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Do I have PTSD?

PTSD

 

Recently I went in for an assessment to get some counseling. I’m embarking on a new adventure of being intentional in exercise, nutrition, and my finances. I’m tired of struggling, alone, with no stopping point in sight for me.

At my assessment the counselor suggested that I could have PTSD. When I think about PTSD I think about war veterans who have experienced traumas in wars. I think about two of my sisters and my friend who have experienced traumas in their lives too. Where they are afraid of moving or who are triggered easily by things. I have never put myself in that category.

I have experienced trauma in my life. Trauma through sexual abuse, physical abuse, my illness, and the many scary surgeries that I have had to endure in order to breathe well. Do I have PTSD?

Although my symptoms are not as aggressive and challenging as some. I do suffer from anxiety and fears. I have always used tools to help me through these things. I use my belief in Jesus and praying and many other tools.

Here are some symptoms of PTSD:

  • Flash backs: where the trauma is relived over and over again.
  • Nightmares
  • Frightening thoughts.
  • Avoiding things that trigger flashbacks and nightmares
  • Being emotionally numb and forgetting about the traumas endured.
  • Being easily startled, feeling tense and on edge, and having angry outbursts.
  • Hypervigilant…

The way I display my PTSD is through hypervigilance. I have to have things planned out well. I have to have a plan to make any life altering decision. It has become even more apparent as I have dealt with my illness. In this case, it has helped me tremendously. I do have frightening thoughts. Not about offing myself. Since I have had two bad surgeries. I always have a part of me that remembers that trauma and what happened.

 

PTSD is a serious mental health issue that needs not only compassion, but understanding.

 

Here are some tips that I have discovered on my research journey on PTSD:

  • Move your body: Any rhythmic exercise for 10 minute spurts throughout the day helps with unsticking your nervous system is encouraged.
  • Find the sensory input that brings a sense of calm to you. AS things can trigger you to have an attack, so can having things in your tool box that you know that can bring you a calm mind too. Experiment find what works for you.
  • Vocal toning helps. Singing or humming can open up the nervous system to socializing and connecting with others. I just might have to try this one myself.
  • Eat Omega 3’s. Things like Fish, flaxseed, and walnuts help with your brain and mental health. Include them into your healthy diet. Food does matter.
  • Seek counseling and work with this person through your thoughts, fears, and goals.

I’m still processing through the new information and even looking forward to working with my new counseling starting on Thursday. I’m sure I will have more to share as I journey down this new path.

Let’s keep breathing and singing and smelling the lovely flowers. Shall we?

Here are some great links that I have found to help me understand PTSD:

Helpguide.org

ADAA

Brain and Behavior Research Foundation

What It Feels Like to have PTSD

PTSD and Chronic Pain

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