Trauma! A PTSD Blog

Recovery from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) comes in many forms, one of which is utilizing the transferable principles of a 12-step program in PTSD recovery. Many of us who suffer from PTSD also suffer from addiction to drugs or alcohol, myself included, and we use the 12 steps as a tool for our recovery from addiction. Applying the 12 steps to my PTSD recovery is something that I have found helpful, and you may, too.
In PTSD recovery, the freeze response can be difficult for some to understand. Have you ever been so terrified, that all you could do is freeze in your tracks, afraid, or even unable, to move? If so, you may have been experiencing the freeze response to fear, which is a common symptom of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The freeze response is a normal, physical response to extreme fear or trauma. However, if you are a trauma survivor who has been diagnosed with PTSD, the freeze response may not be serving you well. The physical response of freezing, feeling paralyzed, or feeling like you are out of your body (dissociation), can be triggered by events that are not at all life-threatening for those of us with PTSD (PTSD and the Freeze Response). In other words, our response doesn't fit the current situation. Dealing with the freeze response can be frustrating, but you can deal with the freeze response in PTSD recovery.     
Grounding techniques for anxiety can be very helpful in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery. The anxiety that those of us with PTSD suffer can be frightening and frustrating; whether it comes in the form of flashbacks, nightmares, or full-blown panic attacks. Using grounding techniques for anxiety in PTSD recovery to remind ourselves that we are alright, and in no imminent danger, is one way to help.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a complex disorder that can be hard to understand if you haven't experienced it first-hand, so there are things that people with PTSD want you to know. Even those of us who suffer from it sometimes have difficulty explaining it to others. We don't all have the same PTSD symptoms, and we don't all respond to the same kinds of PTSD treatment. However, while there can be a lot of differences in the way people with PTSD respond to past traumas and to their recovery, there is one thing that I think most of us can agree on: we wish others could better understand PTSD and the feelings and behaviors that come with it. Here are 10 things that people with PTSD want you to understand.
My experience with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing therapy started when eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) was suggested to me as treatment for my posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and I thought the process sounded like some crazy science fiction stuff from a movie set far into the future. I was supposed to watch some lights going back and forth while holding vibrating tactile devices and listening to ambient sounds, both of which alternated from right to left? What? And that was going to somehow, magically maybe, move my traumatic memories to some other part of my brain where they wouldn't be so intrusive and emotion-provoking? That sounds as crazy as I was feeling at the time, but I was desperate for relief from my PTSD symptoms and willing to try anything so I tried the PTSD treatment of EMDR therapy.
Eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy is a posttraumatic stress disorder treatment. Treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can be as varied as the types of trauma that causes it, and what works for one person may not be what works for another. In my experience with PTSD recovery, I found relief from my symptoms with eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy. EMDR is a powerful and effective PTSD therapy that helps the brain to reprocess past traumas differently, relieving the PTSD sufferer from often debilitating symptoms like flashbacks, nightmares and panic attacks.
Avoidance is common in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) sufferers when triggered. Wanting to hide or run away from certain situations or avoiding negative emotions that come up is almost automatic for me when I'm dealing with PTSD symptoms. PTSD Symptom avoidance, especially emotional, may work to alleviate feelings of anxiety and panic for the short-term, but in the long run, avoidance can worsen PTSD symptoms and make life more difficult.
The anniversary of a traumatic event can send those of us with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) into a tailspin, bringing up negative emotions and PTSD symptoms more than usual. Coping with these feelings and reactions can seem overwhelming, frustrating and even useless, but I have found that there are ways of managing them when that time of year rolls around. Trauma anniversaries can be an opportunity for growth and healing if you allow them to be.
Sometimes saying goodbye is a part of posttraumatic stress disorder recovery. A good friend used to end his emails with, “Nothing lasts. Everything changes.” That has proven true in my recovery from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). I will be headed in one direction, and then life will take an unexpected turn. Sometimes, saying goodbye must be a part of PTSD recovery.
An important element of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery is to ask for help; but that didn’t come naturally for me (Are You Afraid To Ask For Mental Health Help?). My PTSD was caused by domestic violence while I was growing up in an alcoholic household. I learned at an early age to never ask for help and I had to overcome that learned behavior in order to recover. In my PTSD recovery, I had to learn to ask for help.