Psychology of the body - PTSD (questions, observations from personal experiences)

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posted on Apr, 10 2008 @ 09:28 PM
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I would like to discuss PTSD and the effects of and healing.

Briefly, I experienced trauma as a child and would disassociate to block the experiences. Through regression therapy, I have released shock, pain, memories etc. The regression therapy was profound. Releasing actual physical pain whilst in therapy is amazing, to consider that a person can block the experience of trauma from years before is extraordinary.

Unfortunately, the way I coped has set me up for some bad habits. Rather than feel pain, I will disassociate. Now, when everything is ok and I feel safe, I am fine but when I experienced an MVA in July 2006, I should not have been able to walk from the vehicle, but I did. I went to work the next day and collapsed. That is shock. Then another MVA in Feb 2007 compounded my state. Well, since then I have been in a state of shock and disassociation. I felt a moderate pain constantly and extreme pain = migraines for up to five days. Now, I believe that my brain only allowed myself to feel what I could cope with whilst in my state of denial.

The scarey thing for me was that during this time I started to experience moments where I would experience sensations beyond my control. I felt at times I could not make my body do what I wanted it to.

After the accidents, I went to a psychologist twice and stopped going after two visits because the whole time I was there, I would shake and find it hard to breathe. I was frightened that if I triggered she would not be able to bring me out of it.

My last therapist I saw for my childhood issues was highly trained and when I was in therapy, if my body went into shock or a memory surfaced she knew what to do to bring me out of it and would visit my home after some regression sessions to make sure I was ok.

I went to another therapist this week, (Naturapath, Kiniesiologist, Accupuncture, Bowen therapist etc) who has given me a treatment course to get me well. Now, whatever she has done or given me to take is making me 'feel' and well, it is scarey. Today, I sit here and my entire back is burning, I have to walk very slowly due to the intensity of the pain, but I intend to push through this and no longer block the pain. I am frightened though, I am scared that I will feel something that I can't cope with.

I have a course of herbs, natural homeopathic medicine to take and after the third day of taking them, yesterday, I felt like my body was so heavy, I could not move it. My entire spine felt like it was on fire, I began to shake and was dizzy. I only felt post accident the dizziness and shaking but now I feel like it is much worse. So, my thoughts now are that to get well, I have to a)come of out the shock state or the disassociated state and b) feel the actual pain to heal. The funny thing is even though I disassociated in the past as a child, I didn't think it was possible as an adult, but it is possible and it does happen.


Healing individual trauma, and trauma in massive crisis situations:

• Reducing and ending PTSD symptoms: (e.g. hyper-vigilance, flashbacks, insomnia or obsessive thinking related to traumatic events)

• Recognizing, understanding and ending dissociation

• Unlocking impulses frozen in the body

• Recognizing life-changing decisions connected to trauma – and making re-decisions

• Including the body in a direct and physical way when working with PTSD, using methods such as body sensing, understanding movement patterns of the reflex system, and assisting clients to recognize and let go of body tension patterns by using physical resistance in “movement and counter-movements”

• Helping the client re-establish a healthy reflex system – Fight, Flight and Orienting

• Helping the client understand the peak experience embedded within the shock, and the power she or he used to survive the original shock experience, whether it resulted in fighting, running away or "playing dead"

• Helping the client understand, sense and integrate the ME – the part of the human being that is our instinctual system, automatic, intuitive and collective knowledge, when experiencing high energy states such as those found in shock and peak experiencesPTSD


A part of me feels embarrassed to discuss this, but I am not on an island, many people have issues with PTSD. I am not the only one who is dealing with this type of thing...well that is what, when I am rational, I tell myself.

I guess I would like others to share how PTSD affects their life and what they are doing to heal.




posted on Apr, 13 2008 @ 03:09 PM
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maybe this is a bit offtopic, but how can you say if someone has really some mental disorder?

I mean, what if you haven't done anything bad but you are not a very outgoing person and because of that people that you meet make assumptions, filling the blank spaces with their own immagination, so that you are either a sort of psychopath/revenge seeker or even evil depending on their own mindset?

It seems that the more one is highly educated, the more he/she thinks to have understood it all forcing the matter to fit in their vision of things.

It's something that has always interested me, because more or less you can see it happen everyday looking around, where everyone makes assumptions about whatever they don't know, and usually what you don't know is seen in a negative way.

So, what if there is actually reason to be paranoid... should you be cured anyway?



posted on Apr, 13 2008 @ 10:51 PM
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reply to post by hookedfish
 



Hi, I am not sure of what you are saying here, but quite simply, I don't feel PTSD is purely a mental disorder.



The Invisible Epidemic: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Memory and the Brain

Recent studies have shown that victims of childhood abuse and combat veterans actually experience physical changes to the hippocampus, a part of the brain involved in learning and memory, as well as in the handling of stress. 5 The hippocampus also works closely with the medial prefrontal cortex, an area of the brain that regulates our emotional response to fear and stress. PTSD sufferers often have impairments in one or both of these brain regions. Studies of children have found that these impairments can lead to problems with learning and academic achievement.




The Invisible Epidemic: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Memory and the Brain

We recently conducted a study to try to see if PTSD symptoms matched up with a measurable loss of neurons in the hippocampus. We first tested Vietnam combat veterans with declaratory memory problems caused by PTSD.21 Using brain imaging, these combat veterans were found to have an 8% reduction in right hippocampal volume (i.e., the size of the hippocampus), measured with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), while no differences were found in other areas of the brain (Figure 1).
(MRI images here: see Fig One)



The limbic system is a term for a set of brain structures including the hippocampus and amygdala that support a variety of functions including emotion, behavior and long term memory.



Other images can be found here


PTSD displays biochemical changes in the brain and body that differ from other psychiatric disorders such as major depression.Neuroendocrinology



In addition to biochemical changes, PTSD also involves changes in brain morphology.Neuroanatomy (Hippocampus)


Hippocampus

PTSD is caused from trauma. The results of that cause damage to the Limbic area of the Brain. The damage can clearly be seen when studying brain imaging. I guess for me it is logical, the cause and effects of trauma.

As for paranoia, I am not sure about that. That is something I haven't experienced. Most of my energy focuses upon being safe and making sure I have safe passage if a threatening situation arises. I am fragile in threatening or hostile situations.

The new Therapist I am seeing took images of my eyes (Iridology) and did a live blood screen, among other things. Now I am not sure if it is a valid scientific diagnostic tool; but I was very impressed with what I saw. It was quite remarkable. In each of my eyes, I have two rings that go around the eyes indicating I had experienced two major shocks to my central nervous system that have damaged my nervous system.

I saw the Therapist on Tuesday and today is my 6th day of treatment. I am feeling much better than the third day. I still have a long way to go though.



posted on Apr, 13 2008 @ 10:59 PM
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Originally posted by hookedfish
So, what if there is actually reason to be paranoid... should you be cured anyway?


The answer is if the person wants to understand why they feel paranoid?

I guess I feel that, if you feel something, then there must be a reason for it.

I have a flashback on a regular basis and I feel for a split second what I see. It is terrifying.

I see myself paralysed and watching me from above. So, this means that I have disassociated and viewing what I don't want to experience.

I try to speak but I can't. I tell my body to move but it won't do what I tell it to. I know that for me to heal I have to go into the memory and release it. Obviously I have a fear of being paralysed with fear and not being able to move.

I won't attempt to deal with that until I am with a trained regression therapist.



posted on Apr, 14 2008 @ 04:14 PM
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thanks, that was very informative.



posted on Apr, 14 2008 @ 04:33 PM
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Look not only am I a combat VET but I'm also the parent of a Murdered child!!! poor little guy took a shotgun blast to the belly...bleed to death in my arms...
trust me when I say I'm up close and personal with PTSD...
nightmares flash backs hate anger fear worry guilt hell you get it all sometimes all at once...
after my son was killed I didn't hardly talk to anyone for a whole year...

now doctors are a joke first thing they want to do is load you up with every kind of drug there is....

the only thing that ever helped me was "Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)" learn to do the tapping method....

if your wondering both events were a lot of years ago and yes I'm still a bit messed up but I would have been a heck of a lot worse if I let the docs do the drugged up stupor they first planed



posted on Apr, 14 2008 @ 09:19 PM
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Originally posted by DaddyBare
Look not only am I a combat VET but I'm also the parent of a Murdered child!!! poor little guy took a shotgun blast to the belly...bleed to death in my arms...
trust me when I say I'm up close and personal with PTSD...
nightmares flash backs hate anger fear worry guilt hell you get it all sometimes all at once...
after my son was killed I didn't hardly talk to anyone for a whole year...


Thank you for sharing.

Life sucks at times, it really does. Especially when I read things like this. For me, I had dealt with my the majority of my trauma I experienced as a child through many years of regression therapy. I got to a place where I was 'relatively stable' and I was able to function. It is always there but I 'functioned'; there is always a possibility for another flashback to come along and disrupt that function, but I hadn't had one for a long time. And I knew that if one came along, then I knew where to go to deal with it, but...

When I had the car accident, I had to deal with a new set of issues. Another shock to my system. You have had the experiences of war to deal with. Perhaps you reached a level of 'functioning' but when another shock comes along, it compounds everything. It is all too much. Of course you would isolate yourself and not talk to anyone. Typical symptom of PTSD = withdrawing from life/relationships.


now doctors are a joke first thing they want to do is load you up with every kind of drug there is....


Well, at the age of 14 a Doctor prescribed me valium. My Mum didn't want me to take them and I can't remember how long I was on them for, (perhaps a year) but I know soon after that I found alcohol. Now I was not a legal age to drink but as if that makes any difference. I stopped taking valium and drank alcohol. And the irony of that is, both are 'blockers'.

I saw things as a young adult that I think saved me from just taking whatever a Doctor prescribed. It is perhaps my saving grace. My Sister did not survive our childhood. She started having big problems around this time and was institutionalised. Because she was a danger to herself the State took Gaurdianship of her. We could do nothing at the time and it probably seems mean, but I didn't want to know. At that time, I couldn't deal with her problems as they magnified my own.

Later, my Regression therapist suggested I take medication to alieviate the intensity of my state. I got very angry with that and told her I would not take anything again. You see, once my Sister was in the system, they pumped her full of medicines, really heavy duty stuff. The State also gave her several doses of electric shock therapy. It was horrifying to see how the State deals with 'mental illness'.

Well, quite simply, once you take some of these synthetic drugs you can never come off them again. My Sister was misdiagnosed. Under the State, she hardly saw the same Doctor twice. She had been labelled as Manic Depressant, then Schizophrenic... pathetic when you consider that her symptoms were atypical of 'sexual abuse'. Not once did anyone recommend counselling or regression.

She is out of the System now and doing as well as she can, but she has to take medication for the rest of her life. So, because of this, I will not trust a Doctor or any pills they may prescribe. I sought the holistic path and it has or it is, helping.


the only thing that ever helped me was "Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)" learn to do the tapping method....


Is this a way of avoiding 'triggers'? I haven't heard of EMDR. My Sister lost her sight completely at the age of ten. She was severly visually impaired as a child. So, I guess because of that, the EMDR wouldn't have helped.

I rely on the 'count' method. If anything happens, I have 10 seconds in which to chose a response. It was very difficult to do that but when I feel that spiraling or build up sensation, I hesitate or pause it and try to chose how I will react. I also have a 'support' friend.

'Triggers' sometimes come out of nowhere though and when that happens, I just feel anxious on a scale of ten and well, I am in it and it is hard to find out what happened for me to be like that.

eg: I was going out with one of my male friends and whilst I was driving, he reached over and touched my hair. From that point on, I was angry. I tried to bury it, yanno? I cancelled lunch abrubtly, said I had to go somewhere urgently. I dropped him off and went straight to a friends house. By the time I got there, I was in such a state. She opens the door and I just say distressed "something is wrong and I don't know what it is".

She calms me down and I tell her what happened. She then comes over and starts touching my hair and just out of nowhere, I yell out "Don't touch my (swear) hair!" and I burst into tears. When he touched my hair it brought back memories of other experiences I did not like to remember. I remembered that and now my friends joke about it and say "Nat is fine, just don't touch her hair!" LOL so 'triggers' if you have support, when they arise you can work through it but I do feel you need someone to help with it.


if your wondering both events were a lot of years ago and yes I'm still a bit messed up but I would have been a heck of a lot worse if I let the docs do the drugged up stupor they first planed


Well, even though your events happened years ago, at times your still in it, like it is happening now. I am happy for you that you have not become a 'drugged up stupor'... do you have a therapist to talk to? Counselling?

How do you cope?

[edit on 14-4-2008 by Thurisaz]



posted on Apr, 17 2008 @ 04:50 AM
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To the OP, I can relate to your story regarding the trauma. There is one powerful and yet very simple thing to do: breath in and out during stress, fear and so on. After a while your body will "reset" to feeling better and more grounded.

I have this wonderful book about body centered therapy and what you can do (At the Speed of Life : A New Approach to Personal Change Through Body-Centered Therapy by Gay Hendricks , Kathlyn Hendricks). One of the techniques is the one I already mentioned. It works, it releases the tension. You just have to do it. Most of the time when we feel bad, we look for diversions. And that is not the way.



posted on Apr, 18 2008 @ 11:08 AM
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reply to post by QueenofWeird
 



At the Speed of Life : A New Approach to Personal Change Through Body-Centered Therapy by Gay Hendricks , Kathlyn Hendricks



One of the techniques is the one I already mentioned. It works, it releases the tension. You just have to do it. Most of the time when we feel bad, we look for diversions. And that is not the way.


Thank you so much for recommending this book. I will definitely check it out. Sounds like it could be beneficial! It sounds like it has helped you?

Thanks for your imput



[edit on 18-4-2008 by Thurisaz]



posted on Apr, 19 2008 @ 09:35 AM
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As I said in my post Tapping worked for me.
How to Use the Emotional Freedom Technique
Link to tapping guide
as for books the only one I ever liked was one called
"I Can't Get over It: A Handbook for Trauma Survivors:"
ask your library if they can get it for you?
anyway it wasn't the self-help part of the book as much as it was the stories from real people who'd been through the same things I did...
makes you feel not so quite alone as it were...



posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 09:07 PM
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Originally posted by DaddyBare
"I Can't Get over It: A Handbook for Trauma Survivors:"

Thanks for the book recommendation




anyway it wasn't the self-help part of the book as much as it was the stories from real people who'd been through the same things I did...
makes you feel not so quite alone as it were...


Yes, reading about others experiences definitely helps. I don't feel that I am on an Island now
It is amazing that a book can start the healing process, especially if you have isolated yourself. It is a start.

A book I kept close to me for many years is called
"The Courage to Heal, - Ellen Bass, Laura Davis

This book includes personal stories/experiences. Very intense reading though.



[edit on 20-4-2008 by Thurisaz]



posted on Apr, 20 2008 @ 09:21 PM
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PSTD can and often does lead to Clinical Depression. The brain's chemistry is more easily thrown out of balance after a highly stressful event (or an accumulation thereof leading up to a major stressor).

You can't think your way back to balanced chemicals. It can take months or years to get back to recovery. Recovery can be full or partial.

People that have never experienced PSTD or depression (longer than two weeks) are very lucky. They should be thankful, as life is easy when not depressed. When depressed, life is very hard.



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 06:03 PM
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Originally posted by jetxnet
PSTD can and often does lead to Clinical Depression. The brain's chemistry is more easily thrown out of balance after a highly stressful event (or an accumulation thereof leading up to a major stressor).


Yes I agree.


You can't think your way back to balanced chemicals.


I am not sure about that. Thinking and speaking (like in regressive therapy) actually releases emotions, therefore releases chemicals and thus starts the healing process.


It can take months or years to get back to recovery. Recovery can be full or partial.


Yes, that is the frustrating part, it is like one huge onion. Just when do we get to the bulb or the core? I feel for me, my brain will only allow me to deal with issues that I can cope with.


People that have never experienced PSTD or depression (longer than two weeks) are very lucky. They should be thankful, as life is easy when not depressed. When depressed, life is very hard.


Yes, it is very hard, but peeling off one onion layer at a time and being conscious that it going to take time helps. I love me now, it was a conscious choice. I am the only one that can get through this and being impatient or hard with myself is not going to help me at all. That was a big step forward. Loving who I was, am. I think about things sometimes and I always get to the point where I feel "I did the best I could at that time" so I now have this empathy and understanding towards myself.

You come across as though you are speaking from experience? Forgive me if I am wrong in thinking that. Are you dealing with depression?



posted on Apr, 24 2008 @ 08:46 PM
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Yeah, i've had low grade depression for years and high-grade depression a few different times. I believe it is Dysthemia until a major depression occurs after very stressful event like death of a loved one.

I also agree that talking etc. is helpful. It is just so costly to get therapy anymore.

My friends are often highly-intelligent and seem to have problems with depression at times. They are not very positive if you know what I mean. People that are 'Bubbly' I can't seem to get along with. I'm more of a serious type I guess, but do joke from time to time.



posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 10:39 PM
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Originally posted by jetxnet
I also agree that talking etc. is helpful. It is just so costly to get therapy anymore.


Isn't there free services? The majority of my therapy didn't cost me anything.

In Australia, there is Depressionet That is online and provides free support. There is also a chat feature where you can 'speak' to a Social Worker.

Surely there are free services or support groups near you?

What Country are you in?

= USA I just did a search and not much came up for USA.

Terrible.

[edit on 27-4-2008 by Thurisaz]



posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 10:49 PM
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No, lol, the USA is Prozac nation. If you do get cheaper services here, it isn't worth much at all.

The intelligent couselors here cost alot of money. I think WWII may have done more damage on the US family system than people realize. Dysfunction is passed down from generation to generation. During WWII times, many children were neglected. These "baby boomers" then grew up to neglect and abuse their kids (not all of course). This creates continued stress and virtually no support systems other than addictive outlets.

Just speculation, but somewhat of a good speculation I think.



posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 10:56 PM
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Originally posted by jetxnet
No, lol, the USA is Prozac nation. If you do get cheaper services here, it isn't worth much at all.


Oh how bloody disgusting!

I am not surprised then to read some threads where Veteran's are committing suicide at an alarming rate. It is so irresponsible of Government Administration.

I have seen movies (USA) where people pay to go to a therapist... what if you haven't got the money? Your financial status locks you out of treatment?


Oh I am so glad I don't live in the USA. If you google 'free counselling Australia', look at how many come up?

I am shaking my head over this!

EDIT: I found some online info relating to the States:

Depression USA

OMG below is just so unintegral
Online Counseling - Phone Counseling - COSTS MONEY





[edit on 27-4-2008 by Thurisaz]



posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 11:04 PM
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Yeah, it is somewhat bad. In the US, you have these rich movie stars that do Cocain on an almost daily basis and they seem happy as Larks. They got plenty of money to feed their habit.

On the other hand, you have much of the mainstream resorting to drugs due to increased stress, something to help them cope feeling helpless and being sold out by their own elected officials.

Less stress means less addictions. More stress means more addictions and depression.

The father of stress is insecurity and America is getting a heavy dose of it.



posted on Apr, 27 2008 @ 11:04 PM
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Yeah, it is somewhat bad. In the US, you have these rich movie stars that do Cocain on an almost daily basis and they seem happy as Larks. They got plenty of money to feed their habit.

On the other hand, you have much of the mainstream resorting to drugs due to increased stress, something to help them cope feeling helpless and being sold out by their own elected officials.

Less stress means less addictions. More stress means more addictions and depression.

The father of stress is insecurity and America is getting a heavy dose of it.



posted on May, 8 2008 @ 08:54 PM
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I suffer from PTSD. Trauma really does have such an adverse effect on our minds and bodies. Once I am triggered, it becomes very difficult to have a safe feeling or being comfortable under my own skin. I don't feel that the majority of the population understand the debilitating affect it has on an individual......similar to how someone might look at depression as just being down-in-the-dumps or having the blues!

Anyway, I have enjoyed reading all the info you have given and I hope you continue to post more. I will keep visiting the thread to read any posts.

I have just come out of a bout with PTSD so for now I don't have much to say.

Looking forward to learning more from any info posted.



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