Posts Tagged ‘C-PTSD’

Happy Thanksgiving: Holidays are difficult for some

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The Holidays brings anxiety, reminders of childhood terror, strained family relationships or no family relationships.
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It is a time when memories, pain, fear and abuse replay during the holidays.
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This is a time when our mindfulness practice allows us to let go of our negative emotional thoughts.
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Thoughts, judgments, resentments and anger can consume us.
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Use your skills, focus, follow your breath, activate your parasympathetic nervous system (the brakes), accept, surrender, then observe.
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Let the storyline play on a tv screen about 6 foot in front of you.
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Just observe, detached, neutral. A rerun of you is playing on the screen, therefore impossible to alter or have a present conversation.
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Hopefully you can tolerate the anxiety, the irrational fear, accepting the storyline completely, then letting it go, moving on calmly.
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Life does not pause for us but keeps rolling. Change is a constant companion.

Happiness can not be found in the past or future, it is a mirror of mindfulness, all of it exists in this present moment.
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Therefore happiness is only available in this present breath, then we move on to the next breath. Life is simple but extremely satisfying from this space.
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That’s all there is.
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Nothing magical exits in the future, nothing we can achieve or gain carries lasting happiness.

Look at all the accomplishments, accolades, power and money these Hollywood and famous men attained but scandal has robbed them of any legacy or legitimacy.
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Kevin Spacey or Harvey Weinstein have lost their souls not gained happiness. Ostracized and scorned are harsh realities for those used to praise, power and stardom.
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An invisible prison will be their plight until death or suicide.
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Watch what you chase, make sure it is permanent.
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Happiness exists in permanent things, our true self (soul, spirit), our giving, our present moment to moment awareness.
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Ask yourself, What did I do to help a less fortunate person or family today, Thanksgiving?
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Start small. Bring a smile and a kind word to all that cross your path.
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Give kindness and empathy to everyone you meet.
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Giving is not just a thanksgiving day thing.
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The Body Keeps Score: the Visceral Foundation

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However, traumatized people chronically feel unsafe inside their bodies:

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The past is alive in the form of gnawing interior discomfort.
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Their bodies are constantly bombarded by visceral warning signs, and, in an attempt to control these processes, they often become expert at ignoring their gut feelings and in numbing awareness of what is played out inside.
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They learn to hide from their selves.
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The more people try to push away and ignore internal warning signs, the more likely they are to take over and leave them bewildered, confused, and ashamed.
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People who cannot comfortably notice what is going on inside become vulnerable to respond to any sensory shift either by shutting down or by going into a panic—they develop a fear of fear itself.
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We now know that panic symptoms are maintained largely because the individual develops a fear of the bodily sensations associated with panic attacks.
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The attack may be triggered by something he or she knows is irrational, but fear of the sensations keeps them escalating into a full-body emergency.
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“Scared stiff” and “frozen in fear” (collapsing and going numb) describe precisely what terror and trauma feel like.
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They are its visceral foundation.
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US veterans’ suicide rates highest in West, rural areas: Benjamin Brown

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“The Western U.S. and rural areas have the highest rates of suicides among military veterans, according to data released Friday by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
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The findings examined veterans’ suicides state-by-state, and determined New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Montana represent the highest rate at 60 per 100,000 individuals – nearly double the national rate of 38.4.
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Many veterans in those states must drive 70 miles or more to find the nearest VA medical center.
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Regions in the United Sates outside the West, which had an overall suicide rate of 45.5, were all below the national rate.
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Kentucky, West Virginia and Oklahoma also had high veteran suicide rates, which can be attributed to greater prescription drug use, particularly opioids. Veterans who received higher doses of opioid painkillers were twice as likely to die by suicide, compared to those who received minimal doses, according to a VA study conducted last year.
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Gender also played a key role in the most recent VA report. Women veterans had a suicide rate 2.5 times greater than their civilian counterpart, with the risk 19 percent higher among male veterans compared to civilians.
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Older veterans at risk
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The majority of military suicides are among elderly veterans, with roughly 65 percent of cases among those 50 or older.
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Rajeev Ramchand, an epidemiologist who studies suicide for the Rand Corp., pointed out the significance of the report, which indicated “no state is immune.” He added that social isolation, limited health care access, gun ownership and opioids were likely contributing factors in suicide among veterans.
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“This requires closer investigation into why suicide rates by veteran status are higher, including the role that opiates play,” Ramchand told the Associated Press.
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The VA’s latest report breaks down national figures released last year, which determined 20 veterans commit suicide each day, as the agency looks for ways to increase suicide prevention efforts.
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“These findings are deeply concerning, which is why I made suicide prevention my top clinical priority,” said VA Secretary David Shulkin, reported AP. “This is a national public health issue.”
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Updated: feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled?


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“The truth is that our finest moments are most likely to occur when we are feeling deeply uncomfortable, unhappy, or unfulfilled. For it is only in such moments, propelled by our discomfort, that we are likely to step out of our ruts and start searching for different ways or truer answers.”
— M. SCOTT PECK
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That describes some of my own feelings while integrating, healing, observing fear, crescendo and fade.
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Actually visiting places in real time that were triggers, is uncomfortable, scary, anxious and formidable, but healing happens by facing, going through our delusions not around them.
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We do not run, escape to what we think is safety or trauma grows and thrives inside us.
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Fear grows when we try desperately to escape, flee to safety, race our minds, till we are full of cortisol.
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There is no middle ground with C-PTSD, it grows or we integrate and heal. Doing nothing to heal, trauma becomes stronger with time and influence.
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C-PTSD is a catch-22 for us, we take action or suffer, no middle ground or neutrality exists.
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We are either working, taking action to heal, healed or we continue to suffer more.
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We are the only one who can heal us, from the inside.
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Updated: Self worth can be fixed through affirmations and mindfulness practice!

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“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.”

– Lucille Ball –
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Self worth or unworthiness has to be dealt with before we can seriously consider finding happiness.

Lucille is correct, self love is the first rung on the ladder to happy.

Affirmation will correct this negative situation.

Example:

In this moment right now, I accept all of me.
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A Question from a viewer, Nik, how do I begin, where do I start????

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This post is three years old but just as relevant today.

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Nik, has recently experienced a full blown trigger with a big cortisol shock and panic feelings. Also he inquires how to deplete cortisol and begin healing.
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let me set the stage by describing our attitude towards healing, our practice; No right or wrong, good or bad, judgments or dialogue is involved. Cognitive thought and dissociation are the culprits of strengthening PTSD.
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Print out this simple model, a continuum of inhales, exhales and pauses without any counting, abstract thought or places to get lost. We will address this as a focus skill for the moment, no more no less. Mindfulness brings many connotations and judgments, so we practice this focus skill for now.
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Place your finger on the bottom right corner, starting the inhale, followed by the arched pause, where we hold our breath, before exhaling slowly. Then we pause again before starting a brand new cycle.
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The goal is to train the mind to slow down and let go of thought. The mind wants to go fast, activate the sympathetic nervous system, fill with adrenaline and cortisol, as usual.
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At first keep your eyes open, focusing on the rhythm of the breath as you slow it down. The inhales and exhales are equal, as are the two pauses, a sort of music symphony of the breath.
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Feel the cool inhales, feel the warmer exhales, and balance the body and breath with equal pauses. The inhale sets the pace, speed and duration of the balancing exhale. The first pause after the inhale, is matched by second pause after the exhale, giving the breath a sort of slow melodic feel.
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If a thought emerges, come back to the model, that is it. practice ten minutes twice a day for a week without judgment or goals, except to practice everyday.
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Let us round off the start with “Affirmations” said out loud and recorded everyday. In the shower, driving, working or before bed.
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I strive to accept all of me, the human strengths and frailties, the flawed and exceptional me, as well.
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I strive to accept my current position in life with gratitude, staying present to live fully today.
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I strive to take action in the face of distraction and thought, today!
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good luck, act, give up thinking for a while.
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WHAT IS MEDITATION?

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Meditation is a practice
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that makes it possible to cultivate
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and develop certain basic positive human qualities
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in the same way as other forms of training
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make it possible to play
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a musical instrument
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or acquire any other skill.
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Matthew Ricard
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