Time Did Not Heal All My Wounds

Source: pexels.com I am Meredith, a 48-year-old nurse in Ohio. I just got promoted to a supervising position in a hospital I’ve been working at for almost 15 years now....

Learning About Mindfulness In The 2016 Virginia International Conference On Psychology Of Education

Both experts and laypeople flocked to the 2016 Virginia International Conference on Psychology of Education. Among the many topics and lectures held was one of mindfulness and its importance in...

Helping Myself Get Over PTSD

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Source: pixabay.com

Growing up with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is unimaginable for some, but that’s what I experienced.

From around the age of 4, I remember my parents fighting almost every night. My father loved to drink while my mother was always busy working. Whenever Mom would come home and see Dad’s bottles in the living, I would hear the disappointment in her voice as she’s telling him that that’s not the life she expected. Dad would get angry every time he would listen to that, and they would bicker and call each other names. Sometimes, both would get physical, too. It’s either Mom would smash the bottles on the floor or throw things at Dad or Dad would slap or push Mom.

Because of that experience, it became an uncontrollable habit of mine to feel scared whenever I see the two of them in one room. I didn’t want to witness another fight; I didn’t want to hear them cursing each other. It was too much for me.

The fighting only stopped when they filed for divorce, and it was just Mom and me. However, the fear stayed in me. My body would shake when someone raises their voice, even if the anger wasn’t directed at me. I could not face confrontations, even friendly ones, because it might turn out like the ones that my parents used to have.

A psychologist diagnosed me with PTSD when I was nine years old. I started going to therapy around that time as well. A few years later, though, it did not feel like it was doing me any good. Still, I did not want to live with this disorder any longer, so I tried different things to help myself get over it. Now that I am 25 years old, happy and free from the traumatic experience I have had, I can tell you what techniques have worked for me.

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Running

Because of my PTSD, I gave myself zero chances of doing what other kids my age used to do. I did not play outside, go on playdates, or try various extracurricular activities. However, during a low point in my life, I started running around the neighborhood. You could imagine how winded I was after 10 minutes, but it made me feel good. I tried it again the next day and then the day after that, and I get a sense of accomplishment every time.

 

Being Artistic

Since it was hard for me to open up to my therapist verbally, I had the idea of using art to express how I felt instead. The first one I made was genuinely dark. I drew two figures facing each other with a red crayon, and then I colored the entire paper with black. It slightly made me feel better, so I tried drawing once more. What I noticed after a month of doing it was that my drawings started becoming less intense. The same goes with my feelings, which I appreciated.

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Volunteering

Back then, I thought I was the only kid who was suffering from PTSD. However, I came across a schoolmate his foster parents physically abused one day whom I found out. That’s when I realized that other people had more significant issues than what I had. I asked my mother then if we could volunteer at an organization that helps PTSD patients. She agreed, I loved helping others, and we have been doing that ever since.

Final Thoughts

Getting over PTSD on your own may seem like a far-fetched dream. After all, you are not a licensed therapist; you don’t know how they work. Despite that, mental health disorders are not like cancer and diabetes that have physical manifestations. If you don’t want to get better, therapists cannot help you.

If you do want to overcome PTSD, then feel free to try the activities above or find out what other things work for you. Good luck!…

Things I Realized While Getting Therapy To Treat My PTSD

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Not too long ago, the apartment complex I was living in for a few years now burned down to ashes. The extension socket that one of my neighbors was using short-circuited and caught on fire. Since it was on the carpet, the flames spread faster than they could douse it down with water, and it engulfed their apartment.

At the time, I was sleeping when I heard shouting and screaming and crying outside. I could have been burned alive as well if not for a fireman who broke my window to check if there was anyone left there. When he brought me to the ground, though, that’s when I realized that I did not even manage to get my wallet or phone. It was already too late to try to go back in there because they were hosing the entire place down but to no avail.

After that unfortunate incident, I had to move back in with my parents. I had money left in my bank account and could get another apartment again, but I was afraid of it burning downing like the last one. It was hard for me to see even the flame from the gas stove as my mind would replay the images of the fire I just survived from. However, it was only when I freaked out when a lighter (that my dad was using) produced a spark that they told me that it was time for me to see a psychologist.

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It did not take the mental health professional a while to diagnose me with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). She said it was common for individuals who had a traumatizing experience like me. The psychologist then recommended me to a psychotherapist she knew, and I could say that it changed my life for the better.

Here’s what I learned while getting therapy.

1. Cherish The Second Life You’ve Been Given

I did not realize until after talking to my therapist how lucky I am to be alive. The fire could have engulfed me along with the building, but I managed to come out of it. It is my second life, and I am wasting it by hiding in my parents’ house and letting past events control my life. For that reason, I should stop doing that and cherish my life instead.

2. Stop Fearing The Unknown

As mentioned above, I fear that the new apartment complex where I’ll move in might burn down to the ground as well. I was holding on to that idea for a while, but my therapist helped me to stop letting something that has not happened yet to dictate my actions. Whatever will be will be, after all.

3. Live Life To The Fullest

Therapy has also encouraged me to start going out again and face my fear of seeing flames. I realize how ridiculous that phobia is now, considering how much I used to love BBQ parties and scented candles. Now, fear still comes to me from time to time, but I no longer entertain it.

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Final Thoughts

Overcoming PTSD can never be easy. I am fortunate enough to get diagnosed while the disorder is still not severe; that’s why the treatment has taken effect on time. Nevertheless, even though you have PTSD for years, you should not lose hope. You can get rid of this condition – believe in yourself.…

Time Did Not Heal All My Wounds

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I am Meredith, a 48-year-old nurse in Ohio. I just got promoted to a supervising position in a hospital I’ve been working at for almost 15 years now. My two sons, aged 21 and 15, are healthy and already taller than me. My youngest kid is getting ready for senior high now, while my eldest is close to finishing his bachelor’s degree. I can say that my life is far better than ever.

However, things had not always been excellent. In truth, I have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I acquired that illness after suffering from domestic abuse, which was inflicted by the father of my children.

My Story

When I met John, he was working as an engineer at a tech company near the clinic where I was doing an internship at the time. He was smart, funny, tall, and gorgeous. After a familiar friend introduced us to each other, we hit it off right away.

Our dating phase-only happened in six months. I was so in love with him; I thought he’s the one. Naturally, I said ‘yes’ when he asked for my hand, even though my family was hesitant about it. I thought, “We had enough savings to buy a small house, John’s earning well, and I won’t need to work another day again.” That was honestly the case while I was still pregnant with my firstborn.

Only, after I gave birth to our second baby, the tech company where my husband was employed filed for bankruptcy. John had a hard time getting another job, but I did not worry much at the time because I had this idealistic notion that our savings would get us through life. But then again, a few months of buying diapers and baby formula and clothes and paying for house bills, we found ourselves with only a hundred bucks to our name.

That was when John became addicted to alcohol. He would drink every time he’d come home from a failed job interview. He would drink whenever I’d tell him that we need to buy something for the house. Once I try to take the bottle of liquor from him, he would yell at me and tell me his life got ruined when he married me. Sometimes, John would shout at our kids as well, and then we’d fight, and he would end up hitting me.

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How I Got Out

None of those incidents became known to my family for a while. I didn’t want to tell them because I was hoping the guy I married would come back. I would borrow money from my parents, but I could not say that John stopped trying to get a job a long time ago.

I only reached my breaking point when I came home one day and saw my eldest son underneath his bed, shaking, because his father hit him with a belt. In that instant, I packed as much as I could, went to my family’s house, and never looked back. The pain that my husband brought to me and my kids was beyond too much already.

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The Reality

After that incident, John somehow never bothered to call or ask us to come back. My sister helped me get a job in a hospital in Ohio, too. It was a bit far from my parents’ place, but I chose to relocate my children there so that they could forget the ordeal we had to go through as well.

I act tough on the outside and say that I have moved on from what happened 15 years ago, but the truth is that I still have nightmares from that day. I regret not leaving John when he hit me the first time. I regret choosing to lie to my family because I didn’t want to have a broken marriage. Most of all, I regret giving him a chance to traumatize my children like that.

It has been 15 years, but time has not healed all my wounds.…

What To Do When PTSD Comorbid With Anxiety

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Source: pexels.com

When you have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), it will not take too long to get diagnosed with anxiety as well. In truth, the latter is one of the significant symptoms of PTSD. I have heard of patients who cannot even open their windows in fear of someone watching their actions through that. Other individuals who have come from the war zone tend to jump whenever they hear a loud bang, regardless if it’s from a pot knocked off the counter or a book that actor smacked on the table on a TV show.

Life is undoubtedly tricky for people with post-traumatic stress disorder, especially when it comorbid with anxiety. The examples given above are still considered mild. In worst cases, there may be too many unrealistic ideas running through the patients’ mind, to the extent that they no longer know what’s real or not. That is when their behavior becomes erratic, and some even end up harming others before killing themselves.

Nevertheless, the fact that you are in this blog, reading this article, tells me that you don’t want yourself or a loved one with PTSD to have the same fate as those people mentioned above. Because of that, you should learn a few practical techniques to beat the manifestation of such mental illnesses.

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  1. Take A Deep Breath

The first thing to realize is that panic attacks occur when you are dealing with anxiety. It typically means that you lose control of yourself and even forget your ability to breathe. Before it happens again, therefore, you need to teach yourself to take deep breaths to make sure that your brain and lungs get a steady supply of oxygen. That may allow you to think more clearly and realize that your fears are all in mind.

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  1. Try Meditating

Meditation is always recommended for anyone who has mental health issues. The reason is that the diseases target your brain and rob you of your cognitive skills. Even if your eyes can see the reality, to be specific, your mind cannot process that. Feel free to try different meditating techniques until you find the most suitable one for you.

  1. Keep Tabs On Yourself

It does not hurt to maintain a record book or chart that will help you to monitor your condition. It can be a daily log of the symptoms you have experienced, what you have done to overcome them, or how you have prevented a panic attack from coming. Keeping tabs on yourself this way gives you an actual idea of what’s happening with you.

  1. Don’t Stay Alone For A Long Period

Considering your friends or family members offer to stay with you throughout this ordeal, you should let them do that. Now is not the time to act too proud, as if you don’t need help. It is not good to be too shy either and think that you may get in their way. These people will not be offering to keep you company if you are a burden to them. Besides, it matters for you to have others to depend on now because you can’t trust your brain right now.

In The End

There is no cure for PTSD or anxiety. It may not be easy to detach yourself from either or both at once as well, especially if you have been living with the mental illnesses for years. However, if you are determined to beat them, who’s to say that you cannot do that in the long run?

Good luck!…

Therapist Explains Complex PTSD

I think you already know what PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder is. It is a mental health condition that a lot of people developed after witnessing or experiencing any life-threatening, dangerous, or scary event. Anxiety and depression become extreme with it too. There are cases that an individual who experiences it also endures panic attacks and flashbacks as well. There are quite a few physical reactions, too, such as muscle tension, sweating, and increased heart rate. But, how about complex PTSD? What is it, and how does a therapist differentiate it from the usual PTSD we know?

A lot of us may question what exactly PTSD brings in our lives. Well, no one can genuinely capture the severity of its psychological harm, not unless there is a repeated and prolonged trauma that occurs. However, what most of us did not know is that post-traumatic stress disorder can also come from a single terrible life event that happens repeatedly. Yes, the existence of the condition does not have to develop from multiple stressful or depressing situations. It can be a specific moment where the psychological and emotional aspects get damaged severely. It is where when someone experience being scared, worried, and helpless all at the same time, in one particular event that gets prolonged.…

Recent Developments In The Psychological Treatment Of PTSD

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a psychological condition and illness that results from experiencing first hand, or vicariously, a traumatic event. War survivors, veterans, and victims of crime are those usually inflicted with PTSD. At present, there are two established and effective psychological therapies patients suffering from the illness can undergo: trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy, and eye movement desensitization. Scientists, psychologists, and doctors are further exploring new ways to treat the disorder as it is debilitating to a patient’s way of life.…

The 2016 Baltimore International Meeting For Research

Attending meetings and conferences are essential if you want to become better in your chosen career or profession. It is necessary that you learn how to interact with others, especially those who belong to the same professional field as you are so that you can gain a better understanding of how to do your job well. One of the meaningful events that I attend was the 2016 Baltimore International Meeting For Research.

 

 

I can clearly remember how surprised I was when I found out that I have been invited to attend an international meeting. At first, I was hesitant to travel to Baltimore for the said conference. I felt that I was not ready to face other researchers and colleagues whom I believe have better experiences and skills than I do. However, things turned out to be amazing during the said meeting. I gained new friends who helped me to advance my career. At the same time, I also learned new lessons and skills about my usual work.

 

I am sharing this to everyone to encourage each one of you to take a leap and avoid missing chances. When you are given an opportunity to travel abroad or attend a significant event that has something to do with your profession, then make sure to grab it. Always remember that life is not all about easy decisions but also risky choices. Take note that life is so much better if you learn how to love your job and accept the obligations or responsibilities that come with it.

 

 

At the same time, do not forget to be friendly and kind to everyone you meet during the conferences, meetings, and events that you attend. You will be surprised by how great attitude can help you build your career from small to big. You have to trust me with this because attending the 2016 Baltimore International Meeting For Research changed my life. Learn how to connect with the right individuals!

 …

Learning About Mindfulness In The 2016 Virginia International Conference On Psychology Of Education

Both experts and laypeople flocked to the 2016 Virginia International Conference on Psychology of Education. Among the many topics and lectures held was one of mindfulness and its importance in our daily lives.

What Is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is a practice that’s been around for a long time. It’s a form of meditation as well as a way of life. Its roots trace back to Buddhism.

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To practice mindfulness meditation, sit down, breathe comfortably, and begin focusing on the present. Worry not about the past or the future. Focus on the now.  Ask yourself, “What am I feeling” or “How do I feel right now?” If any thoughts about the past or the future come up, inspect them for a while, but send them on their way after. Return to focusing on the present.

In your daily life, you can practice mindfulness by focusing on the actions you’re currently doing. Notice how your mind tends to wander while you’re doing mundane things? It happens, for example, when you’re walking or when you’re doing the dishes.

Why Is Mindfulness Important?

Being mindful is not letting your thoughts wander about, even while you’re doing mundane activities. Doing this can help you reduce stress as well as appreciate the present. There’s an emphasis on focusing on the now. By practicing this, you stop yourself from worrying. The things that happened in the past and whatever will happen in the future no longer bother you as they did before.

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If you practice mindfulness regularly, it can improve your well-being and mental health. This technique maintains your stress levels and helps you appreciate the present more. Given this, your mental health and well-being are sure to improve. You’ll find yourself less anxious and more confident about what you’re doing.

By bettering your well-being and the state of your mental health, your physical health will also improve. Mindfulness is also known to lower blood pressure, help in treating heart diseases, and reduce chronic pain.

These are only some of the insights from the 2016 Virginia International Conference on Psychology of Education. Hope to see you next time.

Tips For Managing PTSD In The Family

Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a big problem for many. It becomes a hindrance to your everyday activities. It affects your personal development and in some cases your relationships. In the family, you may have had a father who was a soldier in the past or a brother who may have suffered a traumatic car accident. It pains to see your loved one have PTSD, but it is manageable. Here are five ways to help you hold PTSD in the family.…