Are Flashbacks Just Memories?

If you have PTSD you are aware of how frightening, and mentally upsetting that flashbacks can be. They can occur when there is a trigger than reminds you about the original trauma. 

I have heard from more than one person lately that their therapists are minimizing their experience with flashbacks. Therapists are not all trained in basic neurology, although in my opinion they should be. Understanding how the brain processes memories, and what happens to that process during a traumatic event, is important to the understanding of .

This is a response I left for another blogger who had this experience with a therapist. I have had clients of mine say very similar things about their therapist not understanding about flashbacks. Sometimes people are told that flashbacks are “just memories” and that it is not that bad.

Many mental health professional are compassionate. Some psychiatrists and therapists are also educated in neurology, but there are some that do not understand about flashbacks and what happens in the brain to cause flashbacks.

I have heard stories from my clients about  being traumatized in therapy. Survivors of narcissistic abuse need someone to validate their reality. There are therapists than end up re-traumatizing their clients by invalidating their reality when it comes to flashbacks and also the effect of gaslighting and mental abuse on the victim.

Most importantly, compassion for the client is necessary. You cannot treat someone and help them, if you are going to invalidate their experiences and their reality. Meeting someone where they are …mentally and emotionally…is showing your humanity. 

If you ever feel worse leaving a therapy appointment than when you went in, then something is wrong. If you feel invalidated, minimized, or criticized for things you feel and say, then you need to ask for another therapist.

They are being paid to help you heal and be whole again. So if you feel that your therapist is not a good match for you and your trauma, then it is okay to search for another therapist that understands PTSD, C-PTSD , surviving abuse, or the type of trauma that caused your post traumatic stress.

It is very important that you can express your thoughts and feelings. If you experienced abuse as an adult, or emotional / mental abuse growing up, then you have had years of not being believed and not having your reality validated. 

Here is my message to all of the clients I have helped with this issue. 

Flashbacks are most certainly different than memories. She was minimizing your pain and invalidating your reality. I do not know if she is just ignorant about the neurology of flashbacks or if she was intentionally minimizing you.

At least 10 percent of therapists and mental health professionals are pathological narcissists, because they like to be in that position of power of people’s heads and also it makes them seem believable when they call their partner mentally ill when they claim abuse. You need to be aware of this, and be proactive to protect your own mental health. 

Flashbacks are memories that have not been integrated properly by the brain. During trauma, the brain and body are flooded with high levels of adrenaline and cortisol. High levels of cortisol, especially when it is on an on-going basis, interfere with the hippocampus part of the brain. This is the part that is in charge of filing memories into the correct place.

When the cortisol interferes with the hippocampus, the memories of trauma are not filed into the past, like they should be, They are not processed as memories filed into the long term memory. So those memories are left lingering in the brain, without being put into the right box.

So the traumatic experience, and sensory images and feelings from that trauma, are non-integrated…they are fractured parts of you . This is why when something triggers the memory….like an object, a place, a smell, a sound, etc…the brain brings back the memory of the trauma as if it is really happening to you…in the present….rather than the past.

The adrenaline and the cortisol kick in , just like in the original trauma, and you feel like you are there in the trauma again. The brain cannot tell the difference between the event being in the past or in the present, because it was not able to file the memory into the right place in the brain, ‘

I think therapists should have to have some basic neurology education. Then they would at least understand that flashbacks are not just memories….I am sorry she acted this way to you. It is re-traumatizing when therapists do this to their clients.

Sending you healing and compassion.
Annie ❤

PTSD Re-traumatization and Self Isolation

PTSD is a term most people have heard, but often they do not really know what it means.

If you tell someone you have PTSD, it may be hard for them to know what you mean by that, unless they have it themselves or maybe they have a close friend or family member with it.

People with PTSD have trouble with relationships, but not for the reasons people think.

Once you have been traumatized, and then re-traumatized by triggering situations, you feel generally unsafe and there is a natural tendency to want to retreat…back up your steps and run for cover.

People with PTSD can be re-traumatized by people who do not understand, and by people who are more concerned with their own agenda than really understanding.

When someone with PTSD has certain triggers, and explains those triggers to someone, it is important that they are validated and respected. If someone wants to care about a loved one with PTSD, they need to really listen to that person, when they talk about what triggers them. 

*A person that intentionally uses your triggers against you is dangerous to your mental well being. 

But then there are people who just don’t want to listen to or respect your boundaries. Your perceptions are not of an significance to them. 

Everyone has personal boundaries, but people with post traumatic stress disorder can suffer severe re-traumatization when a loved one does not honor their trigger boundaries.

Some triggers cannot be avoided, such as loud noises that may occur independently from either person. However, talking someone into going to a loud dance club, or guilting them into going to fireworks, when it has been made clear that loud noises are triggers, is abusive.

People who have PTSD from the military, and people who have PTSD from domestic abuse have different causes for their symptoms, but some things are the same.

The fight-or-flight mode is activated by the amygdala. If the brain perceives a threat, even if that threat is not real, the amygdala will send chemicals into the body like adrenaline and cortisol.

 The feeling in the body of a “perceived threat” and a real threat is exactly the same. The same physiological responses occur, including blood pressure elevation, and feeling of extreme fear and the feeling that you have to act right away.

Someone who had their jaw fractured by an abusive boyfriend, who suddenly stormed towards them in a fit of anger, may be triggered by someone coming quickly into their personal space, especially if that person is angry.

Once you have asked someone not to do certain things which trigger you, it is a terrible feeling when they still continue to do them. It feels very violating, and only serves to break the trust bond.

Relationships need to be based in trust. Intimate relationships, as well as friendships and family relationships have to feel safe. If one person does not feel safe, then there is a lack of understanding and a lack of trust.

Without both parties feeling safe, the relationship will break down. People with PTSD can find it difficult to trust again, after others have invalidated them about their symptoms.

Sometimes someone will disbelieve you, minimize your trauma, or accuse you of trying to manipulate them with your explanations about your trauma and your triggers. This is very painful and re-traumatizing.

People who have PTSD or C-PTSD from abuse were invalidated as part of the abuse process. Their emotions were minimized, disregarded and made fun of.

To have someone close to you minimize your PTSD, or disbelieve you is re-traumatizing. It gives  the victim into an emotional flashbacks or actual sensory flashbacks.

You can only tolerate being traumatized and re-traumatized so many times.

Soldiers that come back from war only to be disrespected by civilians, or invalidated and ignored by the Veterans Administration, are being re-traumatized.

It is a way of invalidating a person’s reality. This has negative effects on the person’s mental and emotional state.

People with PTSD can be perfectly good and caring partners and friends. They just need validation, respect and understanding.

But after repeated re-traumatization, a person feels isolated and too vulnerable to take a chance on trusting another person again. This leads to self isolation, depression, and often suicidal thoughts.

Evolutionary psychology tells us that our subconscious brain feels threatened by the potential that we would be completely isolated, shunned or thrown out of the social circle.

A Little Evolutionary Psychology

In the past, humans lived in social survival groups called tribes.  Being accepted and included by the tribe was critical for survival. Being shunned would have meant death !

Our primal brain  (called the reptilian brain) perceives rejection by the tribe to be potentially life threatening.  When we are feeling a similar kind of threat, it triggers the fight or flight response in our limbic system of the brain. The amygdala becomes active and send all kinds of alerts and chemicals into the body.

Technically, we could survive living alone and isolated these days, but we were not meant to live in isolation… especially isolation due to “mobbing” or “scapegoating” by the tribe.

This is one of the reasons that scapegoated family members, suffer such severe mental and emotional trauma.

People with PTSD need to feel that they will still be accepted by the Tribe (family, community…whatever applies to the situation…).

They need to know that their personal reality will be validated, even though it may be very different from that of other people. The experiences someone with PTSD has endured may seem strange to people that have not ever had that kind of trauma in their reality.

Isolation can cause death by suicide or “failure to thrive.”

Self isolation will almost always cause severe depression. But being re-traumatized is just as bad, and the brain will try to lead people away from that pain.

Our primal brains are designed to take us away from danger, or perceived danger….and towards pleasure. But the “away from danger” is the priority.

Re-exeriencing the feelings of danger, fight or flight chemicals and physiological responses, is not something that anyone could tolerate on a regular basis.

We were not built to feel in danger all the time. Being in a state of hyper-arousal all the time depleats the immune system and causes mental disorders.

People with PTSD need understanding and validation.

They need their loved ones to be sensitive to their triggers, and to pay attention to what the person asks and needs. 

Otherwise. the relationships cannot continue in a way that is safe for the PTSD sufferer. The person with PTSD will shut down and crawl inside of themselves. No healthy relationship can be sustained without safety for both people. 

 

PTSD – It’s Effect on the Immune System

If you have PTSD ,  you might find that you are having physical reactions to the stress and you are sick more often.  PTSD can cause a variety of problems that come from  interference with the normal functioning of your immune system.

The DNA in the group with PTSD showed a significant increase of a gene that made them more vulnerable to multiple types of sicknesses. One particular gene, called the unmethylated gene, was more abundant in PTSD patients than in non-PTSD patients.

This increase proved to drastically impact a person’s life. Their immune systems ultimately were compromised. Rochelle Oliver –  Psych Central . Article called Traumatic Experienced Weaken Immune System Gene

If you noticed that you became sick more often after going though traumatic ongoing abuse then it was not all in your head. Your immune system was compromised by the PTSD. 

Personally I ended up in the hospital and / or the ER  repeatedly after my abusive relationship. Soon after the relationship ended,  within a couple of weeks, I got a severe intestinal infection and I was admitted to the hospital after spending 4 hours in the Emergency Room to stabilize my blood pressure, which had gone down to 69 over 42. 

After that hospital stay I was week for a while and then got back on my feet again.  In another few weeks I had a relapse of the intestinal infection which was treated with another round of Cipro antibiotics.

The a few weeks later I began to feel very ill. I was afraid the intestinal infection had come back. I was vomiting this time, which had not occurred before. I had a fever and sweating. I was very sick and by the time I dragged myself to the ER I could hardly walk. 

They gave me a CT scan on the hospital and they determined that it was not an intestinal infection this time, but a severe kidney infection. The kidneys were filled with bacterial infection and if I had not gotten myself to the ER I could have died. 

The doctors did not understand how someone my age could get two unrelated infections so close together. The infections were in different organs and both of them were severe and life threatening. 

I suspected that my immune system might be crashing but I did not think the doctors would believe that PTSD was causing this, so I did not bother to say anything.

I decided to research this after I became better from the illnesses. It was a slow and painful road to healing.

We know that people with PTSD have higher rates of cardiovascular disease and arthritis, which are diseases associated chronic inflammation.  Steve Tokar  Article called “Men’s and Women’s Immune Systems Respond Differently to PTSD.

Men who return from combat zones end up with PTSD and a variety of physical illnesses. Research has been done and is still being done about the reasons for immune system crashing after a person experiences trauma.

“This is the first time that it’s been shown that men and women respond differently to PTSD on a very basic biological level.”   Lynn Pulliam, MS, PhD, chief of microbiology at SFVAMC and professor at UCSF.

People with PTSD are more likely to develop heart disease and other cardiovascular diseases. There is too much stress on the heart and on the entire biological state of the body.

“…research explains why people with PTSD have always been more susceptible to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, among many other disorders.”  Rochelle Oliver –  Psych Central

They also have an inflammatory response which causes an increased risk of early onset severe arthritis, which can eventually become debilitating. Arthritis is a painful condition which is caused by inflammation and eventual deterioration of the joints.

The brain of someone with PTSD has biological changes in the neural pathways and the way the  sympathetic nervous system handles stress.

The normal functioning of the system is damaged due to the “fight or flight mode” being activated for too long.  During a situation of threat and perceived danger, the sympathetic nervous system does its job to try to alert you.

THE AMYGDALA IS RESPONSIBLE FOR ACTIVATING THE ALERT SYSTEM DURING A THREATENING SITUATION. IT IS NOR DESIGNED TO BE TURNED ON FOR AN EXTENDED PERIOD OF TIME. 

“In individuals with PTSD, the HPA axis response is dysregulated. Individuals with PTSD have low circulating levels of cortisol.

In one study of motor vehicle accident victims, low cortisol levels immediately after the accident were associated with the development of PTSD and high cortisol levels were associated with the development of depression.”  Medscape article Gender Differences in PTSD

PTSD is a very real mental disorder and it can cause the sufferers to have a much lower quality of life.

It affects all aspects of a person’s life including social life, family life, work life and  romantic life. PTSD can interfere with a person’s ability to perform basic daily tasks and even to take care of their personal grooming and other needs.

PTSD is painful and frightening. The memories of the event linger and victims often have vividflashbacks. Frightened and traumatized, they are almost always on edge and the slightest of cues sends them hurtling back inside their protective shells.

Usually victims try to avoid people, objects, and situations that remind them of their hurtful experiences; this behavior is debilitating and prevents them from living their lives meaningfully. by  – Brain Blogger.com

PTSD CAN GREATLY LOWER THE QUALITY OF LIFE THAT THEY PERSON IS ABLE TO HAVE.

The reality that the immune system becomes compromised adds to the problems. The combination of mental illness and physical illnesses can cause the sufferer to lose all hope and feel that their life is worthless.

More research is being done about PTSD, and hopefully there will be more information about this disorder. If you suffer from PTSD, know that you are not alone and there is hope.

The best thing is to find someone to talk to about your feelings, who has a frame of reference to understand what you are going through.

Since PTSD is invisible, it is often difficult for people who have not experienced any kind of mental illness, to understand it.

YOU ARE A VALUABLE PERSON WHO HAS BEEN AFFLICTED WITH THIS DISORDER.

It is not through any fault of your own. It is easy to lose hope and to feel like self isolating. Being alone all the time can cause more problems with loneliness and depression.

If someone is triggering to your PTSD then try not to spend much time with them. In the mean time reach out and find a few people that you can talk to that validate your experiences and feelings. There is no reason to suffer alone.

If you cannot find anyone to communicate with, there are many people in the blogging world and support groups on the internet where you can find some support and relief.

Blessings for peace of mind.

Annie<3

Thanksgiving Meet-up on Gentlekindness Blog

turkey)

On Thursday  you are invited to connect with all of us here. Thanksgiving is the first of the holiday season and can trigger depression and anxiety in many people. Others are feeling lonely during the holidays.

If you are feeling alone or just want to connect, you can come here on Thanksgiving. I will create posts during the day that you can leave comments and also leave links to your own posts.

If you want to contribute a Guest Post , A Poem, or a Letter , feel free to do so. If you want me to post something for you, you can contact me at michelemimimish@gmail.com

If you have posts that you want to post the links to, you will see posts you can put them in the comments section of.

Artwork, poetry , details of what you are doing or how you are feeling are all welcome. Everyone is encouraged  to leave kind, thoughtful comments on anything that others leave.

 

Living with PTSD

It is a terrible thing to feel unsafe. Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome causes the sufferer to feel unsafe. The feeling of lack of safety is disabling. It creates mental torment and physical sensations of pain and discomfort.

Post traumatic stress disorder can be caused by different types of trauma. Anytime a person is put into a situation of being threatened for a prolonged period of time, they are in danger of damage to the their neurology.

People are not set up to endure a dangerous situation for extended periods of time. We are set up to be able to handle an immediate danger.

C-PTSD is a form of PTSD that happens when someone is exposed to feeling threatened on an on-going basis, for an extended period of time. PTSD is from a traumatic event or from a shorter period of trauma. The same physiological changes occur in the brain.

The amygdala is the part of the brain that kicks into high alert when we are in danger. This puts is into the fight or flight mode. Our brains and bodies are only designed to sustain this mode for a few minutes at a time.

Our body will gear up for a fight to the death, or to run as fast as we can to escape. Some people go into a state of frozen, incapacitating fear.

When people are in a prolonged dangerous situation like domestic violence, front military lines, living in a dangerous gang-type neighborhood, etc, they are forced to sustain the fight or flight level for way too long.

They are afraid to sleep at night because the danger is constant and they could be injured in their sleep.

This causes people to have sleep disorders later, even when they are no longer living in the threatening environment.

This causes the amygdala malfunction. It basically breaks and becomes overactive on a regular basis, It begins to respond to anything that triggers a memory of the original trauma,

Many people wake up the morning in post traumatic stress right away. For some reason the brain wakes up in trauma.

Things that remind the person’s brain of the original traumatic situation, will wake up the amygdala and send them into a terrified state of mind. They feel that they are in immediate danger. They feel threatened in such a frightening way that their body responds with blood pressure raising, nausea, headache and other symptoms, depending on the person.

People with PTSD live with the daily fear that they could relive the terrible feelings of trauma at any time. They develope a new reason for terror. The fear of the possibility of being sucked into the nightmare state is terrifying. They will do things to try to avoid being triggered.

Living with this terror every day is exhausting and disruptive to the person’s life. It gets worse and worse for the person’s mental health to continue to live in the fear of experiencing trauma.

It is critical that people with PTSD can talk to someone about their feelings and what it is like to live this way. It is difficult to find anyone to talk to who will really understand.

This Word Press network has members that suffer from PTSD  and severe anxiety. The more we communicate with each other about our feelings, the more we have the chance to feel validated. PTSD sufferers need to be heard. Our stories need to be told in a safe space.

God bless

Namaste

Annie

You are Not Your Mental Illness

you are not your mental illness

About 1 in 5 people in the U.S. and England suffer from some kind of mental disorder. Other European countries have similar statistics from about 27 percent to 30 percent.  Studies in South Africa say that over 30 percent of adults have suffered from some form of mental illness during their lifetime.

The statistics that have been gathered are similar is most countries with mental illness affecting about 1 in 4 to 1 in 6 people. This is based on information that has been able to be gathered but keep in mind that many people never seek treatment.

People have reasons for not seeking mental health diagnosis due to fear of stigma, lack of enough mental health facilities, lack of health insurance and other personal reasons that deter them.

A mental disorder does not mean you cannot function, keep a job, be a good parent, or that you are not as good as other people. Something is defined as a “disorder” when it interferes in your life in some way. This varies from person to person as to how your life may be affected.

Many people with a mental illness need medication in order to attain their best functionality and their best quality of life. Others are able to manage their mental illness with therapy or other intervention type treatments. Some people choose to use holistic or spiritual methods to deal with their mental illness.

There are many different mental disorders including depression, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and anxiety disorders such as PTSD and C-PTSD, Everyone is not born with mental illness and all mental illness does not have a genetic factor.

The brain can be affected by trauma and by abuse. Disorders such as PTSD and C-PTSD are caused by abuse or trauma. Other disorders like depression and severe anxiety disorders can have roots in abuse including emotional and mental abuse. There is also a high number of people with other disorders that also either had abuse during their childhood or domestic violence as adults.

Mental and emotional trauma can be caused by violence upon or around a person. It can be caused by being in a traumatic event or witnessing a traumatic event. Other things like living through a natural disaster, living in poverty, the loss of a child, wartime exposure, and many other things.

invisible illness

The brain creates associations related to what it has experienced. Associations in the brain can cause emotional responses that arise from connections in the neural pathways. Different parts of the brain are affected by different mental illnesses. These can be seen in CT scans which were done to study the brains of people with bipolar. depression, OCD and other mental disorders.

If you or a loved one suffers from mental illness you are not alone. With the percentage of mental disorders being around 30 percent most people have friends, family members or loved ones that have a mental disorder of some kind. You may not know about mental illness in all of your friends or family because some people keep it a secret from others.

Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. The stigma about mental illness makes the problem worse by causing people to fear seeking help or to talk to anyone about it.

You are not your mental illness. Neither is your friend or family member. People with mental illness are not usually dangerous. There are only a few mental illnesses that predispose people to violence. Most people with mental illness are suffering within themselves and not causing harm to others at all.

Suicide rates are high in every country. There many death related to suicide and the feelings of hopelessness, shame, guilt , fear and worthlessness that people live with. People who suffer from mental illness are not all the same. People are people and they are all individuals.

Please do not see yourself as your diagnosis or as a label. You are unique and no one is just like you. Each person was born with value and worth that is innate. If you suffer from mental illness you should not have to feel shame about it. You just have an illness that is just as real as any physical illness.

People with physical diseases and illnesses are more likely to be recognized and less likely to be judged as a person, in regards to their diagnosis. Just because mental illness is invisible does not make it any less real or the suffering any less.

Affirmations for Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, C-PTSD, and Abuse Recovery

Affirmations for you to say to yourself…in this order …some of them repeat on purpose..

Draw in a breath and exhale the breath as you are saying the affirmation…

…pause for about 3 seconds after each one

I am strong

I matter

My ideas are worth listening to

My feelings matter

I have the right to feel what it is that I feel

I have the right to stay away from toxic people

I am worthy

I am calm

I am confident

I can create 

I am kind

I am beautiful

I matter

I have the right to feel what it is that I feel

I have the right to protect myself from abusive people

I am unique in the world

I am calm

I am confident

I feel things deeply

I have the right not to respond to abusive people

I do not have to do what other people want me to do, if it will hurt me

I matter

I am calm

I am confident

I have the right to feel what it is that I feel

I am

I have the right to be here, the same as anyone else

I have the right to feel safe

I am intelligent

I am strong

I am calm

Blogging About Mental Illness

Blog About Mental Illness

Blog to learn and inform

Blog to create awareness

Blog to fight stigma

Blog to create connection

Blog to be heard

Blog to listen to others

Blog to grow and heal

Blog to survive and thrive!

Mental Crisis and Suicidal Thoughts

What is mental crisis?

How do you know you are in one?

How can someone else know you are in one?

A mental crisis is when you wonder “am I in a mental crisis?”

You know you are in one because you were googling “mental crisis” or you searched “mental health crisis” until you ended up reading this post

You know you are in a mental crisis when you begin trying to think of reasons to live for

You know you are in a mental crisis when you can no longer do things that you used to do easily, because of your feelings of severe depression

You know you are in a mental crisis when you just sit and cry because the pain is so great

You know you are in a mental crisis when you are struggling to find any light at the end of this darkness

Someone else cannot tell you are in a mental crisis

This is the frightening part

Even when we try to communicate to someone, like our best friend, that we are in a mental crisis, they do not always understand

Why is it hard to communicate the fact that you are in crisis?

1. It is difficult to impossible, to communicate to someone you are in a mental crisis because everyone communicates differently. You really have to just come out and say the words “I am in a mental crisis. I am wondering if I can continue living.”

2. It is not something that you can beat around the bush about, because the longer you try to tell them and they do not understand, the more hopeless you will feel. If you cannot get the message across quickly, then you may lose your energy for telling them, and give up.

3. When you try to communicate a mental crisis to someone by starting with the details, like emotions and thoughts, they will not get it. Even people who have mental illness, who should know the signs, are often too caught up in themselves to really hear you.

4. People are dense. much of the time, and also they do not want to think you are in a mental crisis. They do not want this to be in their reality. When people do not want something in their reality, then they do not perceive signs and symptoms, to come to the conclusion.

5. You have to say “I am in a mental crisis.” Yes I know that I wrote this already, but it is important enough to tell you again.

6. Another reason it is hard to communicate that you are in a mental crisis, and/or suicidal, is that your thoughts can be confused and disorganized. There is so much emotional / mental overload, that the words are difficult to put together. It is hard to know what to say or how to say it.

7. There is an unknown factor of what they will do when you tell them. There is a fear that they will not understand, and this can come true. In this case, you can try again or you might have to go on to the next person on your list. Speaking of the list…any of us who are a candidate for a severe mental crisis or suicidal thoughts, should have a “save me” list of people and resources.

8. You may feel so worthless and ashamed at this point that you feel uncomfortable telling someone.There are alternate methods, if the first try fails. If you cannot tell someone in person, then try over the phone.

If you cannot do it over the phone, then try email, texting, blogging, poetry or whatever works, but do something that will get across to someone as fast as possible.

How can people hear you?

This is the most difficult thing for me to understand. If any of you have suggestions about this, please let me know. I have trouble communicating during a mental crisis. It feels like my ability to communicate goes down. The words do not come out of my mouth.

Maybe it is a matter of who you are trying to get help from.

Should be try to communicate with someone who has mental illness or someone who does not?

This is a really good question and the answer is probably that it matters more “who” the person is, rather than whether or not they have been through mental suffering.

In some ways it seems that, a person with mental illness would understand better. If they have been in a mental crisis before, then they should recognize it and also know how frightening it feels. They “should” be sympathetic.

I guess it depends of what mental state they are in at the time. it also depends on their personality. If they are a very caring person, then maybe they will click it in right away that you need help. If they are self absorbed, then they may not understand.

People that do not have mental illness, do not understand what it feels like to be in crisis, or have suicidal thoughts. But that does not mean that they cannot feel sympathy for you, and know how to listen.

Unfortunately, people in general, have lost the art of listening. Many people do not know how to listen, never mind see and identify signs that someone needs urgent help.

You need to have people that will be able to help you, if you do have a crisis. The best time to work on this, is when you are in a relatively normal (for your mental condition) state of mind. When you are able to think more rationally, then it is a better time to organize your “get help” plan.

I have never called the hotlines, but I have heard that people have been able to get some help there, at least enough to reduce the level of suffering, in order to think of the next thing to do. I am not a great fan of the emergency room, but for some people it may be the best thing.

I really think that we should be able to have friends that are there for us. There are so many people in the world that there have to be some people that can be compassionate for you. Sometimes I feel like they are not around me in person.

If there is no one around in person, then there are people on the internet. I have read suicide blog posts and seen how many people came to the person in the comments section and actually made them feel validated. There is nothing wrong with the random acts of kindness from perfect strangers about this. Sometimes a stranger can be more sympathetic to you, than the people around you.

I think the important thing is to recognize when you are having a mental crisis. If you are in severe mental pain, that is more than you can tolerate, then it is a crisis.

I think I have been rambling and I apologize for that.

Much love

Annie

Sleep

Do you ever feel that if you fall asleep

While you are alone and afraid,

That you will never find your way back home

And your brain will never wake?

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