Thoughts on Depression and C-PTSD from emotional Abuse

Depression can make you feel like staying in bed and not interacting with other people. You know that if you go out of the house, you will feel different and out of place.

Other people will not understand your inner world. You feel like you will be forced to put on a mask to fit in. It is difficult to function.

You get more and more internalized. So you self isolate, and limit your social interactions. This is understandable because certain kinds of interactions can be emotionally traumatizing.

You feel like the one person that is out of place in the world.  You sit alone and hear the thoughts that come up from your subconscious. Thoughts that there is something wrong with you.

Some of the feelings you get are from emotional flashbacks. There are things that happened and ways you were rejected during childhood that cause your subconscious to store these kinds of feelings.

If you can identify the false beliefs behind your thoughts, then the feelings can be sat with and calmed. You were not born feeling like you did not belong in the world. These thoughts were taught to you….even brainwashed into you.

When you have a feeling that is painful, like hopelessness…try to discover what core belief that thought is driven by. The belief might be that you are not as good as other people. .. Or that the world is unsafe.

If you are carrying the core belief that you are less adequate than other people…that is a bad programming. These things are programmed into children who do not have emotionally supportive childhoods.

Think back to your childhood and if you were made to feel insignificant, unworthy, unneccesary, or anything else negative. If your thoughts and feelings were dismissed, criticized, or made fun of then you are probably carrying CPTSD…complex post traumatic stress disorder.

People with C-PTSD often get depressed or feel extreme anxiety. You may have trouble keeping up with other people or feeling normal.

Those false core beliefs that were fed to you can be re-programmed. You need to question each one of those negative beliefs about yourself. Be like a scientist attempting to disprove a theory.

If you feel that something is wrong with you compared to other people, then ask what things are Right about you. Write them down. Engage in activities that prove you are as good or better at those activities, than other people are.

Look at the qualities of your parents and whomever fed those negative, false beliefs to you, about yourself. What kind of people are they?

Would you consider those people reliable critics? Did tbey have any agenda in which lowering your power would have helped them?

If those people told you something bad about the character of a person you love right now….would you believe their opinion without question? Or is their opinion not reliable?

You can begin to go out and interact with people in small increments. Go over your present state of mind, before you go out…and before you leave your car. You can just sit in your car for a few minutes and listen to music that calms or peps up your nervous system.

How you feel when you interact with others is based on the current state of your nervous system, how much sleep you have had, your mental state, and your blood sugar.

You can think of those categories and assess each of them, before you go into a store or any other place. Then you will feel more in touch with yourself and have some ways to help yourself.

If you are interested in learning. NLP State Management techniques, you can send me a message via my web site

Gentlekindnesscoaching.com

For information about C-PTSD and how emotional abuse causes depression and anxiety disorders, join us at the gentlekindness facebook page.

You are special. Your gifts and personality are an important part of the puzzle of humanity. You are connected with all living things in an important way.

You matter. You have a unique voice that other people need to hear. You have special characteristics that someone really needs right now.

You have innate value.

Namaste,

Annie. Gentlekindnesscoaching.com

Gentlekindness facebook page

Annie Mimi Hall youtube channel

Life Coaching for People with C-PTSD, PTSD, and Anxiety Disorders

I have cringed watching videos with Life Coaches who yell and are very aggressive with their clients. They are trying to shove them to where they “should be” and push them with covertly  shaming tactics to into their future.

I do understand that most life coaches are trained to be future -oriented with their clients. This is what they learned from their trainers and mentors. Maybe it even works for some people….but not for people with C-PTSD from a background of abuse or trauma.

I understand that it is not the job of the life coach to diagnose mental illness or to identify past trauma in their client….but you cannot minimize or ignore someone’s trauma either.

Many of these loud aggressive methods border on bullying the client. Someone who has already been mistreated by their family, manipulated, or has gone through some kind of trauma, cannot tolerate this kind of “help” from a life coach.

It will further traumatize the client. So if you are a life coach, make sure you do a proper intake assessment of your clients. If it is clear that your approach and methodologies are not a good “fit” for the person, then refer them to a different life coach…one who specializes in helping clients with C-PTSD or PTSD.

If you are looking for a life coach and you have C-PTSD, or PTSD, you need to interview the potential coaches and be sure you feel comfortable wit them, and that their methods will not re-traumatize or trigger your PTSD.F

Find someone who is sensitive to your needs and can be flexible with their techniques and methodologies, to individualize their sessions to benefit you…not re-traumatize you. 

If you are interested in life coaching which specialized in clients with PTSD, C-PTSD and mental illness, feel free to stop by my web site.

gentlekindnesscoaching.com

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Blessings.

Namaste,

Annie -gentlekindnesscoaching.com

 

Emotophobia

Emotophobia is the fear of unpleasant emotions, not to be confused with emetophobia, the fear of vomiting.

There is little online about emotophobia.

The few articles I found offered the suggestion to “stop treating negative emotions as if they are your enemies and can harm you.”

This is somewhat condescending and implies that emotions themselves cannot harm you.

The person offering this advice clearly has never been in a situation where showing negative emotions could harm them.

So, they think it is rather ridiculous that someone would associate their negative emotions with danger.

The problem with this thinking is that there are situations where someone’s emotions can cause them harm.

This advise shows a complete misunderstanding of emotophobia and its root causes.

People with emotophobia are not “treating” emotions as if they are the enemy.

For people that have emotophobia, emotions were the enemy and they were followed by consequences.

People that grew up in mentally abusive childhoods were not permitted to have emotions like other people are.

The expression of emotion, which represents being an individual, is often punished by abusive parents.

Even children who were not physically abused, could have had their right to individual ideas and feelings violated.

Narcissistic parents and other overbearing, maniplulative parents do not want their children to develop independent thoughts and ideas.

They do not want their children thinking in terms of their own needs at all. When their children expressed feelings, the abusive parents retaliated. If the child thinks independently and can express their feelings then it might threaten the narcissistic parent. 

The narcissistic parent wants to create a false narrative about the family. It is the vision of the family that is portrayed to the outside world. Everyone in the family has to back this story up. 

Children are not allowed to talk about abuse that occurs in the home. The narcissist re-frames the abuse to the mind of the child. The child is taught to believe the shared psychosis of the family, created by the narcissist. 

Punishments are inflicted on a child who goes against the narcissistic parent in any way. These can be emotional or physical in nature. 

Everyone in the house is trained to cater to the narcissist. Everyone knows that there are consequences for disobedience. The family members are made into a kind cult that follows the lead of the narcissist. 

These mentally abusive parents, want the focus on themselves. The needs and feelings of the others in the family do not matter.

They demand for the child to cater to their ever changing desires and demands. The narcissist will set rules and then change them when they feel like it. 

The children are expected to follow the rules, even when the parent has not informed them of changes. It is like playing a game with someone who changed the rules randomly and does not tell you. 

In order to survive in this type of environment, the child must learn to constantly read the parent’s body language and tone of voice.

They must anticipate the desires and moods of the parent. If they fail to do so, it is met with negative consequences.

If the child expresses disagreement, or unhappiness with a narcissistic parent, they will likely incur the anger and wrath of the parent.

The smallest indication of disagreement  with the parent can bring out their anger.

For their own protection, these children and teenagers learn to disguise their feelings and push them down.

They do not want the parent to see their feelings because it will be used against them.

If you grew up in this type of environment, then feeling negative emotions was the enemy. It is not something we have suddenly developed an irrational fear of as adults.

This environment causes C-PTSD, which is Complex Post Traumatic Stess Disorder, in many people. This is carried over into adulthood.

So, the advice to “stop treating emotions as if they were the enemy” and to tell people that feeling emotions is safe, does not make sense to someone with C-PTSD from childhood mental abuse.

Adults can also develop emotophobia from ongoing abusive relationships with a partner. Women become afraid to disagree with their partner because they fear the consequences of his anger.

Abusive people do not tolerate their partner exercising their personal rights, or expressing opinions that are different from them.

Again, the brain rewires the neural connections to avoid showing negative feelings. This is a necessary survival tactic at the time.

It is not easily undone. The brain considers it necessary in order to protect the safety of the person.

It takes years to develop this survival tactic and to learn how to detach from one’s own emotions.  The brain becomes wired to avoid entering into situations that may cause negative emotions.

To undo what was a learned survival skill takes a lot of work in re-wiring the brain.

Telling someone “emotions are your friends” does not work, especially without any idea why the person feels such anxiety about emotions like anger and sadness.

The only people who really understand what it feels like to have severe anxiety about showing anger, and sadness to others are those of us that are carrying the C-PTSD that causes it.

This is not a simple problem to just fix. You have to re-wire your programming. You have to learn that it is okay for someone else to be upset with us when we say “no.”

You need to learn how to identify what you want and what decisions will support you in a healthy way.  It is okay if other people do not agree with your choices. 

It takes practice to be able to stand your ground about things without fear of the consequences making you comply with others even when it is hurtful to you.

 

Adult Children of Narcissistic Parents

Low self esteem.

Lack of being able to self generate feelings of self worth.

Fear of doing things that make other people upset, angry or disappointed.

Difficulty prioritizing oneself.

Trouble feeling motivated to get ahead in life. 

These are some of the symptoms of C-PTSD from growing up with a narcissistic parent. Your subconscious brain is programmed very early about your identity, and  your role in the family and your place in the world. 

Associations are deep in the subconscious.

If you do not comply with the other person, there will be consequences to pay. If you cause someone to become upset , you will pay dearly. 

People from more health families learn to look out for themselves. You learned that in order to protect yourself, you have to look out for others. 

People from functional families were taught to be in touch with their own feelings and to love themselves.

 If you were the child of a narcissist, you were taught to defend against the wrath f the narcissist by not expressing your own feelings. Eventually you began to have trouble identifying what you want at all. 

As an adult this wiring in your brain keeps you from taking care of yourself properly.

You still have that hyper-vigilance that there is a threat of danger when someone near you is not getting their way. 

You may have a fear of being abandoned by the people you love, if you consider your own needs to be equal to theirs. The longer you cater to the desires of other people, in a relationship, the more they come to expect that treatment from you. 

People around you can become conditioned to expect you to always agree, always go along with them, and never challenge them. 

One of the many problems of this “people pleaser” behavior is that it attracts narcissists and predators. Narcissists and psychopaths want easy prey or at least a victim that had obvious emotional wounds that they can use to use against you. 

If you have never practiced standing up for yourself, then you have no idea how to do this, and you fear the consequences of doing so. What would happen to your relationships if you said “no” to someone? 

What would happen to your world of you began to prioritize your own needs? What consequences would follow if you believed that your needs and ideas were just as valuable as those of the people in your life?

Well, you can see the people in the world who are not afraid to say “no.” You interact with them all the time. They say “no” to you all the time. These people are not all in the same category. 

There are people who do what they want all the time. They never let people cross their boundaries. In fact, they cross over into your world and stomp all over your rights and invade your boundaries all the time. 

These are the narcissists. You may have a fear of becoming like that. You do not want to become the parent that emotionally abused you. The very person that caused much of your difficulty in getting what you want out of life. 

But there is another category of people who stand up for themselves. These are people that have healthy boundaries but still respect the rights of other people. They do not exploit and manipulate others. 

They express their feelings and let people know what they want. They go after the things they want out of life and they consider their personal dreams, desires and emotions to be a high priority. 

 These are not narcissists. They do not use aggressive, emotionally manipulative communication. They do not covertly try to get emotional reactions from you, in order to exploit and control you. 

There is a line between assertive and aggressive. You are being assertive when you express what you do and do not want.

You are being aggressive when you make it clear that you do not care what the other person wants. You undermine, lie to, and gaslight people to get your way. 

Being assertive and having healthy boundaries does not have to injure other people.

You are not a bad person for looking out for yourself.

You are not a narcissist if you care about your own feelings and needs. You are a normal human being. 

I will write about this topic again in the future. Please leave comments below about a specific question or particular problem that you have.

Give me some ideas about problems of having C-PTSD  (complex PTSD) that you are dealing with. 

I want to hear from adult children of narcissistic parents. Also from anyone that grew up under the heavy cloud of a narcissist in some capacity. It is not always a parent. 

Also, if you feel that your ability to move forward and get momentum in life has been affected by narcissistic abuse, either during childhood or as an adult, please leave me any ideas about questions I can address in a future post. 

 

 

 

Thanksgiving Blog Meet-Up for My Followers

I am thinking of doing something on the holidays,  here on the blog, for people who find the holidays difficult.

There are many people who read my blog who need some extra support to get through the holidays.

I have seen other bloggers do blog parties where people connect through their blog throughout the day. I was thinking of a “holiday connection day” kind of idea…not so much a party but more like a get-together.

I have nevet done this kind of thing before so if you have any ideas let me know in the comments below.

I want people to have somewhere to connect with me and with each other, in order to be able to talk to other people who understand how difficult the holidays can be.

 

 

 

 

 

Avoidant Personality Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder Similarities

Avoidant Personality Disorder

 “afflicting persons when they display a pervasive pattern of social inhibition, feelings of inadequacy, extreme sensitivity to negative evaluation”  Wikipedia

This part of avoidant personality is associated with social anxiety disorder. Many people that have APD also have social anxiety disorder. There are feelings of fear of being embarrassed and “not fitting in” due to inability to understand and respond correctly to social cues.

So, some people with APD will avoid social situations in order not to feel the extreme anxiety associated with certain types of social interaction. Different people are different about what kinds of social situations trigger their anxiety. Some people with social anxiety disorder, like myself, are very good at one on one interactions, even if they are with strangers.

Avoidant Personality Disorder causes avoidance of more things than just social interaction. Also some people with APD are not afraid of social situations at all. It is other things that provoke anxiety attacks.

APD will cause people to have anxiety attacks related to things that are threatening to them. Anything that makes them feel powerless, inadequate and unable to handle the task, will be avoided. The problem that occurs is that avoiding things that need to get done will sometimes cause more problems for the APD sufferer.

These are things that end up happening, when someone with APD avoids doing things that are important to get done.

1. Fear of opening envelopes that may contain bills, notifications from insurance, Notifications from authorities, etc.

Bills become delinquent. Fees are added on and make the bills higher. Credit is adversely affected. Accounts are closed. Business relations are injured.

More anxiety is created because these things are the very things that the person was afraid of coming true in the first place. They do not want to see money they owe that they cannot afford to pay. They do not want to feel scolded by whatever it says inside the envelope.

2, Avoiding answering and making phone calls.

There can be an extreme phobic fear of making answering the phone. There is a fear of having a panic attack, if you answer the phone. You miss getting certain information that may be about things you need to take care of’

Making phone calls can be impossible. People with social anxiety disorder do not feel that they know how to handle conversations on the phone. Again, different people are different and will avoid different kinds of calls.

Some people become incapacitated to make any phone calls at all. Email can be a good coping skill for this. I often use email and text to interact with family members and certain other people. I am perfectly comfortable talking to my best friend / boyfriend on the phone. I always answer the phone when I see it is him. So for me, it is not a fear of the phone, but a fear of being dominated by people who are aggressive or more assertive than myself.

I wrote a post about being assertive for the kindness blog. I was researching this topic in order to help myself to become better with this. I am currently working on improving assertiveness skills. I have trouble remembering what I want to say and how to say it, once someone become very dominating in the conversation.

I want to get to the point where I can keep my thoughts together in order to stand up for myself. especially if I am being accused of anything, or if the person is doing something that violates my rights. If you are struggling with the same things then this post may be helpful to you.

3. Avoiding dealing with bills and credit companies. Over time the avoidance makes situations worse and the anxiety continues. The longer things go unattended , the longer the anxiety continues and increases. This makes it harder and harder to take any action.

The first thing that happens is that we are alerted to a problem that requires action on our part. The net thing that happens is that our brains go into a mental anxiety loop. Obsessive running thoughts are so severe when we think about taking action, that we become paralyzed to do anything. We put it off, in order to reduce the feeling id anxiety, self criticism. inadequacy, worthlessness and depression.

Anxiety and depression go hand in hand with both Avoidant Personality Disorder and Social Anxiety disorder. We know that other people can do these things much better and easier than we can. We are aware that something is wrong with us, that we cannot take care of ourselves the way other people can take care of themselves

3. Lack of Self Care.

In the end there is a lack of taking care of yourself, when you have these disorders. Other people take care of things that need to be taken care of  They have learned how to “parent themselves” better than we have.

Mostly these kinds of disorders come out of abuse and trauma in our pasts. Most likely our childhood lacked the proper support and guidance to learn how to “parent ourselves” as adults

Somehow we need to learn how to prioritize ourselves and our needs that have to be taken care of. Survivors of abuse can often fall into prioritizing the needs of others to the point of neglecting our own needs.

One of our needs is to learn how to parent ourselves, stand up for ourselves. We need to learn how to feel deserving of things to go in out favor. Being assertive and taking care of things, that invove dealing with other people is a skill. It is a skill we have trouble with but that needs to be tended to.

These mental disorders are associated with real neurological differences between our brains and the brains of other people. These changes occurred over time, from repetitive behaviors. We may have developed behaviors as a child, that were needed to survive.

Once behaviors are repeated over and over, they become wired into our brains, To override the feeling of anxiety at making a phone call, we have to change our behavior slowly over time. Find ways to be able to make that call, even if it means having a friend hold your hand while you make the call yourself.

We can rewire our brains. I am still learning how but I believe it can be done.

But in the mean time, I am writing this, instead of working on the taxes.

Ok. I am getting back to that now

Annie

and avoidance of social interaction.[2] Individuals afflicted with the disorder tend to describe themselves as ill at ease, anxious, lonely, and generally feel unwanted and isolated from others.[3]

People with avoidant personality disorder often consider themselves to be socially inept or personally unappealing and avoid social interaction for fear of being ridiculed, humiliated, rejected, or disliked. Avoidant personality disorder is usually first noticed in early adulthood. Childhood emotional neglect and peer group rejection are both associated with an increased risk for the development of AvPD.[4]

Making Changes for Better Brain Function in Avoidant Personality Disorder and Severe Anxiety

Avoidant Personality disorder comes out of a severe fear and anxiety of the consequences. There is a projection into the future of self destruction or of being destroyed by others.

We avoid doing things that other people just do without thinking so much about them. With avoidant personality disorder there is obsessive thinking.

These fearful obsessive thoughts run through the mind around and around. Pictures of horrible things that will happen to us in the future, dominate our entire brain. They override logical thinking and reduce our ability to function properly.

One of the things that makes avoidant personality symptoms worse, is walking through life in autopilot. If we do the same things over and over it is bad our brains.

If we just go through the motions of repetitive tasks and then get up an repeat the same patterns again the next day, we are shutting down the parts of our brain, that we need to be rational.

All parts of the brain cannot be active at the same time. If the fear centers are on overload, then the rational functional parts of the brain is reduced. If we do not use the creativity and ingenuity that we have, then those skills become weaker.

We need to make changes in our behaviors. Not necessarily dramatic changes, but tiny little changes. Just do something that is different during your day.

Read something new, take a different route to work. eat somewhere different, research something new. Anything that we like, but we do not usually make time for.

If we create variation each day, then our brain will learn that it is needed for learning and problem solving. Once the brain begins to work better, then we can approach the tasks that we always avoid, with a new perspective.

Perception and perspective is everything. If we can see situation from a completely different point of view, it will force our brains to wake up. Our ability to deal with problems and complex situations will become higher.

Namaste

Annie

Comparing Ourselves to Others…Shame, abuse, mental illness

This was my response to one of the comments I got on a post. I will not say which person commented but they can feel free to comment here if they want to do so. The reason I am posting this, is because I feel that the concern they had was one I have heard many times from people with mental illness, abuse and psychological injury. 

People who have mental pain, have trouble in day to day situations, where other people seem to float right through. Everyone around us seems to have a better handle on just getting through life, than we do. It is so easy to become discouraged by watching other people do things that we either cannot do, or cannot do without mental anguish.

I wanted this reader and all of you, to understand that we are not being fair to ourselves when we compare ourselves to other people. If we are comparing ourselves to someone who has no mental suffering , then how is that comparison fair to us? 

This was my response to a comment that talked about feeling shame, and comparing ourselves to  other people.

People are good at things that they have had the background, the support, and the early wiring to be good at. Even the things we learn when we are older, are easier to learn if we were wired properly when we were growing up.

A lot of the people you are comparing yourself to had parents that helped them to follow the normal development stages and they also had the mental stability to process all of the stages properly, in order for the neurons in their brains to be set up to do these things.

There are chemicals involved in every process we do. The chemicals in our brains are dominating our feelings and our feelings affect how well we can do things. We have behavioral patterns and they are also linked to the organic connections (neurons and chemicals) in our brains.

If there is any trauma, abuse, neglect during childhood / teenage hood, we can end up with things that are not wired properly. We also end up with the chemicals sending the wrong signals and we feel depression, anxiety and worthlessness about ourselves.

Your feelings of not being as good as other people are conditioned behavioral patterns of your brain. Past trauma, abuse or neglect may have caused these patterns. Your inability to things that other people do, may be related to feeling inadequate to do them, feeling depressed, anxiety etc. This is not your fault that you have these chemical, neurological responses to doing things.

If you feel anxiety about something and someone else does not feel that, then of course they will be able to do that thing, better and more easily than you can. It is not fair to yourself to compare your brain on depression or anxiety with their brain that is functioning perfectly well. It does not mean that you can never learn to do it, but it means that it is much harder for you to do things, than it is for them.

When we have mental illness issues, it is more fair to us, if we so not compare ourselves directly with people who do not have any mental illness or trauma in their background. I have recently come to believe this is true

I spent many years wondering why I felt so inadequate to everyone and why I felt so out of place. I had so much trauma in my back ground that I could not keep up with the people that had brains that functioned normally. It was not that I was not as smart, but it was because my brain was and is so traumatized.

I am learning that we have to be kind to ourselves. In order to be kind to ourselves, we have to understand and feel compassion for the fact that trauma, abuse, neglect, depression, anxiety and any other mental issues, does cause us some disability. We cannot always compete with the other people.

We can learn to heal and to slowly rewire our brains. But mostly we have to talk to ourselves like we would talk to someone else that we knew was having trouble feeling as good as everyone else. You are as good as everyone else, whether you can do everything they can do or not.

We all have gifts and are good at things. You might be good at something that those other people suck at. I bet you are better are being compassionate for another human that feels depressed and worthless. The ability to be compassionate is not a gift that a lot of people have. Compassion is a lost art these days. People who have mental suffering can often also be compassionate to others who have depression and anxiety. That makes you better than them at something.

You are also probably better are being introspective and analyzing things.  Many people  just go with the flow of what everyone else is doing and they do not think for themselves. If you can think for yourself then you are better at that too.

I think that we are just better at different things than most people are. There is room for us in the world too. The world cannot be ok, of all of the people just follow the crowd and are all good at the same things.

I hope this helps a little. You are a unique, independent person that can think, care and love. That makes you special and no one is better than you.
Blessings,
Annie

Once we begin to forgive ourselves for how we are, then it gets easier to live with ourselves. People with psychological trauma usually end up with some kind of post traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, OCD or other mental disorder. These disorders can be permanent , because the trauma never goes away. But we can learn to shoq kindness to ourselves.

We can learn to be functional, compassionate people. There are plenty of things we can be good at. If we cannot answer the phones for a job, because we have social anxiety then so be it.  If we cannot work at certain types of jobs because we are constantly triggered onto post traumatic stress there, then so be it.

A person with an eating disorder may not be able to work in a bakery. Well if they cannot do that, it does not make them less than anyone else. It just means that they cannot do that activity safely  because of their disorder. Someone who has a phobia of open spaces cannot work in the mall. So, what of it?

We are ok the way we are. We are trying to heal. We are trying to connect with others. If there are things we cannot do, then so be it. It is not because we are less than anyone else. They did not grow up, or have the adult past that we have had. Someone else may not have survived your situations as well as you did. How do they know what it is like in your world?

We all need a break from feeling shame, inadequacy, and worthlessness. We need to show ourselves some kindness and compassion in our thoughts about ourselves. We are doing the best we can with what we have to work with. We have to work with our brains being the way they are, right at this very minute.

Blessings to all,

Annie

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