Posts Tagged ‘Complex ptsd’

What is implicit memory? It is where PTSD is stored!!!!!!!

Pixabay: geralt

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“Mindfulness Skills workbook for clients and clinicians”. Debra Burdick,

 
What is implicit memory?

•  Encoded throughout our lives. •  Probably the only type of memory infants have. •  Allows us to remember how to do something without being conscious of how to do it, such as riding a bicycle, walking—anything procedural.

•  Gets stored without our conscious awareness.

•  Gets retrieved without our awareness—“I don’t know I’m having a memory.”

•  Past memories come flooding in without knowing they’re from the past; it feels like it is all coming from the present.

•  Drives behavior without our awareness—often negatively.

•  Primes us to respond in a certain fashion.

•  Readies us for the future.

•  Designed to protect us.

•  Can create here and now perceptions and beliefs that are actually from the past.

•  Can show up as a physical feeling in our body, an emotional reaction, a behavioral pattern, or a bias.

•  The amygdala is responsible for implicit memory as it scans earlier memories of danger.

•  Procedural memory is a subset (how to do things).

 

 

Why do we care?

 

 

•  Implicit memories can emotionally hijack our prefrontal cortex and drive behavior without our awareness.

•  Can often create a total misinterpretation of a current situation.

 

•  Implicit memory is like the child that lives within us.

•  Implicit memories may show up in body sensations.

•  Mindfulness allows us to integrate implicit with explicit memory to improve emotional response and behavioral patterns.
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Sunday morning Insights

Pixabay: Larisa-K

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Sufferers of PTSD, depression or other disorders are generally confused and anxious.

Fear mixed with intense anxiety stops the mind from functioning properly.

We sense danger from a perceived lethal threat. We want to escape as quickly as possible, our defense mechanism has complete control.

Unfortunately, going out in public, say to a restaurant, would fire my fight or flight mechanism without my consent.

Somehow these situations linked to my abusive childhood. Our triggers seem to pick their own scenario.

Cognitively I understood no real danger existed, my defense mechanism did not agree.

Healing for me, consisted of sitting calmly, focused on my breath, as my nervous system fired violently.

My focus released the scary thoughts, then concentrated on the connected body sensations. For me, my solar plexus is where my trauma manifested inside the body.

Making friends with the bodies nervous system, intimately knowing (being with) the sensations, integrated my trauma.

Being able to build focus on the breath is body armor for the anxiety disorders.

The breath controls our nervous system and heavily influences our defense mechanism.

Navy Seals are taught to dissipate fear by extending their exhales.

Cortisol and adrenaline can be used for fuel instead of being afraid or triggered.

PTSD has access to the switch firing our fight or flight mechanism, we have final control of our nervous system.

Remember trauma is stored in the right hemisphere, inside our amygdala.

We can not access stored trauma consciously.

Meditation grants us direct access to our stored trauma.

No miracle just current neuroscience.

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Thoughts again bring so many issues!

Bowie my grandson

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Hooking up to our Aware Presence? What is it?

You can observe your Aware Presence when thought fades, when focus sharpens, when clarity arrives.

What is it, though? It does not have any memory, any idea of a past or future, and lacks ability to judge.

I am happier in a place where judgment fades. Lost in thought is a recipe for suffering.

If you believe happiness is connected to our Aware Presence, meditation is the train we ride, together.

Are you happier lost in thought or connected to your Aware Presence?

If we looked at the big picture, we would change the way we live.

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Judging and Comparing

Pixabay: AbsolutVision

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Judging consumed many, many hours throughout my life. Another form of judging, comparing myself with others took another chunk.

Judging brought worry, comparing gathered that sense of lack.

Judging and Comparing are never extinguished.

Meditation, focuses on the breath, slowing, calming, sensing, observing. No effort is given to changing or destroying any thought.

Judgements and Comparisons are transparent, fading on their own without attention or emotion.

Imagine a thought right now. Hold that thought, sarcasm intended.

If you do not express that thought to anyone, does anyone else know of its existence?

Is that thought real if no one hears or reads it.

Thoughts can be irrational, incorrect and incomplete.

Some thinking and thoughts are harmful to our wellbeing.

No thought exists when we travel to the right hemisphere.

That must have some significance.

Some designer created a wordless, thoughtless side of the brain to balance the literal cognitive side.

Spend some time on your expansive side of your brain/mind.

It is brilliant, has no worry, doubt, judging or comparing.

It is always available through the cloud of thought and emotion.

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The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization

Pixabay: PublicCo

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The first category of action systems that make up personality involves action systems that support individuals in efforts to adapt to daily life; the second category pertains to the action systems for defense from major threat, and recuperation.

Whereas evolution has prepared us both for tasks of daily living and for survival under threat, we are not able to engage with ease in both simultaneously.

Thus when both are necessary, particularly for long periods of time, some individuals develop a rather rigid division of their personality to deal with these very discrepant goals and related activities.

For example, Marilyn Van Derbur (2004), the former Miss America who was molested as a child, described her personality as being divided into a “day child,” that was avoidant, numb, detached, amnesic, and focused on normal life, and a “night child” that endured the abuse and focused on defense.

The lack of cohesion and integration of the personality manifests itself most clearly in the alternation between and coexistence of the reexperience of traumatizing events (e.g., a “night child”) and avoidance of reminders of the traumatic experience with a focus on functioning in daily life (e.g., a “day child”).

This biphasic pattern is a hallmark of PTSD (APA, 1994) and is also observed in patients with other trauma-related disorders.

It involves a division between action systems for defense, those which guide us to avoid or escape from threat, and for functioning in daily life—systems that are primarily for seeking attractive stimuli in life that help us survive and feel well.

This division is the basic form of structural dissociation of the personality.

Trauma-related structural dissociation, then, is a deficiency in the cohesiveness and flexibility of the personality structure (Resch, 2004).

This deficiency does not mean that the personality is completely split into different “systems of ideas and functions,” but rather that there is a lack of cohesion and coordination among these systems that comprise the survivor’s personality.

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The Connection Between PTSD and Suicide By Matthew Tull, PhD Updated September 02, 2019

Artur Borzecki Photography/Getty Images

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“In the United States, more than 40,000 people commit suicide each year. Although women attempt suicide more so than men, men are more likely to succeed in killing themselves during a suicide attempt. In addition, people who have experienced a traumatic event and/or have post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may be more likely to attempt suicide.

Trauma, PTSD, and Suicide

In a survey of 5,877 people across the United States, it was found that people who had experienced physical or sexual assault in their life also had a high likelihood of attempting to take their own life at some point:

Nearly 22% of people who had been raped had also attempted suicide at some point in their life.

Approximately 23% of people who had experienced a physical assault had also attempted suicide at some point in their life.

These rates of suicide attempts increased considerably among people who had experienced multiple incidents of sexual (42.9%) or physical assault (73.5%). They also found that a history of sexual molestation, physical abuse as a child, and neglect as a child were associated with high rates of suicide attempts (17.4% to 23.9%)

People with a diagnosis of PTSD are also at greater risk to attempt suicide. Among people who have had a diagnosis of PTSD at some point in their lifetime, approximately 27% have also attempted suicide.

There Is Hope: Seeking Help

Experiencing a traumatic event and/or developing PTSD can have a tremendous impact on a person’s life. The symptoms of PTSD can make a person feel constantly afraid and isolated. In addition, depression is common following a traumatic event and among people with PTSD.

A person may feel as though there is no hope or escape from their symptoms, leading them to contemplate suicide.

It is important to realize that even though it may feel as though there is no hope, recovery and healing is possible. If you are having thoughts of ending your life or if you know someone who is having these thoughts, it is important to seek help as soon as possible.”

Recovering From A Polarized Freeze Response

Pixabay: geralt

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“Complex PTSD: From Surviving to Thriving”

Recovery for freeze types involves three key challenges. First, their positive relational experiences are few if any. They are therefore extremely reluctant to enter into the type of intimate relationship that can be transformative.

They are even less likely to seek the aid of therapy. Moreover, those who manage to overcome this reluctance often spook easily and quickly terminate.

Second, freeze types have two commonalities with fight types. They are less motivated to try to understand the effects of their childhood traumatization. Many are unaware that they have a troublesome inner critic or that they are in emotional pain.

Furthermore, they tend to project the perfectionistic demands of the critic onto others rather than onto themselves. This survival mechanism helped them as children to use the imperfections of others as justification for isolation. In the past, isolation was smart, safety-seeking behavior.

Third, even more than workaholic flight types, freeze types are in denial about the life narrowing consequences of their singular adaptation. Some freeze types that I have worked with seem to have significant periods of contentment with their isolation.

I think they may be able to self-medicate by releasing the internal opioids that the animal brain is programmed to release when danger is so great that death seems imminent.

Internal opioid release is more accessible to freeze types because the freeze response has its own continuum that culminates with the collapse response. The collapse response is an extreme abandonment of consciousness.

It appears to be an out-of-body experience that is the ultimate dissociation. It can sometimes be seen in prey animals that are about to be killed. I have seen nature films of small animals in the jaws of a predator that show it letting go so thoroughly that its death appears to be painless.

However, the opioid production that some freeze types have access to, only takes the survivor so far before its analgesic properties no longer function. Numbed out contentment then morphs into serious depression. This in turn can lead to addictive self-medicating with substances like alcohol, marijuana and narcotics.

Alternatively, the freeze type can gravitate toward ever escalating regimens of anti-depressants and anxiolytics (anti-anxiety drugs). I also suspect that some schizophrenics are extremely traumatized freeze types who dissociate so thoroughly that they cannot find their way back to reality.

Several of my freeze type respondents highly recommend a self-help book by Suzette Boon, entitled Coping with Trauma-related Dissociation. This book is filled with very helpful work sheets that are powerful tools for recovering. More than any other type, the freeze type usually requires a therapeutic relationship, because their isolation prevents them from discovering relational healing through a friendship.

That said, I know of some instances where good enough relational healing has come through pets and the safer distant type of human healing that can be found in books and online internet groups.

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