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Trauma! A PTSD Blog

Tia Hollowood
A good posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) trauma therapist can make all the difference when it comes to PTSD treatment, but not all therapists are created equal. Finding a competent trauma therapist for your PTSD recovery can be difficult without an understanding of the technical and interpersonal skills a PTSD trauma therapist should possess, and what approaches you find comfortable.
Elizabeth Brico
Posttraumatic stress disorder and psychosis? What do you think of when you hear the term "psychosis?" Most people know that it is a serious mental illness symptom that involves a radical disconnection from objective reality. Not everyone knows, however, that sometimes having posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can lead to psychosis.
Tia Hollowood
For many individuals with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), short-term memory loss is a significant concern. While working to calm and organize memories of trauma, individuals with PTSD may also struggle to recall simple, everyday information. Short-term memory loss can leave an individual with PTSD with concerns over deteriorating cognitive functioning, and uncertainty about just how much forgetfulness is reasonable and how much becomes a medical concern.
Elizabeth Brico
There are barriers to recovery from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Mental illness recovery often begins as an uphill battle. It doesn't help that aside from difficult symptoms, those of us living with one or more mental illness also have to combat stigma and wide-spread misinformation--all while navigating a mental healthcare system that often favors the wealthy. Recovery from PTSD is saddled with some very specific barriers. In fact, treatment resistance is actually a symptom of PTSD. If you or a loved one are struggling to recover from trauma, please hold back from judgement. There are reasons for treatment-resistant PTSD behaviors; you or your loved one are not at fault.
Tia Hollowood
Difficulties with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and intimacy are common, regardless of the nature of the trauma leading to PTSD. A quick search of the Internet will return dozens of links to websites regarding PTSD and intimacy and the challenges PTSD presents in maintaining intimate relationships. There is a flood of information regarding trust issues, poor communication, closeness, violence, sexual dysfunction, and more. However, in my case, all the facts and statistics do is cause my eyes to glaze over without really getting to the point. In an intimate relationship, partners usually come to understand each other's behaviors. What really happens in a relationship when PTSD and intimacy collide?
Elizabeth Brico
Learning how to care for someone with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be hard. As someone who has served as both a caretaker of someone with PTSD and a person in need of care, I intimately understand the difficulties interlaced in the care of people with trauma histories. For example, it can be hard for us to express joy and gratitude, even when we feel it. People with PTSD can be prone to anger, which may make us lash out verbally or even physically (though studies have shown that PTSD does not usually make people more violent than the general population). PTSD can be treatment resistant, meaning we feel so damaged, hopeless, or otherwise unworthy that we give up on getting better, or refuse to try in the first place. People with PTSD are sometimes drawn toward self-harming behaviors like cutting ourselves or misusing drugs. It is indescribably painful to sit and hold the hand of someone you care for when that someone doesn't appear to care about herself. But PTSD recovery relies on community support. Learning how to care for someone with PTSD means learning to keep holding our hands, even if we can't find the words to tell you how much it means to us.
Tia Hollowood
Understanding how stress from positive change adds to our stress load improves our self-care and helps us stay on the path to posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery. While the word "stress" applies to life-altering situations like traumatic or stressful events as often as it pertains to a long to-do list, it is not typically associated with times when things are good. However, positive change and stress do exist together and it helps people with PTSD to recognize them when they occur.
Elizabeth Brico
We can't get away from having toxic people in our life sometimes. In a perfect world, we would never encounter someone unhealthy for us. The people with whom we hold company would all be healthy influences. Unfortunately, as those of us with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) likely already know, we do not live in a perfect world. Although we can choose our friends, and we can migrate toward or away from certain co-workers, acquaintances, and even family members, we cannot always prevent having some toxic people in our life.
Tia Hollowood
Sleep deprivation is a common complaint among people who experience posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Research shows that at least 50% of individuals with PTSD have experienced recurring nightmares, and the majority of people with PTSD report either difficulty falling asleep (sleep onset insomnia), or trouble staying asleep long enough to feel rested (maintenance insomnia). Even though sleep difficulties often accompany PTSD, their importance might be underrepresented. Knowing how to recognize the symptoms of sleep deprivation and how to manage them are useful tools in treating the symptoms of PTSD.
Elizabeth Brico
The effects of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) on relationships when both partners have PTSD create both problems and benefits. Living in the aftermath of trauma is difficult enough on its own, but navigating a relationship in which both partners have PTSD can be an emotional minefield. Fortunately, learning how to be in a relationship with someone who has PTSD is easier to understand when you live with PTSD too.