Trauma! A PTSD Blog

Complex posttraumatic stress disorder (C-PTSD) and perfectionism often occur together. What drives someone with C-PTSD towards clinically significant perfectionism? Generally speaking, perfectionism becomes clinically significant when it results in an excessive or unrealistic need to perform to exceedingly high, self-imposed standards. The drive for perfection is so strong that it can interfere with work, education or relationships. For individuals with C-PTSD, the need for absolute excellence can become a means of dealing with fear and anxiety created by ongoing trauma. Let's examine how trauma drives these unrealistic expectations, and how to set more realistic goals.
Feeling helpless helps my trauma recovery? Yes--you read the title correctly. The subject of this article is helplessness as a form of healing. If that sounds completely counterintuitive to you, you're not alone. I'm sure that if I had come across an article making this same claim in the past, I would have labeled it as completely ludicrous. But hear me out. If you totally disagree, you can write out your counter-argument in the comments.
Do you ever feel like you're in a mental fog, you can't think straight, or as though you have to labor to access even the simplest thoughts? I feel this way often, and it used to make me panic, like I was losing my mental faculties. Then I realized that "mental fog," aka "brain fog," (not clinical terms) or confusion can actually result from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Triggers, stress, and anxiety can heighten feelings of mental fog--leaving those of us with PTSD feeling even more vulnerable and confused during the very moments when we most need to feel safe and in control.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.