Posts Tagged ‘C-PTSD’

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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Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered for the first time that the rhythm of breathing creates electrical activity in the human brain that enhances emotional judgments and memory recall.

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These effects on behavior depend critically on whether you inhale or exhale and whether you breathe through the nose or mouth.
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In the study, individuals were able to identify a fearful face more quickly if they encountered the face when breathing in compared to breathing out. Individuals also were more likely to remember an object if they encountered it on the inhaled breath than the exhaled one. The effect disappeared if breathing was through the mouth.
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“One of the major findings in this study is that there is a dramatic difference in brain activity in the amygdala and hippocampus during inhalation compared with exhalation,” said lead author Christina Zelano, assistant professor of neurology at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. “When you breathe in, we discovered you are stimulating neurons in the olfactory cortex, amygdala and hippocampus, all across the limbic system.”
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The study was published Dec. 6 in the Journal of Neuroscience.
The senior author is Jay Gottfried, professor of neurology at Feinberg.
Northwestern scientists first discovered these differences in brain activity while studying seven patients with epilepsy who were scheduled for brain surgery. A week prior to surgery, a surgeon implanted electrodes into the patients’ brains in order to identify the origin of their seizures. This allowed scientists to acquire electro-physiological data directly from their brains. The recorded electrical signals showed brain activity fluctuated with breathing. The activity occurs in brain areas where emotions, memory and smells are processed.
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This discovery led scientists to ask whether cognitive functions typically associated with these brain areas — in particular fear processing and memory — could also be affected by breathing.
The amygdala is strongly linked to emotional processing, in particular fear-related emotions. So scientists asked about 60 subjects to make rapid decisions on emotional expressions in the lab environment while recording their breathing.
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Presented with pictures of faces showing expressions of either fear or surprise, the subjects had to indicate, as quickly as they could, which emotion each face was expressing.
When faces were encountered during inhalation, subjects recognized them as fearful more quickly than when faces were encountered during exhalation. This was not true for faces expressing surprise. These effects diminished when subjects performed the same task while breathing through their mouths. Thus the effect was specific to fearful stimuli during nasal breathing only.
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In an experiment aimed at assessing memory function — tied to the hippocampus — the same subjects were shown pictures of objects on a computer screen and told to remember them. Later, they were asked to recall those objects. Researchers found that recall was better if the images were encountered during inhalation.
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The findings imply that rapid breathing may confer an advantage when someone is in a dangerous situation, Zelano said.
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“If you are in a panic state, your breathing rhythm becomes faster,” Zelano said. “As a result you’ll spend proportionally more time inhaling than when in a calm state. Thus, our body’s innate response to fear with faster breathing could have a positive impact on brain function and result in faster response times to dangerous stimuli in the environment.”
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Another potential insight of the research is on the basic mechanisms of meditation or focused breathing. “When you inhale, you are in a sense synchronizing brain oscillations across the limbic network,” Zelano noted.
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