Midnight Shadows

black ghost

 

While most of the world around you sleeps, the little terrors crawl up the back of your neck, and knock to get it.

You know better than to let them enter, but the coldness on the back of your neck becomes intolerable and you just open a small crack.

Slowly the thoughts begin to sleep and slide and ooze … like a thick black oil that darkens everything  it touches.

The 2 am delusion has begun to awaken… and the shadows now begin to form. …in your mind….

…and in the left far corner of the room.. ..

You watch as the shadows melt into a form. The form will slither and sway from side to side, inevitably taking on the shape of something ominous. The night’s shadows play harmless tricks…or so people say. But as you blink your eyes once…twice…and again…that form becomes more solid and lifelike.

The veil between the daytime reality and the icy cold hand on the back of your neck becomes blurred, as you pull the blankets up and cover your head.

Only your fingertips peek out from underneath the blanket that you have diminishing faith in to protect you.

And you wonder if these black shadows started in your own mind…how they are now standing above you.

You can’t see them.

The blanket is covering your eyes.

But you know just the same.

The darkness is real … as long as you focus on it.

Your attention gives it power and makes it grow.

And as you focus your attention on not focusing on the shadows….they snicker at you with contempt.

Sleep tight!

( image souce from Pinterest)

 

 

Stigma and Mental Illness

Mental disorder has stigma attached to it. People think of movies they have seen with dangerous disorderly mental characters in them. News reports inevitably bring attention to anyone’s mental diagnosis, when they commit a bizarre or dangerous crime.

They neglect to say that most people with that particular mental disorder are not violent and do not commit rapes or armed robberies , because they have a conscience. They neglect to tell you that 1 in 25 people is a sociopath that does not have a mental disorder….they are just heartless people with no conscience.

A personality disorder and a mental disorder are not the same thing. One of them is a cold person with no conscience… and most of  the other ones are suffering a soul loss (see shamic soul loss and soul retrieval) , or emotional woundings, caused by  abuse from the personality disordered ones.

Highly sensitive, empathic people are subject to deep emotional, spiritual wounding of their souls. Narcissistic societies that are run by psychopathic leaders create situations that can be destructive to the HSP’s.

People with emotional intelligence can confused and mentally broken by pathologically narcissistic families. Then they are thrown out to the wolves who target them, because they can smell blood in the water.

A mental disorder is when someone’s life becomes disordered, and unmanageable, due to depression, anxiety, or other emotional illnesses involving one or both of these ( often both). There are a long list of mental illnesses involving various combinations of depression,  mood disregulation and anxiety.

The majority of these people were and are victims of abuse, chaos, and trauma. …much of which has its root cause in the evil doings of pathological people. Eighteen year old teenagers are sent into trauma and darkness. Otherwise healthy children and teenagers are emotionally tortured by bullies both outside of the home and within.

This is one of those kinds of posts that will end up with condescending comments saying that my opinion is not based on scientific, or psychological facts. I do not care. Knowing this will happen has not stopped me from writing and posting this.

I am speaking from what I have seen over and over and over again. Pathological, personality disordered people break family members, rule society with pathological lying and deception, and otherwise destroy lives.

Emotionally wounded people are further gaslighted and re-traumatized by other narcissists and psychopaths, which are at least 1 in 25 people, and tend to target emotionally wounded people. I have heard one horror story after another from my clients, and this had to be said.

My reblog function is currently active, and it is my choice at this time to have it thst way. Keep in mind, it is a priveledge to reblog other writer’s posts.

Comments about the content of this post belong in the comments section. Any re-blogs where where the person posts personal criticisms of me,  as the intro to the reblog will be linked in the comments here by me. …as it is an example of my points about bullying.

If you use my post to enhance your own blog, it is a benefit for you. Common courtesy in return for that priveledge calls for a respectful introduction to the writer’s post. As with all mental illness blogs, disgression and common sense are expected.

All of my regular readers, and loyal followers honor this practice of common sense and empathy concerning re-blogs.

Blessings to all of my loving followers. You are an important part of what I hold valueable in the world. I hope this post is validating about the stigma about mental illness.

Namaste,

Annie💕

Coping with PTSD and Anxiety Disorders

If you have PTSD or an anxiety disorder, some days you have to take breaks between your tasks. Different people are triggered by different things and becoming overloaded can result in a complete meltdown or panic attack.

Pushing through your day without a break to calm yourself will drain you. It can take a lot of energy to do errands and activities, when you are being exposed to triggers in your environment.

Being sleep deprived can add to your anxiety. It is important to find ways to get enough rest and sleep. If anxiety keeps you from sleeping well at night, your body and your brain may require naps during the day. Self care is important.

If you need breaks between doing things, try to think ahead to plan enough time to take them. Be gentle and adaptable with yourself.

You are your own best advocate. Draw boundaries when you need them. Think of how you would treat a friend in circumstances like the ones you are in at the time, if your friend also suffered from PTSD. 

Sometimes it gives some perspective to think of what allowances and flexibility you would offer someone else. Looking at yourself from an observer point of view can help you gain some perspective and design coping methods for yourself.

Sending love and healing energies,

Annie💕

 

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 ❤

Suffering and Depression

Depression is an invisible illness, but it has real mental. emotional and physical symptoms. Feelings like sadness, and grief are felt in the body. Depression is physically painful. 

If you are suffering from depression, you are not alone. But there is still  a feeling of being alone and isolated. Interacting with other people can be stressful and draining. It can be difficult to find someone to talk to that understands what your daily life is like. 

Depression is different than feeling sad about something.

This is a common misunderstanding. People know they have felt sad before, and they do not understand the difference between that and what you feel. 

There are physiological changes in the brain, in the depressed person. It is hard to know what came first with any given person. Abuse, trauma, and feeling hopeless in an intolerable situation can cause changes in the chemicals in the brain. 

“What fires together , wires together”

This is a common neurological phrase. The brain has plasticity, also called neural plasticity.  The neural pathways wire together based on thought patterns, and behaviors. This is how we learn new things and also how we develop habits. 

Good habits and bad habits are both wired into the neural pathways. Thought behaviors and negative thought patterns can be wired into the neural pathways of the brain.

Changing thought patterns can be very difficult. The chemical reaction to changing thought patterns can feel like withdrawal from a drug. 

Self destructive thought patterns can develop from having to live in traumatic situations. struggling to survive in poverty is one situation that is often discounted. Having to work at a job you hate for an on-going period of time can also create negative thought patterns that become wired into the neurons. 

Living in abusive , chaotic or otherwise traumatic childhoods or teenage years can program thoughts if being a failure, hopelessness and worthlessness. Emotionally neglected or abused children carry low self esteem, which sets negative thought patterns into the brain. 

Your situation is unique, but it can be helpful to connect with your inner child, and any fractured parts of you that were traumatized. C-PTSD is complex post traumatic stress disorder. It happens when someone is in an intolerable situation that they see no way out of. There is a feeling of being imprisoned in a threatening, painful life. 

Even after getting away from the originating trauma, the Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder continues. Many people with depression are suffering from C-PTSD and do not know it. It can help you to heal, if you discover the root causes of your trauma and emotional wounds. 

Society and the system seems to be re-traumatizing us by making us think we should feel shame and guilt.

Media teaches fear and anxiety as a way of life.

Blame is a subliminal message is advertising and propaganda. 

That makes healing difficult. Emotional wounds to the psychological self can run very deep. It may even be a kind of soul wounding. The wounds need to be given attention, in order to create new thought patterns. 

People with C-PTSD  will often fall back into depression even after getting better for a period of time. It is your emotional body is in pain, then it is calling to you for attention.

Ekart Tolle calls this the Pain Body. He teaches us to observe the pain body and accept it’s presence, when it appears. Seeing the Pain Body as an entity in itself, which is also part if us as a whole, can help to deal with it. 

He teaches that we resist our pain body due to some kind of resistance to ourselves.  Self judgement, shame  and guilt can cause us to hold into pain. We sometimes feel that we deserve the pain. This may have been programmed into us. But in order to get out of depression, we have to let go of self judgement. 

Re-wiring the brain to get out self destructive thought patterns takes some work. Eckhart Tolle says that pain can be countered with joy. This makes sense with the idea that “neurons that fire together, wire together.”

“Pain can only feed on pain. Pain cannot feed on joy. It finds it quite indigestible! ” Eckhart Tolle

 

 

Emotional Wounds

Depression is a serious illness that reduces the quality and length of people’s lives. If you suffer from depression you probably feel very alone because the people around you do not understand.

Having your serious mental health disorder minimized, disregarded, or disbelieved can make the feelings worse. Over time negative emotions that are repressed will manifest themselves into mental disorders and eventually physical illness.

There can be more involved at the root of depression than people realize. Most sufferers of depressive disorders, and anxiety disorders, have old emotional wounds from childhood that were ignored and not tended to. The inner child is fractured and left in an unsafe place.

Feeling unsafe in the world, is rooted in childhood neglect of emotional needs. You did not have to be physically beaten in order to sustain serious emotional wounds as a child and a teenager.

If your feelings were minimzed, especially during traumatic events like divorce, alcoholic parents, violence in the home, poverty, dislocation or other things where you felt powerless….then you were left being taught that the world is emotionally unsafe and that you had to repress your feelings about that.

It does not go away until the inner child is recognized and nurtured. The fractured parts of you are crying to be heard. Continuing to ignore, shove down and minimize the inner child will further traumatize you.

Society wants you to shove down your feelings and stop being a baby. But what if the infant was never loved properly or cared for in a way it felt safe?  Time does not remove that infant part from you.

You are not separated from your younger selves. They are a part of your entire being. It all needs to be validated, including fractured child parts that were not loved in the way they needed to be.

It is no wonder that after years of being told to move on, “leave the past behind you” that you now have serious depression illness. It is the same as a Soul Sickness.

We are made of different perceptions and realities. Our emotional and spiritual realities are very important. Putting on a mask every day, and ignoring those parts of you will lead to severe depression and anxiety disorders.

Any pain in the body, or the mind is always telling you that something has been neglected. There are no amount of pills that will fix the Soul Sickness.

Your brain looks for ways to replay out scenarios from your childhood that were neverresolved. You will continue to find yourself in circumstances, and with people that bring up the old emotional wounds.

You have to find ways to connect with, communicate with and comfort the inner child , so that they feel heard and safe.

*for more info, articles, affirmations, and info about coaching for Soul Sickness, narcissistic abuse, hypnosis and NLP healing…please join the mailing list at gentlekindnesscoaching.com

Namaste,

Annie

Knowing the Person Inside of Your Own Head

Whose depression is worse?  Which mental illness is greater? 

Who suffers the most?

When does a depression become a mental disorder? At what point does regular anxiety become an anxiety disorder?

How long do you have to feel depressed, before you should be evaluated for depression?

At what point do depression and anxiety cross over from mental issues, and  become a mental illnesses?

Do you have to have a diagnosis to have a “real” mental illness? What did you have the day before you received the diagnosis?

Is one person’s mental disorder more important than someone else’s?

Is one person’s emotional suffering “worse” because they tell you it is worse than yours?

Does the “squeaky wheel” tendency also exist in mental health?

Is the squeakiest wheel the person with the worse mental disorder?

Is having to be the loudest squeaky wheel a disorder in itself?

Should you feel bad talking about your mental illness if you are not on medication?

Is someone who tries holistic methods like yoga and NLP hypnosis, less proactive about their mental health, than someone who takes antidepressants or anxiety medication?

Is the reverse true?

Can you tell from looking at someone, just how depressed they are? If they are suicidal? If they have PTSD?

Is the person who shows, or talks openly about their mental disorder, more mentally ill than someone who keeps it to themselves?

These are all valid questions to discuss. I wonder which of these situations you have had to deal with? Which side have you been on?

Have you ever had your mental pain minimized, denied, or rejected? Have you been told you don’t “look sick” ….you don’t “look depressed”….you don’t “seem anxious”…

Have you ever had to hear…

…”well everyone else can do it”…..”mental illness isn’t real”…..”anxiety is something everyone else deals with”….”just get over it”……

Have you ever heard….

“I suffer worse depression than you do”………”I  know someone with a real mental illness”…

Narcissism runs throughout the mental health field, as far as therapists and psychiatrists go. Just something to keep in mind when you are seeking a therapist, or in a therapy session. 

Psychopaths and narcissists gravitate towards fields of work that they can feel powerful, and have influence over the minds of others. …just something to keep in mind…..probably 5 or 6 percent of mental health professionals are either narcissists or socialized psychopaths.

Everyone cannot afford mental health treatment. Some people have no way to get to appointments, for any number of reasons.

People that are currently living in abusive environments have many reasons why going for mental health diagnosis or treatment could make their situation (hence their mental health) much worse.

Some people are much more extroverted than others. Introverted people are more likely to keep their mental illness to themselves, rather than telling the people they associate daily with, or people they see on a regular basis.

People with a history of abuse and severe boundary violations, is less likely to feel they can trust people to talk about their mental suffering with. Introverted people, with a past history of abuse, or who are currently living in abuse, are even less likely to feel safe talking about it.

Talking about mental illness has to feel safe. Just because someone does not feel safe being treated or diagnosed with mental illness, does not mean they do not have a mental disorder that interferes with their lives.

Some mental disorders make it difficult, or impossible to leave the house, get to morning therapy appointments, or to go to any kind of doctor appointments.

Some anxiety disorders make it difficult or impossible for the sufferer even to make the phone call to schedule the appointment.

The mental health system is better in some parts of the world and worse in others. Socioeconomic state makes a difference in how the client is treated by intake workers.

People doing intakes can be so rude that they can drive people away, who never try again to get mental health treatment. The system can be disheartening, violating, and depressing.

Everyone is not in the same circumstance.

Everyone does not have the same background or experience with the mental health system.

Everyone has different triggers, different fears, different sleep situations, sleep disorders, and different living situations.

You cannot tell from looking at someone, if they have a mental disorder or not.

You cannot tell from talking to them for a few minutes, from working at the same job as them, or from being in the same family as them.

No one can tell you that you are not really suffering. Well….they can say it….but just because they say it, does not make it true.

Someone saying they have worse depression than you do, does not make it true.

Someone saying you don’t really have any “legitimate” mental disorder, does not make it true.

Someone that tells you what you “should” and “should not” be able to do….even if triggers your emotional flashbacks or triggers your fight or flight” response….is not really a person who is on your side, or someone that supports you.

You need to be surrounded by people who support you.

You need to detach emotionally from people who trigger you or put you in situations you have asked them not to put you in.

You have the right to know how you feel, and to be the one to determine how bad it is.

You have a right to decide if your depression or anxiety is to the point of being a “disorder.” A disorder is something that has gotten bad enough to make your life “disorderly” …and ” unmanageable.”

You know whether or not your mental pain is interfering with your daily activities, your work, your social interactions and your life.

You know if it has gotten worse , better, or is staying the same.

No one can know these things more than you, because you are the one living inside of your own head.

 

 

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

Holidays for Adult Children of Dysfunctional Families

If you were brought up in a chaotic, dysfunctional, emotionally abusive or negligent childhood then you were taught not to focus on your own needs. As an adult you are at a disadvantage in taking care of yourself.

You might notice that other people draw boundaries and get what they want easier than you do. This is because they were taught that their needs matter and that you have to take care of yourself or no one else will.

Those of us with “People Pleaser Syndrome” were taught ..” if you cater to someone else then eventually that person will take care of you.”

You are supposed to keep sacrificing for others until they appreciate you for what you have sacrificed for them. Unfortunately people most often do not change from “being catered to” to “taking care of you.”

The problem is that the people around you get trained … “spoiled”…that you do not mind being the one they take advantage of. You are the one whobwill come through no matter how inconvenient or painful it is for you.

If you have C-PTSD from abuse as a child (including emotional / psychological) abuse then you are likely to have depression and anxiety disorders.

Many people that were not nurtured and guided to be independent adults now have C-PTSD and do not even know what is wrong with them. As much as you may want to forget your childhood ever existed, it is that early proframming that is still ruling your subconscious thinking, from behind the scenes.

You are not even aware why you make the choices you make. In fact many of your behaviors do not feel like choices at all. You are programmed to respond to people in ways that make you unhappy and even upset with yourself.

The holidays can be miserable for adult children that come from families that programmed them to ignore their true inner voices. But you inner voice is trying to tell you what you really need.

You have just as much of a right to enjoy the holidays as anyone else does. Let your conscious rational brain see when things are not balanced in your relationships.

Before you say yes to anything during the holidays, tell the person you need to think about it. Give yourself time to find out if the things you  are choosing are best for you.

Your first response to people within a few seconds is coming from your programming that other people installed directly into your brain hard drive. But you have the right to override it.

You can refuse to respond to people right away. Just tell them you need to think about it and you will gey back to them. This simple action will tell people that you are a person and that if you choose to what they want it was because you decided to figure it into your schedule.

People may be shocked and resistant to your changing methods but if they always get their way then it is your turn. If you have always done what they want you to on the holidays then you can take one year to do things differently.

Take time to think through what choices best support you. Then do not let people emotionally manipulate you. Other adults such as parents . siblings and in laws do not have the right to demand you to cater to them, especially if they do not care about your feelings and needs.

Taking time to respond will allow you to think about and remeber which people care about you as opposed to which ones manipulate and take you for granite.

The people that manipulate your time are taking your time away from people who you would be happier being with and who deserve your time more.

There is no rule against taking time for yourself or spending it differently than you usually do. Change can be good for the soul and it is also good for your cognitive functionling. When you always go on auto-pilot, your brain loses plasticity.

The plasticity of your brain gets less flexible when you stay in a routine that never alters. It makes it harder for you to rhink of possibilities and options. Making small changes in your behaviors can increase this plasticity and allow you to see more choices.

For every option you see, there is another one that you are not seeing yet, but you might see it if you give yourself time before you commit to things toobfast.

People are not in control over you as much as it feels like. When dealing with manipulative family members you just go outbof your way to please people who neve4 give you the love and acceptance you need anyway.

Allow time for yourself and for people who will appreciate you more. There may be someone you would like to make time for that you have not thought of because they are not the “squeeky wheel.”

Think of what you would actually like to do during the holidays. If things are triggering to your anxiety or depression then you can …

Blow them off…

Keep the time to a minimum and then go do something you want to do…

Change something about your behavior that makes it more bearable such ad not agreeing to everything right away ( remember…I need to think about it)…

Don’t cater to people’s emotions who are minimizing or neglecting you feelings, wishes and rights…

Leave early…

Take control back for some aspect of the events and activities (do not do everthing the way they expect you to)…

Let people know that you have as much right to enjoy ( or at least not be miserable) during the holidays as they do…

Say “no” and let them figure out their next step…

Take notes for yourself about what people say and do so that they do not change the truth around to manipulate your memory. …

Set you own time table as far as what times you are able to come and go…other people do just this

 

 

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