Posts Tagged ‘PTSD’

DSM-V Revisions to Signs and Symptoms of PTSD





In the most recent publication of the DSM, the DSM-V, PTSD symptoms are grouped into five different clusters. One or more symptoms are required from each of these clusters in order for a patient to receive a full diagnosis.

Those clusters include:

1. Stressor – (one required) The person was exposed to injury or severe illness that was life-threatening, which includes actual or threatened injury or violence. This may include at least one of the following:

Direct exposure to the trauma

Witnessing a trauma

Exposure to trauma by being a first responder, such as police, firefighter, medic, or crisis counselor

Learning that someone close to you experienced the trauma

2. Intrusion Symptoms (one required) – The person who was exposed to a trauma then re-experiences the trauma in one or more ways, including:



Distressing and intense memories

Distress or physical reactions after being exposed to reminders, known as “triggers”

3. Unpleasant Changes to Mood or Thoughts (two required) –

Blaming self or others for the trauma

Decreased interest in things that were once enjoyable

Negative feelings about self and the world

Inability to remember the trauma clearly

Difficulty feeling positive

Feelings of isolation

Negative affect, and difficulty feeling positive

4. Avoidance (one required) – This occurs when a person tries to avoid all reminders of the trauma, including:

Avoiding external reminders of what happened

Avoiding trauma-related thoughts or emotions, sometimes through the use of drugs or alcohol

5. Changes in Reactivity (two required) – This occurs when a person becomes more easily startled and reacts to frightful experiences more fully, including symptoms of:

Aggression or irritability

Hypervigilance and hyper-awareness

Difficulty concentrating

Difficulty sleeping

Heightened startle response

Engaging in destructive or risky behavior

Difficulty sleeping or staying asleep



May I be at Peace



Living with your Heart Wide Open:

“May I open to great self-compassion.

May I open to deep reconciliation of my past with the wise understanding that all of my past has led me to this moment.

May I hold myself gently, with mercy, kindness, and levity.

May I accept my imperfections and see that I am imperfectly perfect just as I am.

May I be as healthy as I can be.

May I have ease in body and mind.

May I be at peace.”



It’s a practice of being with yourself just as you are.



From Living with your Heart Wide Open:

“All of us sometimes act unskillfully and make poor choices that hurt others, and we are all sometimes hurt by the actions of others.

Rather than pushing thoughts and feelings about these things away, and rather than trying to correct anything or anyone, simply be with the thoughts and feelings that come up for you with curiosity and awareness.

As you practice self-compassion meditation, the intention is to be open to all of your thoughts, emotions, and sensations, to let all the streams of perception flow through you unfettered.

It’s a practice of being with yourself just as you are.”



My two cents: Learning to observe means using curiosity and awareness instead of judgment.

Tenzin Palmo, a nun in the Tibetan tradition wrote:

“There is the thought, and then there is the knowing of the thought. 

And the difference between being aware of the thought and just thinking is immense.”



Inquiring and Knowing: Shaila Catherine



“If you keep examining—not until you find something,

but until you realize seeing without grasping,

inquiring without fixating,

exploring without expecting,

knowing without controlling,

living without suffering—you will discover a purity of happiness that is unbounded.”



Self-Authorship part 2: “Living with your Heart Wide Open”

Pixabay: Ben_Kerckx



We see ourselves in the mirrors of others’ eyes and behaviors, and our stories reflect what we see there.

Who you believe you are began in your early relationships with your caregivers, and it was in these exchanges that you decided if you were worthy or unworthy, adequate or inadequate.

Your story has developed within this original theme from then on.

If you feel inadequate, for example, you may seek a sense of adequacy from people or things, from what you’ve done, or from your appearance, your talents, or your performances.

This never works out.

A sense of adequacy doesn’t come from any of these things; it comes from who you are. This is why so many of us feel deficient and unworthy no matter what we do.

We perform. We get wonderful things.

We may even succeed in proving our adequacy to others, but we never quite prove it to ourselves.

Shortly after every standing ovation, the sense of inadequacy returns and follows us as inexorably as a shadow.

The sense of inadequacy also follows us into our love relationships, where we tend to play out our role in some of the most dramatic ways.

Surely the one who loves us will give us what we always longed for.

Surely this person’s love will be enough, and through it, we will finally be enough.

This never quite works out either, even when our partners do their best to assure us that we’re okay, or even far more than okay.

In fact, the distortions of our self-authorship often manifest more dramatically in these relationships than anywhere else, due to the extraordinary perceptual distortion known as projection—attributing your own thoughts and judgments to others.



“Living with your heart wide open”: Self Authorship



“Author and organizational consultant Margaret Wheatley describes this dynamic well: “We notice what we notice because of who we are.

We create ourselves by what we choose to notice. Once this work of self-authorship has begun, we inhabit the world we have created.

We self-seal.

We don’t notice anything except those things that confirm what we already think about who we already are…

When we succeed in moving outside of our normal processes of self-reference and can look upon ourselves with self-awareness, then we have a chance at changing.

We break the seal. We notice something new”.

This is a powerful insight into not only how the concept of self is perpetuated by habits of mind and perception, but also how you can free yourself and discover a much larger experience of who you are.

Perhaps none of us discovers who we really are until we free ourselves from concepts of who we are and are not.

Therefore we begin this book by exploring how the fiction of self is created and maintained.

The sense of self is formed in early childhood and gradually hardens into self-concepts and beliefs, creating a personal identity that can define and restrict you for the rest of your life.”



What I like best……



“Well,” said Pooh, “what I like best,”

and then he had to stop and think.

Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do,

there was a moment just before you

began to eat it which was better than when you were,

but he didn’t know what it was called.

~A.A. Milne~



My two cents: A study was performed on people preparing for an extended vacation.

It was found the anticipation before the vacation started was filled with more satisfaction than the actual vacation.

Pooh stumbles on this mindset called anticipation, a perfectly orchestrated vacation, not yet fulfilled.



The Pauses are the Doors

.Melanie Weidner, M.Div., is an artist, spiritual director, and workshop leader shaped by years of Quaker, contemplative, and mindfulness practice. Her work celebrates beauty, presence, self-reflection, compassion, and joy. –

I was not a good candidate for meditating, my friends believed an anxious, high strung Marty could never sit still, meditate.

My mind always raced, worried a lot and felt unworthy at his core from childhood abuse.

Meditating meant sitting still and facing my mind one on one.

PTSD was the only reason I found meditation, the reason I would never give up trying to heal.

Most people who try to meditate face similar challenges.

My developed willpower from surviving my dad, allowed me to fail over and over without quitting.

Meditation was the last option I had left for healing my Childhood PTSD.

So I created a visual model and realized, we always get lost during the pauses.

Thoughts entered my pauses, not when I was focused inside my nostrils with the inhales and exhales.

I focused intently on the pauses, exploring my inner world while my body was at rest.

Our bodies are calmest during the pauses.

Inhales and exhales take energy and make noises.

The pauses suspend inhales and exhales and the body is still, no movement, a perfect time to sense inside your body, your inner world.

We spend all our time on the external world, external stimulus, external desires.

Our inner world gets little or no attention.

We can fix this discrepancy while meditating.

Transitions are the pauses.

Start at lower right hand corner, inhale up the blue arrows.

To the first pause (green arrows)

Then exhale is followed by a pause, the same duration as the first pause



Oscar Wilde quotes

“I don’t want to be at the mercy of my emotions. I want to use them, to enjoy them, and to dominate them.”





“The world is a stage and the play is badly cast.”
– Oscar Wilde





PTSD stats


From Recovery Village

PTSD treatment statistics

Psychotherapy, medication, or a combination of the two can treat PTSD. There are multiple types of psychotherapies used to treat PTSD; however, trauma-focused psychotherapies with a mental healthcare professional are the most recommended. This type of treatment helps people process their experiences by focusing on the memory of the traumatic event or its meaning. 

Studies have demonstrated that up to 46% of people with PTSD show improvement within the first six weeks of psychotherapy. Antidepressants are also a treatment option to alleviate the symptoms of PTSD, including anxiety, with studies showing up to 62% of people receiving medication for PTSD show improvement. (American Family Physician, 2003)



My two cents: 46% improve? What kind of stat is that. Hell I improved and suffered for decades.

I improved over a five year period of daily work. This stat was taken after six weeks of therapy.

This study is worthless, no one with serious PTSD heals in six weeks.

Our Psychological cabal does not have stats about healing, the duration it takes to heal or what therapy works best.

Each therapist you visit is a special fiefdom of their schooling and beliefs.

Each therapist will have different skills and different philosophies on healing.

Took me six months to understand PTSD and its symptoms.

In my experience a combination of therapy, medication and our own daily work heals the best, fastest.

Depends on the therapy and therapist you choose plus how hard you work and what skills you develop.

Healing is possible but not easy or quick.



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