Posts Tagged ‘Anxiety’

My journey with PTSD anxiety

.
.
PTSD anxiety would be considered severe anxiety in most cases. I experienced  full-blown adrenal stress response (fight or flight mechanism) many times each day.


My system wanted to avoid another dump of cortisol and adrenaline at all costs. That desire led to six months of agoraphobia.


Resisting failed miserably, so I plotted ways to be friends with my nervous system.

 

The first step was to learn not to be afraid of anxiety or experiencing the frightening symptoms.

Denying, resisting, avoiding gave PTSD power!


What to do?

 

Strenuous aerobic exercise and daily meditation soothed my nervous system. It was not an easy or quick journey but an extremely simple one.

 

Aerobic exercise depleted the cortisol and adrenaline. I could exert maximum energy and my mind could share the exhilaration and accomplishment. Even when my mind was frozen my legs could move with determination.

 

Meditation allowed me to observe my panic attacks, allowed me to sit in the middle of those explosions, quietly.


There was nothing to fear inside the mechanism. I saw my fear, it was only my defense mechanism trying to warn me of imagined danger.

 

It was broken from my childhood trauma. No real danger existed inside my PTSD.

 

I found it could be fixed. Trauma thoughts could be integrated into the present moment, safely with a specific use of meditation.


I have PTSD symptoms at times but my adrenal stress response does not fire now.

 

Meditation and aerobic exercise quell the anxiety monster!
.
.

What are the five major types of anxiety disorders?

.

.

The five major types of anxiety disorders are:

Generalized Anxiety Disorder

Generalized Anxiety Disorder, GAD, is an anxiety disorder characterized by chronic anxiety, exaggerated worry and tension, even when there is little or nothing to provoke it.

 


Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, OCD, is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by recurrent, unwanted thoughts (obsessions) and/or repetitive behaviors (compulsions). Repetitive behaviors such as hand washing, counting, checking, or cleaning are often performed with the hope of preventing obsessive thoughts or making them go away. Performing these so-called “rituals,” however, provides only temporary relief, and not performing them markedly increases anxiety.

 

Panic Disorder

Panic disorder is an anxiety disorder and is characterized by unexpected and repeated episodes of intense fear accompanied by physical symptoms that may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, dizziness, or abdominal distress.

 

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD, is an anxiety disorder that can develop after exposure to a terrifying event or ordeal in which grave physical harm occurred or was threatened. Traumatic events that may trigger PTSD include violent personal assaults, natural or human-caused disasters, accidents, or military combat.

 

Social Phobia (or Social Anxiety Disorder)

Social Phobia, or Social Anxiety Disorder, is an anxiety disorder characterized by overwhelming anxiety and excessive self-consciousness in everyday social situations. Social phobia can be limited to only one type of situation – such as a fear of speaking in formal or informal situations, or eating or drinking in front of others – or, in its most severe form, may be so broad that a person experiences symptoms almost anytime they are around other people.


(National Institutes of Mental Health)
.
.

Kindness repeated over and over can change unworthiness and suffering

.
.
PTSD, depression, and anxiety devastate our society.

 

 

These disorders are fueled by thinking and judging ourselves weak, unworthy or shameful.

 

 

What can we do?

 

 

We can use kind actions to replace these judgments and negative thoughts.

 


The less we think, isolate and avoid life, the better we feel.

 

 

Have a kind greeting, a patient ear, and a compassionate heart for friends, coworkers and acquaintances.

 

Be determined to make people who cross your path today, Smile.

 

 

PTSD, depression and anxiety are dormant when we are giving without regard for reward.
.
.

What Is Hypervigilance? Healthline Blog

.

.

“Hypervigilance is a state of increased alertness. If you’re in a state of hypervigilance, you’re extremely sensitive to your surroundings. It can make you feel like you’re alert to any hidden dangers, whether from other people or the environment. Often, though, these dangers are not real.

 

Hypervigilance can be a symptom of mental health conditions, including:

post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
anxiety disorders
schizophrenia

These can all cause your brain and your body to constantly be on high alert. Hypervigilance can have a negative effect on your life. It can affect how you interact with and view others, or it may encourage paranoia.

 

Hypervigilance symptoms
There are physical, behavioral, emotional, and mental symptoms that can go with hypervigilance:

 

Physical symptoms

Physical symptoms may resemble those of anxiety. These may include:

sweating
a fast heart rate
fast, shallow breathing
Over time, this constant state of alertness can cause fatigue and exhaustion.

 

Behavioral symptoms

Behavioral symptoms include jumpy reflexes and fast, knee-jerk reactions to your environment. If you’re hypervigilant, you may overreact if you hear a loud bang or if you misunderstand a coworker’s statement as rude. These reactions may be violent or hostile in a perceived attempt to defend yourself.

 

Emotional symptoms

The emotional symptoms of hypervigilance can be severe. These can include:

increased, severe anxiety
fear
panic
worrying that can become persistent
You may fear judgment from others, or you may judge others extremely harshly. This may develop into black-and-white thinking in which you find things either absolutely right or absolutely wrong. You can also become emotionally withdrawn. You may experience mood swings or outbursts of emotion.

 

 

Mental symptoms

Mental symptoms of hypervigilance can include paranoia. This may be accompanied by rationalization to justify the hypervigilance. It can also be difficult for those who experience frequent hypervigilance, like those with PTSD, to sleep well.

 

Continue reading

“The origins of and mechanism behind social anxiety”

 

.

.

Excerpts from Darius Cikanavicius, Author, Certified Coach:
For the most part, social anxiety develops as an adaptation to stressful and hurtful social childhood environments.

 

When a child is small, their whole world consists of their primary caregivers (mother, father, family members, other authority figures). This world slowly expands as they get older, but how people understand social interactions is set. In other words, the examples we are exposed to as children creates blueprints for our future relationships.
Sadly, most if not all of us are traumatized as children to one degree or another. The degree to which we were hurt is the degree to which we will have interpersonal problems. One of the most common interpersonal problems is, indeed, social anxiety.

 

 

Hurt and mistreated children grow up into adults who feel disappointed, distrustful, overly trustful, bitter, angry, clingy, stressed, numb, or emotionally unavailable in relationships and interactions with others.
They have been programmed to feel like that by how they were treated when they were small, helpless, impressionable, and dependent. Back then, acceptance and validation were vital.

 

 

As I write in the book Human Development and Trauma:

“Childhood trauma leads children to become more afraid of the world. When a child’s first and most important bonds are unstable, it is natural and expected that in adulthood they will transfer this lack of a sense of safety and security onto others.”

 

 

Unresolved pain that stems from early relationships can haunt us for the rest of our lives. Early hurt and pain can program us to feel and believe that, generally, people are dangerous. They will hurt us, laugh at us, use and abuse us, punish us, hate us, want us dead, or even kill us.

 

 

It can be understood as a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD or C-PTSD) where the trigger is people and social situations because in the past they were a great source of pain.

 

Continue reading

Write it down! This is an easy task.

5F5B0C1A-F2E7-4E53-A9A9-97F2EBA5AF64

.

.
When we find ourselves occupied by doubt, worry, fear, jealousy, anger or anxiety, write it down.

 

 

Thoughts coupled with emotion can grow to enormous size inside our minds.

 

 

The abstract cognitions of a fear based disorder become a volatile accelerant.

 

 

Writing them down on paper contains their power and impact.

 

 

A fear or trigger becomes smaller, more finite when viewed on paper.

 

We see them outside our body and mind for the first time.

 

 

They are connected to a real mechanism, secreting cortisol and adrenaline to reinforce their power.

 

 

PTSD, anxiety and depression are fueled by thinking. Dissociative thinking, dwelling in the past and future.

 

 

Unworthy thoughts multiply inside past and future storytelling.

 

 

Our only safe harbor is this present moment, no matter how mundane or boring we perceive it.

 

 

Write down your fears, worries and anxieties.

 

 

See them as finite, impermanent and old habit.
.
.
.

Why is change so difficult???????????

.
.
Where does all the resistance come from? Why do we isolate, avoid unpleasant situations and people. Why do we chase and covet pleasant situations, people who approve of us, accomplishment, power, status and security?

 

Seems a decent strategy to avoid pain and soak up accomplishment in the short-term. Counterintuitive, knowing this strategy leads to suffering.

 

We have practiced habits, patterns of behavior, some subconscious in origin. We have created an “Ego” to mirror our habitual patterns. Our identity is wrapped around this “Ego”. Be it a banker, athlete, monk, priest, accountant, home maker, actor, philanthropist, etc.

 

 

Inside this cocoon, we judge ourself, find a place where we believe we fit, belong. When we enter a room, our “Ego” scans the occupants and decides if we are superior or inferior, then ranks our status.

 

 

Yes, this is superficial and kind of crazy. First, the “Ego” is a mirage, we are not what we think or judge. Second those occupations are what we do, not who we are.

 

 

Our mind is the issue, also the solution.

 

 

Fear of the unknown and this “Ego” are the main culprits keeping us from changing. We would rather suffer a known situation than risk changing, even when there is a possibility of success.

 

 

The “Ego” covets complete control. Healing means the “Ego” loses more and more control. In reality the “Ego” does not know what is good or bad for us. The “Ego” only, desires complete control.

 

 

Remember he/she generates 60,000 thoughts daily to influence where we place our attention.

 

 

You will definitely encounter your own “Ego” if you take this healing journey. He/She is not evil, he/she is only a follower not our captain.

 

 

Training the mind to empty and focus takes power from the “Ego”.
.
.
.

%d bloggers like this: