, taking me back to a time when I wasn’t safe and my life was in danger. I will become hypervigilant, begin to dissociate, and feel extreme anxiety. I’ve learned to watch for those situations, and to find effective coping mechanisms that reduce my anxiety when my PTSD gets triggered.