Posts Tagged ‘Complex ptsd’

Updated: A follower asks a question about his mate having Complex PTSD

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Hi Marty

I am a partner of someone with cptsd. We’ve been together for 8 years and half of that feels like it’s been taken away by cptsd. I’ve read lots of things but I cannot reach her anymore. She has a therapist now and this feels has been helpful but at times it’s like nothing has changed. She shares nothing with me, doesnt discuss her diagnosis (2.5 years) or how to move forward or where her therapy is heading. Refuses to discuss how to deal with triggers or situations that will harm our family. Any feelings are thrown at me in anger, rages which can last days, then the dust settles and my life partner is left broken, lost, in turmoil it feels….. Wanting me and our son yet wanting to leave us. We can’t seem to communicate anymore. So much hurt and anger has been felt these last few years and it feels like I’m always ‘the bad guy’ when I’m the only person that’s ever truely been there for her. As for the real ‘bad guys’ she allows them in at times and it causes so much damage. It’s like she believes in people that don’t know her, don’t support her and dont care about her or her family but it’s me that is controlling, abusive, not supportive Doesnt listen.
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Where can I get help to understand her more, is there anyone that can teach me how to reach her and have what we used to have again? I’m desperately in love with her and I know she feels the same. I know she tries so hard with her therapy. I’ve had your blog bookmarked for 2.5 years and come back to it regularly, you and the people that contribute are amazing which is why I’m here….is there something or someone you know that can help a partner of someone with cpsd? I am really desperate…… Thank you so much.
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C-PTSD is extremely difficult for your mate to navigate life. Trauma manifests itself in fears that are scary as death or emotional death of our ego. Sometimes our mate does not hear our advice or aims their anger at us. Their behavior can be erratic at times, seemingly neutral or mundane situations can trigger violent panic attacks.
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Find out who she confides in, then try to work through this person. Ask to be included in a therapy session. What therapy is she using? Does she do homework from therapy or practice some skill to improve daily?

Does she Meditate or is she open to exploring new areas on her journey?  She needs a skill to practice daily to help healing.

The more you can learn about complex PTSD, the better. Try not to react when she is triggered. She needs understanding and support. Critiquing her or criticizing her will not end well.

If I were you, I would start meditating and using mindfulness to help yourself. You will be ready to support her and lead her to let go of those thoughts.

Hope this helps.
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Trauma Memories are sensory fragments

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“The amygdala stores the visual images of trauma as sensory fragments,

 

which means the trauma memory is not stored like a story,

 

but by how our five senses

 

were experiencing the trauma

 

at the time it was occurring.

 

The memories are stored

 

through fragments of visual images,

 

smells, sounds, tastes, or touch.”
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My two cents: I always searched for the narrative, the cognitive story that would unlocked my total healing. Instead, a sensory trigger that associates with a stored fragmented sense ( sight, sound, smell, touch, taste) is the culprit.

 

We add the story to complete that fragmented visual, or smell, sound, taste or touch into our trauma narrative.   Fabrication comes to mind.

 

Fear does not contain fear inside itself. Our narrative adds the fear. Our emotions seem to add weight or have a larger impact to our thoughts.  When we get angry thoughts gain massive power.

 

Our trauma is not this big monster, the long suffering novel I have carried for decades,  but a fragmented sensual remembrance.
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IFS: Qualities of the Self

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Let’s continue examining this presence we call the Self.

 

To clarify this discussion, I find it useful to differentiate between what people report while meditating — while being reabsorbed into the ocean — and what people are like when their Self is actively leading their everyday lives.

 

If meditation allows immersion into a seemingly Self-less oceanic state, then the Self is a separate wave of that ocean.

 

It is that oceanic state which seems so difficult to describe. People report feeling as if they have no boundaries, are one with the universe, and lose their identity as a separate being.

 

This is accompanied by a sense of spaciousness in body and mind, and can be an experience of great contentment, often with moments of bliss.

 

They often feel a pulsating energy or warmth running through their bodies and may sense a kind of light in or around them.

 

People encounter different levels and stages as they deepen their meditative practice, which the different esoteric traditions have explored and charted.

 

Here we are more concerned with what people are like when they bring some of that awareness, spaciousness, and energy to their daily tasks and relationships — again, when they are a wave rather than the ocean.

 

What qualities do they report and display when they live in the world yet hold the memory of who they really are?

 

What are the characteristics of Self-leadership? I don’t know the entire answer to that question.

 

After twenty years of helping people toward that Self-leadership, I can describe what my clients exhibit as they have more of their Self present.

 

As I sifted through various adjectives to capture my observations, I repeatedly came up with words that begin with the letter C.

 

So, the eight Cs of self-leadership include: calmness, curiosity, clarity, compassion, confidence, creativity, courage, and connectedness.
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PTSD risk can be predicted by hormone levels prior to deployment March 8,2017

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Science Blog:
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Up to 20 percent of U.S. veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan developed symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder from trauma experienced during wartime, but new neuroscience research from The University of Texas at Austin suggests some soldiers might have a hormonal predisposition to experience such stress-related disorders.
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Cortisol — the stress hormone — is released as part of the body’s flight-or-fight response to life-threatening emergencies. Seminal research in the 1980s connected abnormal cortisol levels to an increased risk for PTSD, but three decades of subsequent research produced a mixed bag of findings, dampening enthusiasm for the role of cortisol as a primary cause of PTSD.
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However, new findings published in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology point to cortisol’s critical role in the emergence of PTSD, but only when levels of testosterone — one of most important of the male sex hormones — are suppressed, researchers said.
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“Recent evidence points to testosterone’s suppression of cortisol activity, and vice versa. It is becoming clear to many researchers that you can’t understand the effects of one without simultaneously monitoring the activity of the other,” said UT Austin professor of psychology Robert Josephs, the first author of the study. “Prior attempts to link PTSD to cortisol may have failed because the powerful effect that testosterone has on the hormonal regulation of stress was not taken into account.”
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UT Austin researchers used hormone data obtained from saliva samples of 120 U.S. soldiers before deployment and tracked their monthly combat experiences in Iraq to examine the effects of traumatic war-zone stressors and PTSD symptoms over time.
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Before deployment, soldiers’ stress responses were tested in a stressful CO2 inhalation challenge. “Healthy stress responses showed a strong cortisol increase in response to the stressor, whereas abnormal stress responses showed a blunted, nonresponsive change in cortisol,” Josephs said.
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The researchers found that soldiers who had an abnormal cortisol response to the CO2 inhalation challenge were more likely to develop PTSD from war-zone stress. However, soldiers who had an elevated testosterone response to the CO2 inhalation challenge were not likely to develop PTSD, regardless of the soldiers’ cortisol response.
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“The means through which hormones contribute to the development of PTSD and other forms of stress-related mental illness are complex,” said Adam Cobb, a UT Austin clinical psychology doctoral candidate and co-author of the study. “Advancement in this area must involve examining how hormones function together, and with other psychobiological systems, in response to ever-changing environmental demands.”
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Knowing this, the scientists suggest future research could investigate the efficacy of preventative interventions targeting those with at-risk profiles of hormone stress reactivity. “We are still analyzing more data from this project, which we hope will reveal additional insights into risk for combat-related stress disorders and ultimately how to prevent them,” said Michael Telch, clinical psychology professor and corresponding author of the study.
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These findings add to a series of published reports from the Texas Combat PTSD Risk Project, a study funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency aimed at identifying biological, psychological and environmental vulnerability factors that predict the emergence of PTSD and other psychological problems among soldiers deployed to Iraq.
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Letting go

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Storm Clouds, Utah
Photograph by Steven Besserman, My Shot
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.We must be willing to let go of the life we’ve planned,
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so as to have the life that is waiting for us.
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– Joseph Campbell
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Startling number of kids diagnosed with psychological disorders

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By STEVEN REINBERG HEALTHDAY March 18, 2016,
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One in seven American children aged 2 to 8 suffers from a mental, behavioral or developmental problem, federal health officials report.
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Researchers analyzed data supplied by parents in the 2011-2012 National Survey of Children’s Health, looking for reported speech and language problems, learning disabilities, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism spectrum disorder, anxiety and more.
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“Based on the number of kids affected, this is something we need to pay attention to,” said lead researcher Jennifer Kaminski, team leader for child development studies at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
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The researchers found that young children with mental, behavioral or developmental disorders were less likely than others to have access to medical care that was family-centered, continuous, comprehensive, coordinated, compassionate and culturally effective.
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Parental mental health problems and child-care problems were also commonly associated with mental, behavioral and developmental disorders in young children, the researchers said.
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Incidence of disorders varied widely by state, “which suggests that there are things states can do to improve the health of these kids,” Kaminski said.
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Prevalence of disorders was lowest in California — at 10.6 percent — and about double that in Arkansas and Kentucky, the findings showed.
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Fair or poor parental mental health was highest in Washington, D.C., and lowest in Kansas, according to the study.
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Neighborhood support also varied widely, with a fourfold difference between the highest (North Dakota) and lowest (Arizona) rates among the states.
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Children living in poverty, or in homes where English is not spoken, were at the highest risk for these problems, Kaminski said. “Speaking English is either an indicator of assimilation into the culture and/or a sign of better access to health care,” she said.
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“We are not able to say if these risk factors are caused by or causing the disorders, but they are important for children’s health,” Kaminski added.
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Moreover, this snapshot cannot reveal if more children are suffering from these problems than in years past, she explained.
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The report, based on more than 35,000 children, was published March 11 in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
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The full range of childhood problems also included depression, developmental delay, Tourette syndrome and intellectual disability.
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Breath is the bridge


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Breath is the bridge
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which connects life to consciousness,
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which unites your body to your thoughts.
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Whenever your mind becomes scattered,
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use your breath as the means
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to take hold of your mind again.
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-Thich Nhat Hanh-
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Make sometime each day to soothe your nerve endings, to empty the mind of thought, to be present, now, here.
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See what life looks like beneath the ever discerning ego.
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We have a vital need to bring silence into our mind for short periods of time.
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If we want happiness, peace of mind, he/she can not be a stranger.
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Sit today and introduce yourself.
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