Anyone Else With PTSD?

Posted by Parus @parus, Jul 21, 2017

Curious

@parus

@merpreb I no longer have this kind of strength. No need kicking anyone else’s suggestions in the teeth. I know trying to go back to work even part time is not an option. All I can do to get through a day at times. Seems all I can see are all the failures. I can still make a pot of awesome chicken lentil soup. I will focus my sights on a millefueur tapestry and keep breathing. When I can offer some positive input I will.

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When you offer positive input it is appreciated, @parus, because I know if comes from a heart that has experienced hurt and pain and is offered from a tender heart.

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@gingerw

My Dr always gives me a hard copy of the orders, even though he submits them online. He told me he was tired of the lab not finding an entry in the system, it was easier to print a copy as he decided on a test. I appreciate his foresight to do this. On Monday, I had two tests done and ohmigosh!, exactly like you said @parus. The number of people, the cell phones ringing, the complaining, and not to mention the two young men who decided to have a conversation where every other word was the F-bomb. Seriously, I don't think they know how to put a sentence together in plain English! I wish there was some way to pull the blood myself and take it into the lab.
You hang in there, please, and know that we are here for you!
Ginger

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@gingerw Thanks as there is comfort in knowing I am not alone with the agonies of waiting rooms. A new world of sorts. I have hard copies of something’s which has helped in some situations. It seems all I hear is it my fault for not following protocol. Hard to do follow protocol when I don’t know what it is. I can say I have never been rude to an employee or another patient waiting. That is saying a lot. Why when I am in a hard place I lay low.

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@parus

@merpreb I am a “when in doubt do nothing” type. My worst fear is becoming a vicious, cruel person. I am lost in a technological world where appointments are computer generated. Show up 3 days early for the bloodwork of a standing order and it is not there. Fearful of going again because I did not know the orders were generated by a computer. Just cannot bring myself to make the drive again only for it to not be there because “I” failed the system again. Stupidity and ignorance are not acceptable. I don’t mind waiting but when there are 2 tv’s, network music, cellphones, combination of colognes and assorted body odors… I don’t know how others do it. No amount of planning can prepare me for this.

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Dear Parus, I am with you having grow up with PTSD from childhood to now at age 81. I am sure there are many of us who understanding and are rooting for you. We care much for you,and know you will make it. Hold on tight. We are there for you, you might not see us but again, we are there for you. With the dearest and most serious love for you one of the sweetest of us. Peach

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@parus

@gingerw Thanks as there is comfort in knowing I am not alone with the agonies of waiting rooms. A new world of sorts. I have hard copies of something’s which has helped in some situations. It seems all I hear is it my fault for not following protocol. Hard to do follow protocol when I don’t know what it is. I can say I have never been rude to an employee or another patient waiting. That is saying a lot. Why when I am in a hard place I lay low.

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Dear Parus, ,(peach here again) We know you are right. Yes, playing 'playing the game and yes, playing stupid sometimes satisfies them. Just keep yourself going, keep believing in yourself and hold on there. WE ARE WITH YOU. You have made it all these years and you will ,ake it now. BELIEVE. Loveingiy Peach

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Hello – I know that many of you sharing in this group have met @merpreb. Ever wonder what makes Merry tick and what she does when she's not on Connect? Now you can.

Check out the Member Spotlights and read the latest story about Merry.
– A Survivor: Meet @merpreb https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/about-connect/newsfeed/a-survivor-meet-merpreb/

Be sure to subscribe (+Follow) the About Connect page https://connect.mayoclinic.org/page/about-connect/ and see new member spotlights published every 2 weeks.

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@parus

For anyone living w/ PTSD symptoms vary. I had some terrible experiences w/ therapists and this did nothing but increase my symptoms. I was misdiagnosed and loaded up w/ anti psychotics which were so wrong-One therapist ended up w/ a 99 year suspension on her license and is still harassing and stalking me which is so difficult. I moved once and she found me…I did not file the charges against this therapist.

Living in fear is not the way to live out the rest of my life…I live in fear for my family too. I don’t know where 2 of my adult children live because of this mess w/ someone that was supposed to be helping…I find it hard to trust.

I have grand children too. I live in fear for them. This sicko caused much harm to others as well. One less predator in the mental health system.

Maybe I can get some help from others. I grew up being abused and did not know as I partitioned by brain into other parts and did not need to deal…now I am trying to have some kind of life and fear has driven me back from others.

I can understand that some have been helped by the mental health system…I don’t think there is help there or anywhere.

That was negative and also true.

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I have participated in several types of therapy for extremely severe PTSD. I participated in intensive trauma therapy which included EMDR, yoga for trauma, (all holistic) with several different doctors. One piece of advice, watch therapists and doctors that ‘think’ they can help. They may have studied it, but that doesn’t mean they GET IT. I’ve been to therapists that have actually made me feel worse because they thought there was some magical switch in my brain that could just turn it off. WRONG. While the EMDR seemed to help it was nearly impossible for me to get to discuss what actually happened as I became unable to sleep as well as pre-diabetic. It seemed the more I talked about it the more intense the flashbacks became. My therapist was wonderful and I certainly can’t say EMDR would not have worked, but I got to the point where it became too painful and difficult just going to the appointments. After going I felt great, but getting there was another story. The yoga for PTSD/trauma seemed to help tremendously in learning how to breathe, how to feel ‘grounded’ and getting rid of the constant looming feeling of fear.

I also did Nuerofeedback for my PTSD a couple years after the intensive trauma therapy. I chose to do this because I thought I wouldn’t have to talk about the trauma but also because someone I respected greatly had completed neurofeedback in Canada and said amazing things about it. While the Nuerofeedback did bring back the memories of the trauma (which I was not expecting) it helped TREMENDOUSLY. I went to the ADD clinic in Scottsdale, AZ for 2 weeks (they do several types of Nuerofeedback for different types of mental illnesses/disorders – it is also not impatient, I just knew I needed to be away from my family while I tried to deal with my PTSD and what might come by opening up the repressed part of my brain) to complete ‘intensive’ treatment. Nuerofeedback typically takes people several months to complete. I would not recommend trying to fit Nuerofeedback into an intensive 3 week schedule, as it was way too much for me to deal with in such a short amount of time with respect with getting through flashbacks and remembering more than what I was really ready/able to deal with in such a short amount of time. However, I would ABSOLUTELY recommend neurofeedback for anyone suffering from PTSD. It helps calm your brain waves so that you are not obsessing about the trauma. It is completely natural and is unfortunately not all that well known yet for treatment of PTSD as it is somewhat ‘new age.’ However, all the research behind it makes complete sense, so seriously check it out. You can find doctors who do it in major cities. Many people who complete Nuerofeedback actually get to a point where they can simply stop going to their appointments bc it changes our brain waves permanently and we loose the crippling feeling of fear that haunts us. For me it seemed to open up parts of my brain that my brain was not able to access (therefore bringing back flashbacks/repressed memories) but also gave me a TON of clarity as to why my behaviors became what they had and how the trauma affected who I ‘became.’ I learned what triggered me and made me feel certain ways as well as why my behaviors or feelings were what they were, even if I did not actually have a reason to feel afraid. A lot of what we feel comes from repressed memories and if we can’t identify them, we have no idea why we suddenly feel scared, anxious, freaking out, etc. Being able to identify what triggered me to feel such terrible ways was crucial in working through the PTSD. Most importantly, I lost the constant feeling of paralyzing and gripping fear. I certainly hope this is helpful, as PTSD is no joke and anyone suffering from it know this. They may just not be able to SPEAK IT. My heart goes out to all and again I hope this information was of some help!

REPLY
@crissdawn

I have participated in several types of therapy for extremely severe PTSD. I participated in intensive trauma therapy which included EMDR, yoga for trauma, (all holistic) with several different doctors. One piece of advice, watch therapists and doctors that ‘think’ they can help. They may have studied it, but that doesn’t mean they GET IT. I’ve been to therapists that have actually made me feel worse because they thought there was some magical switch in my brain that could just turn it off. WRONG. While the EMDR seemed to help it was nearly impossible for me to get to discuss what actually happened as I became unable to sleep as well as pre-diabetic. It seemed the more I talked about it the more intense the flashbacks became. My therapist was wonderful and I certainly can’t say EMDR would not have worked, but I got to the point where it became too painful and difficult just going to the appointments. After going I felt great, but getting there was another story. The yoga for PTSD/trauma seemed to help tremendously in learning how to breathe, how to feel ‘grounded’ and getting rid of the constant looming feeling of fear.

I also did Nuerofeedback for my PTSD a couple years after the intensive trauma therapy. I chose to do this because I thought I wouldn’t have to talk about the trauma but also because someone I respected greatly had completed neurofeedback in Canada and said amazing things about it. While the Nuerofeedback did bring back the memories of the trauma (which I was not expecting) it helped TREMENDOUSLY. I went to the ADD clinic in Scottsdale, AZ for 2 weeks (they do several types of Nuerofeedback for different types of mental illnesses/disorders – it is also not impatient, I just knew I needed to be away from my family while I tried to deal with my PTSD and what might come by opening up the repressed part of my brain) to complete ‘intensive’ treatment. Nuerofeedback typically takes people several months to complete. I would not recommend trying to fit Nuerofeedback into an intensive 3 week schedule, as it was way too much for me to deal with in such a short amount of time with respect with getting through flashbacks and remembering more than what I was really ready/able to deal with in such a short amount of time. However, I would ABSOLUTELY recommend neurofeedback for anyone suffering from PTSD. It helps calm your brain waves so that you are not obsessing about the trauma. It is completely natural and is unfortunately not all that well known yet for treatment of PTSD as it is somewhat ‘new age.’ However, all the research behind it makes complete sense, so seriously check it out. You can find doctors who do it in major cities. Many people who complete Nuerofeedback actually get to a point where they can simply stop going to their appointments bc it changes our brain waves permanently and we loose the crippling feeling of fear that haunts us. For me it seemed to open up parts of my brain that my brain was not able to access (therefore bringing back flashbacks/repressed memories) but also gave me a TON of clarity as to why my behaviors became what they had and how the trauma affected who I ‘became.’ I learned what triggered me and made me feel certain ways as well as why my behaviors or feelings were what they were, even if I did not actually have a reason to feel afraid. A lot of what we feel comes from repressed memories and if we can’t identify them, we have no idea why we suddenly feel scared, anxious, freaking out, etc. Being able to identify what triggered me to feel such terrible ways was crucial in working through the PTSD. Most importantly, I lost the constant feeling of paralyzing and gripping fear. I certainly hope this is helpful, as PTSD is no joke and anyone suffering from it know this. They may just not be able to SPEAK IT. My heart goes out to all and again I hope this information was of some help!

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@crissdawn – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, and I'm grateful for the experiences you've shared here and what has been helpful with your PTSD.

I'd love for you to meet @peach414144 @parus @hopeful33250 @gingerw @dandi @cambriaclover @lakelifelady and others on this thread, who may have some questions or thoughts for you on the intensive trauma therapy you underwent, which included EMDR, yoga for trauma,and neurofeedback. I know @parus has talked about EMDR, and @cindypekarek, whom I'd like to invite into this discussion, has talked about the idea of neurofeedback for PTSD.

Are you still doing the yoga for PTSD/trauma, @crissdawn? Do you also take any medications related to the PTSD diagnosis?

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@lisalucier

@crissdawn – welcome to Mayo Clinic Connect, and I'm grateful for the experiences you've shared here and what has been helpful with your PTSD.

I'd love for you to meet @peach414144 @parus @hopeful33250 @gingerw @dandi @cambriaclover @lakelifelady and others on this thread, who may have some questions or thoughts for you on the intensive trauma therapy you underwent, which included EMDR, yoga for trauma,and neurofeedback. I know @parus has talked about EMDR, and @cindypekarek, whom I'd like to invite into this discussion, has talked about the idea of neurofeedback for PTSD.

Are you still doing the yoga for PTSD/trauma, @crissdawn? Do you also take any medications related to the PTSD diagnosis?

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Hi Lisa, thank you for the inquiry and I am more than happy to help. When I had (very extreme) flashbacks, I had issues feeling like I could not even keep my feet on the floor. For instance, I would walk into a grocery store and feel so overwhelmed (I'm assuming due to hyper-vigilance and not being able to 'see/size up' everything going on because there was too much stimuli), and I'd immediately feel like I was going to faint. One of the main practices I was taught during my trauma therapy was that, while making certain there were no shoes/socks involved, taking my feet and pressing them into the floor as hard as I could to feel balanced. I struggled a lot with the yoga due to my inability to concentrate whatsoever. The first time I did Tree Pose (a yoga pose), my therapist actually cried because I was able to actually hold the pose and stay balanced, which meant my concentration had improved enough to actually stay focused. Moreover, I learned a ton about breathing excersices, which were critical (and continue to be, even as so recent as today) I get triggered and find that a lot of these feelings/emotions stem from me not breathing properly. This has been crucial to my recovery, as the more oxygen my body keeps in, the more CO2 I have, which is desperately needed for our brain to function properly. I found that I was either holding my breath (I think my body just overtime 'adapted' to this type of breathing from feeling a sense of constant fear – or that something bad was going to happy, and that I was not breathing properly into my abdomen. During both my EMDR and my yoga therapy, we'd either put bricks on my abdomen or sand bags as a weight. I went to the Juniper Center in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, and the people I worked with were absolutely phenomenal. Basically I would lay down flat and with either the brick or sand bag on my abdomen, the point was to breathe into my abdomen so deep I could actually see the brick/sandbag move up and down when taking deep breaths, which was telling me I was breathing properly. I actually still do yoga often when I am feeling stressed, anxious, or triggered. I have also began Tai Chi – which, as strangely as it sounds, has helped me tremendously to calm my brain down from anxious thoughts and be able to clear my mind and focus. Tai Chi has been phenomenal in helping me. I was prescribed several anti anxiety medications for my PTSD, but I try and be as holistic as possible. I took Klonopin, Effexor, and a number of other pharmaceuticals within the past several years to try and combat the PTSD. I am actually very proud to say I am no longer taking any of these meds. In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, the meds seem to mask the underlying problem, so to speak. To put it differently, we are not really dealing with the root of the problem because the meds are blocking them out and masking the feelings we need to be experiencing and identifying with to learn how to get over the past and move on, if that makes any sense. Instead of meds, I drink a ton of teas to relax (Chamomile, Wild Sweet Orange, Kava (Stress Relief), Lemon Zinger, etc. I wholeheartedly believe we can combat our PTSD/anxiety/depression through natural remedies such as exercise, brisk walks, natural teas, yoga, Tai Chi, Cardio, Pilates, etc – basically whatever works for a person and fits their particular lifestyle best. I try to do a blend of all of it to keep a healthy mind/body balance, especially due to having extremely anxiety. (For instance, if I'm feeling super anxious, brisk walk. If I'm feeling stressed, a double bag of chamomile tea, If I feel like I can't focus, I will stop and do some Tai Chi or yoga (when possible). I also recommend just charting whatever small steps a person has made on a calendar, to show their progress and chart it on a calendar. For instance, (and as an example), "On the 30th I felt anxious at a level of 8 out of 10. I drank some chamomile tea and did 15 minutes of yoga poses. Afterwards, I felt like a 3 out of 10 with respect to my anxiety." I think charting our progress really helps keep us motivated and also aids in not feeling helpless – showing that there is something that helps. The more we chart with our progress, the more focused we become on tweaking our own remedies and allowing ourselves to understand the PTSD does not control us if we do not let it. This, in itself, is very empowering and healing.
I have a 7 year anniversary coming up as to when my trauma happened – it will be the 23rd of February. Let me just say it has been EXTREMELY ROUGH (…understatement of the century). I have lost SEVERAL 3 figure jobs due to flashbacks coming out of the woodwork (stress makes worse/exasperates PTSD symptoms) and been literally left immobile, unable to move. If there is anyway I can help someone NOT loose so many years of their lives in the event they are continuing to have flashbacks, immobility, etc, I am happy to help in whatever way I can. I'd like to send you a couple of links/reference materials to share to whomever may be able to be benefit from this, but I'm going to need some time to locate them. One book that really helped me was Yoga for Emotional Trauma. Recently, I've been reading a book called A Morning Cup of Tia Chi (very easy, simple and cool read). While, as I mentioned, Tai Chis is 'out there,' Give it a chance! (It's not very known/'normal' to Western culture – it is practiced religiously in other parts of the world (Japan, China, etc) for a more balanced mind/body unity). I cannot tell you how much it helps me tap into my non-emotional (and therefore rational) part of my brain to combat what my emotional part of my brain is telling me. I've learned that emotions will take us over, but only if we choose to let them. Emotions are reactional – but if we know what triggers these emotions, we are able to tell ourselves that we are reacting based on a false feeling of fear based on something that happened long ago. We know we are being triggered from the past and therefore know that what we are feeling (although very strongly) is not actually real, as much as it feels like it. The rational parts of our brain know and understand that although we may be FEELING a certain way (afraid, anxious, etc), our emotions are not actually realistic (they are resorting to an 'autopilot' feeling they've adapted to overtime. Moreover, they are still very powerful if we do not know how to put them in check. However, and as mentioned before, until we can identify what makes us feel a way, we cannot put them into check. This is where EMDR and Nuerofeedback helped me the most. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any and all questions.

REPLY
@crissdawn

I have participated in several types of therapy for extremely severe PTSD. I participated in intensive trauma therapy which included EMDR, yoga for trauma, (all holistic) with several different doctors. One piece of advice, watch therapists and doctors that ‘think’ they can help. They may have studied it, but that doesn’t mean they GET IT. I’ve been to therapists that have actually made me feel worse because they thought there was some magical switch in my brain that could just turn it off. WRONG. While the EMDR seemed to help it was nearly impossible for me to get to discuss what actually happened as I became unable to sleep as well as pre-diabetic. It seemed the more I talked about it the more intense the flashbacks became. My therapist was wonderful and I certainly can’t say EMDR would not have worked, but I got to the point where it became too painful and difficult just going to the appointments. After going I felt great, but getting there was another story. The yoga for PTSD/trauma seemed to help tremendously in learning how to breathe, how to feel ‘grounded’ and getting rid of the constant looming feeling of fear.

I also did Nuerofeedback for my PTSD a couple years after the intensive trauma therapy. I chose to do this because I thought I wouldn’t have to talk about the trauma but also because someone I respected greatly had completed neurofeedback in Canada and said amazing things about it. While the Nuerofeedback did bring back the memories of the trauma (which I was not expecting) it helped TREMENDOUSLY. I went to the ADD clinic in Scottsdale, AZ for 2 weeks (they do several types of Nuerofeedback for different types of mental illnesses/disorders – it is also not impatient, I just knew I needed to be away from my family while I tried to deal with my PTSD and what might come by opening up the repressed part of my brain) to complete ‘intensive’ treatment. Nuerofeedback typically takes people several months to complete. I would not recommend trying to fit Nuerofeedback into an intensive 3 week schedule, as it was way too much for me to deal with in such a short amount of time with respect with getting through flashbacks and remembering more than what I was really ready/able to deal with in such a short amount of time. However, I would ABSOLUTELY recommend neurofeedback for anyone suffering from PTSD. It helps calm your brain waves so that you are not obsessing about the trauma. It is completely natural and is unfortunately not all that well known yet for treatment of PTSD as it is somewhat ‘new age.’ However, all the research behind it makes complete sense, so seriously check it out. You can find doctors who do it in major cities. Many people who complete Nuerofeedback actually get to a point where they can simply stop going to their appointments bc it changes our brain waves permanently and we loose the crippling feeling of fear that haunts us. For me it seemed to open up parts of my brain that my brain was not able to access (therefore bringing back flashbacks/repressed memories) but also gave me a TON of clarity as to why my behaviors became what they had and how the trauma affected who I ‘became.’ I learned what triggered me and made me feel certain ways as well as why my behaviors or feelings were what they were, even if I did not actually have a reason to feel afraid. A lot of what we feel comes from repressed memories and if we can’t identify them, we have no idea why we suddenly feel scared, anxious, freaking out, etc. Being able to identify what triggered me to feel such terrible ways was crucial in working through the PTSD. Most importantly, I lost the constant feeling of paralyzing and gripping fear. I certainly hope this is helpful, as PTSD is no joke and anyone suffering from it know this. They may just not be able to SPEAK IT. My heart goes out to all and again I hope this information was of some help!

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@crisdawn This was one of the best replies of PTSD I ever read. Wow I just starting learning about this. I was diagnosed with PTSD about 4 years ago. I will be so happy when I can finally let go and Let God I felt like I had walked in Jobs shoes in the Bible. I am gonna go back to Yoga and try again. Thanks so much for your love and sharing of your knowledge in getting better God Bless ya Cat

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@crissdawn

Hi Lisa, thank you for the inquiry and I am more than happy to help. When I had (very extreme) flashbacks, I had issues feeling like I could not even keep my feet on the floor. For instance, I would walk into a grocery store and feel so overwhelmed (I'm assuming due to hyper-vigilance and not being able to 'see/size up' everything going on because there was too much stimuli), and I'd immediately feel like I was going to faint. One of the main practices I was taught during my trauma therapy was that, while making certain there were no shoes/socks involved, taking my feet and pressing them into the floor as hard as I could to feel balanced. I struggled a lot with the yoga due to my inability to concentrate whatsoever. The first time I did Tree Pose (a yoga pose), my therapist actually cried because I was able to actually hold the pose and stay balanced, which meant my concentration had improved enough to actually stay focused. Moreover, I learned a ton about breathing excersices, which were critical (and continue to be, even as so recent as today) I get triggered and find that a lot of these feelings/emotions stem from me not breathing properly. This has been crucial to my recovery, as the more oxygen my body keeps in, the more CO2 I have, which is desperately needed for our brain to function properly. I found that I was either holding my breath (I think my body just overtime 'adapted' to this type of breathing from feeling a sense of constant fear – or that something bad was going to happy, and that I was not breathing properly into my abdomen. During both my EMDR and my yoga therapy, we'd either put bricks on my abdomen or sand bags as a weight. I went to the Juniper Center in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, and the people I worked with were absolutely phenomenal. Basically I would lay down flat and with either the brick or sand bag on my abdomen, the point was to breathe into my abdomen so deep I could actually see the brick/sandbag move up and down when taking deep breaths, which was telling me I was breathing properly. I actually still do yoga often when I am feeling stressed, anxious, or triggered. I have also began Tai Chi – which, as strangely as it sounds, has helped me tremendously to calm my brain down from anxious thoughts and be able to clear my mind and focus. Tai Chi has been phenomenal in helping me. I was prescribed several anti anxiety medications for my PTSD, but I try and be as holistic as possible. I took Klonopin, Effexor, and a number of other pharmaceuticals within the past several years to try and combat the PTSD. I am actually very proud to say I am no longer taking any of these meds. In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, the meds seem to mask the underlying problem, so to speak. To put it differently, we are not really dealing with the root of the problem because the meds are blocking them out and masking the feelings we need to be experiencing and identifying with to learn how to get over the past and move on, if that makes any sense. Instead of meds, I drink a ton of teas to relax (Chamomile, Wild Sweet Orange, Kava (Stress Relief), Lemon Zinger, etc. I wholeheartedly believe we can combat our PTSD/anxiety/depression through natural remedies such as exercise, brisk walks, natural teas, yoga, Tai Chi, Cardio, Pilates, etc – basically whatever works for a person and fits their particular lifestyle best. I try to do a blend of all of it to keep a healthy mind/body balance, especially due to having extremely anxiety. (For instance, if I'm feeling super anxious, brisk walk. If I'm feeling stressed, a double bag of chamomile tea, If I feel like I can't focus, I will stop and do some Tai Chi or yoga (when possible). I also recommend just charting whatever small steps a person has made on a calendar, to show their progress and chart it on a calendar. For instance, (and as an example), "On the 30th I felt anxious at a level of 8 out of 10. I drank some chamomile tea and did 15 minutes of yoga poses. Afterwards, I felt like a 3 out of 10 with respect to my anxiety." I think charting our progress really helps keep us motivated and also aids in not feeling helpless – showing that there is something that helps. The more we chart with our progress, the more focused we become on tweaking our own remedies and allowing ourselves to understand the PTSD does not control us if we do not let it. This, in itself, is very empowering and healing.
I have a 7 year anniversary coming up as to when my trauma happened – it will be the 23rd of February. Let me just say it has been EXTREMELY ROUGH (…understatement of the century). I have lost SEVERAL 3 figure jobs due to flashbacks coming out of the woodwork (stress makes worse/exasperates PTSD symptoms) and been literally left immobile, unable to move. If there is anyway I can help someone NOT loose so many years of their lives in the event they are continuing to have flashbacks, immobility, etc, I am happy to help in whatever way I can. I'd like to send you a couple of links/reference materials to share to whomever may be able to be benefit from this, but I'm going to need some time to locate them. One book that really helped me was Yoga for Emotional Trauma. Recently, I've been reading a book called A Morning Cup of Tia Chi (very easy, simple and cool read). While, as I mentioned, Tai Chis is 'out there,' Give it a chance! (It's not very known/'normal' to Western culture – it is practiced religiously in other parts of the world (Japan, China, etc) for a more balanced mind/body unity). I cannot tell you how much it helps me tap into my non-emotional (and therefore rational) part of my brain to combat what my emotional part of my brain is telling me. I've learned that emotions will take us over, but only if we choose to let them. Emotions are reactional – but if we know what triggers these emotions, we are able to tell ourselves that we are reacting based on a false feeling of fear based on something that happened long ago. We know we are being triggered from the past and therefore know that what we are feeling (although very strongly) is not actually real, as much as it feels like it. The rational parts of our brain know and understand that although we may be FEELING a certain way (afraid, anxious, etc), our emotions are not actually realistic (they are resorting to an 'autopilot' feeling they've adapted to overtime. Moreover, they are still very powerful if we do not know how to put them in check. However, and as mentioned before, until we can identify what makes us feel a way, we cannot put them into check. This is where EMDR and Nuerofeedback helped me the most. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any and all questions.

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Thank you for the time and caring for your post. It is appreciated by more then just me I am sure. I do not know how helpful this is but so far in my lifetime I am sure that I will take some of this sadness to the grave with me. What does help is that I have forgiven almost all of the hurtful people that have hurt me. Good luck, Peach

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@crissdawn

Hi Lisa, thank you for the inquiry and I am more than happy to help. When I had (very extreme) flashbacks, I had issues feeling like I could not even keep my feet on the floor. For instance, I would walk into a grocery store and feel so overwhelmed (I'm assuming due to hyper-vigilance and not being able to 'see/size up' everything going on because there was too much stimuli), and I'd immediately feel like I was going to faint. One of the main practices I was taught during my trauma therapy was that, while making certain there were no shoes/socks involved, taking my feet and pressing them into the floor as hard as I could to feel balanced. I struggled a lot with the yoga due to my inability to concentrate whatsoever. The first time I did Tree Pose (a yoga pose), my therapist actually cried because I was able to actually hold the pose and stay balanced, which meant my concentration had improved enough to actually stay focused. Moreover, I learned a ton about breathing excersices, which were critical (and continue to be, even as so recent as today) I get triggered and find that a lot of these feelings/emotions stem from me not breathing properly. This has been crucial to my recovery, as the more oxygen my body keeps in, the more CO2 I have, which is desperately needed for our brain to function properly. I found that I was either holding my breath (I think my body just overtime 'adapted' to this type of breathing from feeling a sense of constant fear – or that something bad was going to happy, and that I was not breathing properly into my abdomen. During both my EMDR and my yoga therapy, we'd either put bricks on my abdomen or sand bags as a weight. I went to the Juniper Center in the Northwest suburbs of Chicago, and the people I worked with were absolutely phenomenal. Basically I would lay down flat and with either the brick or sand bag on my abdomen, the point was to breathe into my abdomen so deep I could actually see the brick/sandbag move up and down when taking deep breaths, which was telling me I was breathing properly. I actually still do yoga often when I am feeling stressed, anxious, or triggered. I have also began Tai Chi – which, as strangely as it sounds, has helped me tremendously to calm my brain down from anxious thoughts and be able to clear my mind and focus. Tai Chi has been phenomenal in helping me. I was prescribed several anti anxiety medications for my PTSD, but I try and be as holistic as possible. I took Klonopin, Effexor, and a number of other pharmaceuticals within the past several years to try and combat the PTSD. I am actually very proud to say I am no longer taking any of these meds. In my opinion, and this is only my opinion, the meds seem to mask the underlying problem, so to speak. To put it differently, we are not really dealing with the root of the problem because the meds are blocking them out and masking the feelings we need to be experiencing and identifying with to learn how to get over the past and move on, if that makes any sense. Instead of meds, I drink a ton of teas to relax (Chamomile, Wild Sweet Orange, Kava (Stress Relief), Lemon Zinger, etc. I wholeheartedly believe we can combat our PTSD/anxiety/depression through natural remedies such as exercise, brisk walks, natural teas, yoga, Tai Chi, Cardio, Pilates, etc – basically whatever works for a person and fits their particular lifestyle best. I try to do a blend of all of it to keep a healthy mind/body balance, especially due to having extremely anxiety. (For instance, if I'm feeling super anxious, brisk walk. If I'm feeling stressed, a double bag of chamomile tea, If I feel like I can't focus, I will stop and do some Tai Chi or yoga (when possible). I also recommend just charting whatever small steps a person has made on a calendar, to show their progress and chart it on a calendar. For instance, (and as an example), "On the 30th I felt anxious at a level of 8 out of 10. I drank some chamomile tea and did 15 minutes of yoga poses. Afterwards, I felt like a 3 out of 10 with respect to my anxiety." I think charting our progress really helps keep us motivated and also aids in not feeling helpless – showing that there is something that helps. The more we chart with our progress, the more focused we become on tweaking our own remedies and allowing ourselves to understand the PTSD does not control us if we do not let it. This, in itself, is very empowering and healing.
I have a 7 year anniversary coming up as to when my trauma happened – it will be the 23rd of February. Let me just say it has been EXTREMELY ROUGH (…understatement of the century). I have lost SEVERAL 3 figure jobs due to flashbacks coming out of the woodwork (stress makes worse/exasperates PTSD symptoms) and been literally left immobile, unable to move. If there is anyway I can help someone NOT loose so many years of their lives in the event they are continuing to have flashbacks, immobility, etc, I am happy to help in whatever way I can. I'd like to send you a couple of links/reference materials to share to whomever may be able to be benefit from this, but I'm going to need some time to locate them. One book that really helped me was Yoga for Emotional Trauma. Recently, I've been reading a book called A Morning Cup of Tia Chi (very easy, simple and cool read). While, as I mentioned, Tai Chis is 'out there,' Give it a chance! (It's not very known/'normal' to Western culture – it is practiced religiously in other parts of the world (Japan, China, etc) for a more balanced mind/body unity). I cannot tell you how much it helps me tap into my non-emotional (and therefore rational) part of my brain to combat what my emotional part of my brain is telling me. I've learned that emotions will take us over, but only if we choose to let them. Emotions are reactional – but if we know what triggers these emotions, we are able to tell ourselves that we are reacting based on a false feeling of fear based on something that happened long ago. We know we are being triggered from the past and therefore know that what we are feeling (although very strongly) is not actually real, as much as it feels like it. The rational parts of our brain know and understand that although we may be FEELING a certain way (afraid, anxious, etc), our emotions are not actually realistic (they are resorting to an 'autopilot' feeling they've adapted to overtime. Moreover, they are still very powerful if we do not know how to put them in check. However, and as mentioned before, until we can identify what makes us feel a way, we cannot put them into check. This is where EMDR and Nuerofeedback helped me the most. Please don't hesitate to contact me with any and all questions.

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Excellent! The detail you give us helps a great deal in actually carrying through with our own treatments. Anything that helps mind, body and soul balance! I do a Tia Chi chant which includes slow movements, where I move to I am Healthy, Happy and Holy. Switch legs and chant, I am grateful, gracious and grounded. Breathing right seems to follow.

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Yes, I've had it for years – I'm 72 now and have been affected by it my entire life. Mine revolved around abusive partents – both physical and emotional trauma. I've been in therapy for years – it was so wonderful to let it out and not keeping the SECRET. I'm good now -= but every once in awhile somethings is said or done that bring back that terrible feelings of doom and gloom and depression, the feeling like I really don't care at all about anything anymore. I know I take risks that I shouldn't take – but when things get that bad, I really don't care..

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@1mountaingirl86

Yes, I've had it for years – I'm 72 now and have been affected by it my entire life. Mine revolved around abusive partents – both physical and emotional trauma. I've been in therapy for years – it was so wonderful to let it out and not keeping the SECRET. I'm good now -= but every once in awhile somethings is said or done that bring back that terrible feelings of doom and gloom and depression, the feeling like I really don't care at all about anything anymore. I know I take risks that I shouldn't take – but when things get that bad, I really don't care..

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Good morning and welcome to Mayo Connect @1mountaingirl86. Do you live in the mountains? I love your name. I've also had PTSD for years and it is natural to put up defenses so that we can stop the pain. I think that's why we start to feel like we don't care. I'm curious – what do you mean that you take risks? You have my curiosity on high alert!

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@amberpep

You are not alone ….. because of the way I grew up, I prefer to be by myself. Oh, when I’m with friends or a group of people, I can pull it off and seemingly “enjoy myself” but when I leave I’m exhausted. And my favorite past-time is sitting in my chair, hot cup of tea in hand, reading a book ….. a very isolated activity. It’s a push for me to “get out there” and like you, the thought of getting a part-time job makes me tired just thinking about it …. I’m 72. I often wonder, what is left for me? I don’t know the answer to that one …. only He does.
abby

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Oh Gosh! I thought I was the only person that felt at ease and preferred to animals and nature over people. I grew up in a small rural town where they were no children to play with. I can't recall if I was lonely or not – there was PTSD over growing up in that household so I learned never to trust people. Here I am – 72 years old and all I enjoy doing is sitting in my recliner and watching tv — all day long -= even if the movies are repeats. I have no friends and haven't had any for years — but I honestly don't miss having them. I prefer my life even though it's blah, blah, blah. Is there something terrible wrong with me? I'm totally uncomfortable in social situations, which is practically non-existent. A total recluse — but what must sound strange is that I prefer it to being in a group of people. Am I a weirdo??

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@1mountaingirl86

Oh Gosh! I thought I was the only person that felt at ease and preferred to animals and nature over people. I grew up in a small rural town where they were no children to play with. I can't recall if I was lonely or not – there was PTSD over growing up in that household so I learned never to trust people. Here I am – 72 years old and all I enjoy doing is sitting in my recliner and watching tv — all day long -= even if the movies are repeats. I have no friends and haven't had any for years — but I honestly don't miss having them. I prefer my life even though it's blah, blah, blah. Is there something terrible wrong with me? I'm totally uncomfortable in social situations, which is practically non-existent. A total recluse — but what must sound strange is that I prefer it to being in a group of people. Am I a weirdo??

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@1mountaingirl86 Hello-I want you to know I don’t think you’re weird. You are different from me, but that doesn’t make you weird. You mentioned that you were uncomfortable in social situations. Maybe that’s something you want to figure out. But you certainly don’t have to.
Have a happy day watching the tube!!
Karen

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