PTSD: Just can’t shake that Worthlessness feeling

PTSD is to blame for my feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness habitually during my life.  Sexual abuse by a neighbor when I was six years old, coupled with the impact of living as a daughter of a narcissistic mother was the catalyst.  With trauma, both sexual and emotional, I experienced negativity leading to depression.  Seeking out therapy has improved the healing process.

On goodtherapy.org they explain Worthlessness

Worthlessness can be described as a feeling of desperation and hopelessness. Individuals who feel worthless may feel insignificant, useless, or believe they have nothing valuable to offer the world. People diagnosed with depression often report these feelings, and children who were neglected or abused may carry a sense of worthlessness into adulthood.

When worthlessness leads one to experience thoughts of suicide or causes other immediate crisis, it may be best to contact a crisis hotline or seek other help right away.

Understanding Worthlessness

Worthlessness, a feeling that may cause an individual to feel as if they have no significance or purpose, can have a significant negative effect on emotional health. A recent study conducted by researchers at Seoul National University found that feelings of worthlessness were significantly associated with lifetime suicide attempt in adults who reported major depression and had also experienced trauma. The study concluded that, among symptoms of depression, worthlessness had the strongest association with lifetime suicide attempt.

Continue reading “PTSD: Just can’t shake that Worthlessness feeling”

Triggering Triggers (PTSD)

Trigger Warning!!

Triggers can pop up just about anywhere.  Just when you think that you have tackled an issue, whether it is dealing with a traumatic experience or re-living memories in a disorder called (PTSD), post-traumatic stress disorder, triggers may resurface.

A trigger is something that sets off a memory tape or flashback transporting the person back to the event of her/his original trauma.  PsychCental.com

For me, traveling the tough therapy road, confronting issues relating back to my horrid past of childhood sexual and emotional abuse (PTSD), I lived with flashbacks and frightening dreams.  Certain smells, certain surroundings…..hard to pinpoint, can trigger a recollection.  Luckily, I have moved on with my life and can swiftly shove these painful thoughts aside.  It took years though to be able to achieve this.

A couple of years ago, a tough test for me tackling triggers was put to the test.  Nine years of hospitalizations ended in 2002, and I had not visited the inside of any hospital ward since that time.  My psychiatrist’s office was in the hospital, and although I had to pass by the doors to the ward for each appointment with him, it never bothered me due to the fact that I was an outpatient now.

Continue reading “Triggering Triggers (PTSD)”

My Teacher Wore Oven Gloves

Have you ever had someone enter your life that really made a difference when you were a child, validated your feelings or listened with concern when you spoke?

Perhaps it was a mentor, coach, Girl Guide leader; you get the idea. Reflect for a minute who that person was. For me, it was my high school home economics teacher, Mrs. Fox.

Each day I was greeted with a brilliant smile from her, and the only teacher throughout my entire schooling that I connected with.

I was emotionally abused by my narcissistic mother, forever feeling depressed, apathetic, sullen, despondent and isolated. Her home economics course, for grades eleven and twelve, included both cooking and sewing/crafts (this was back in the early 70’s when it was assumed girls who graduated would ultimately become secretaries or housewives!).

Continue reading “My Teacher Wore Oven Gloves”

PTSD: Seeking out a Trauma Therapist? 4 Important Things to look for

To heal from trauma means finally dealing with the source of the trauma, whether it’s childhood abuse or neglect, combat experiences, or a natural disaster or a violent assault. How can this be done, however, when trauma provokes such negative and overwhelming feelings – feelings that most try hard to keep safely buried?

Therapy can be a vital step, helping the person feel safe enough to revisit their trauma without being retraumatized in the process. Getting the right support is key, however. Not only is it important to connect with a therapist well-versed in effective therapeutic approaches, it’s also vital to seek out a person with whom you feel a personal connection.

Multiple studies confirm that a person who feels good about their relationship with their therapist is more likely to have a positive outcome. A recent study from Bowling Green State University researchers takes the concept a step further, noting that a deep connection between a therapist and patient can lead to “sacred moments” that increase well-being on both sides.

With that in mind, here are four things to look for to make your therapeutic experience most effective:

Continue reading “PTSD: Seeking out a Trauma Therapist? 4 Important Things to look for”

Toxic Mothers: “How was I supposed to handle your sexual abuse?”

“Well back in the ‘60’s, we didn’t know how to handle things like that”

That was my mother’s asinine come back to my question, “Why didn’t you even take me to the doctors’ as a caution?” when discussing the sexual abuse a few years ago. I’ve always questioned this, whether it be any decade, wouldn’t a mother ensure her child was ok? All around, I am the daughter of a narcissistic mother which explains everything.

My parents didn’t believe me when I was 8 years old, revealing that our neighbor was sexually abusing me, and making matters worse, had to ask for forgiveness from the abuser. I doubt my mother truly believes me to this day or recognized that she made a huge mistake or perhaps ashamed how it was all handled.

She has never fully expressed regret for her actions, never acknowledged or empathized with the crap I went through (PTSD, major depression, hospitalizations, etc.) including years of therapy to heal and wipe up her mess. (Showing no validation or empathy is a common trait of a narcissist).

She slept peacefully at night during my hellish years, while I was awake feeling guilt, shame, and worthlessness. I finally severed ALL contact with my mother a few years ago, which was the wisest decision and the only alternative allowing me to continue healing and living freely.

(I finally received validation from a stranger (therapist) 45 years later which began my healing journey from feeling anguish and pain).

Written and copyrighted by Deb McCarthy 2016

Reminds me of my Narcissistic Mother In Law and how her adult children's are always turning a blind eye towards her bad behaviour. My narcissistic mother in law got all her adult children to worship and fear her.:

How true is this?  Hugs to all, Deb

PTSD ~ “We are Invincible” (Kelly Clarkson) ~ This song is for the Survivors of Abuse

This video had me in tears.  Sometimes I forget I’m a warrior, yet I struggled most of my life hiding a secret and believing it was my fault for the sexual abuse.  I know now that it wasn’t and I finally accepted this and can breathe.

(repost)

Difference between sexual assault and sexual abuse?

In newspapers and media reports, it’s sometimes stated women were violated and “sexually assaulted” or “abused”. Although I’m cognizant that abuse is traumatic regardless, “assault” covers such a broad range.

My point here is, are the public aware of the seriousness surrounding the most horrific assault cases.  I located information below on the Gov’t of Western Australia Department of Health  (Sexual Assault Resource Centre) website.

What is sexual assault?

Continue reading “Difference between sexual assault and sexual abuse?”

EMDR Therapy for PTSD?

A friend has struggled with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) for many years, and has just started EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) therapy.  She found it unusual and felt uneasy at first, but after a few sessions could feel a positive effect.

Continue reading “EMDR Therapy for PTSD?”

Psychodynamic Therapy

My first involvement with therapy back in the early 1990’s was Psychodynamic Therapy, and at the beginning I was uncertain what it involved.  This form of therapy was used to confront the issues dealing with PTSD, but little did I know I was in for an incredibly bumpy ride.  Back then there wasn’t much information on types of therapies used, and wished I had researched and had use of the internet and resources that we do today.

The information on PsychCentral.com site explains:

Psychodynamic therapy, also known as insight-oriented therapy, focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behavior.  The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior.  In its brief form, a psychodynamic approach enables the client to examine unresolved conflicts and symptoms that arise from past dysfunctional relationships and manifest themselves in the need and desire to abuse substances.

The article continues on PsychCentral.com

7 Ways to Avoid Re-Traumatizing a Trauma Victim

I found this article somewhat helpful appearing in PsychCental.com.

Trauma is a complex phenomenon. Many of us have probably experienced an event that we struggle to not only forget, but emotionally cope with. If I were to ask you if you have ever experienced a traumatic event what would you say? Was it severe, moderate, or mild? Was it long-term or short-term? Were you able to easily get over it? Whatever the case may be, a traumatic experience must be an event that we find difficult to cope with over time. Sadly, many people who tend to lack knowledge about trauma fail to recognize that anything a trauma victim comes in contact with can re-traumatize them.

For example, I previously had a client who witnessed his mother slit her throat and commit suicide. Prior to this suicide, the mother had been playing hiding-go-seek outside with all 4 of her children. This child struggled with understanding why his mother would walk away during hiding-go-seek and kill herself. Now, at the age 10, he watches movies with his father that often include crime scenes, murder, and suicide which tends to trigger memories of his mother’s suicide. He is unable to sleep at night, relax, or put the past behind him. Yet, his father is unaware of the reality that he  is possibly re-traumatizing his own son with these movies.

This article will discuss 7 things we, who are close to trauma victims, should be mindful not to do. I will also give suggestions on what we should do instead.

It is sad to say but a large amount of individual, families and parents come to therapy with unrealistic expectations about the therapeutic process. I often have parents and families ask the following questions when they see me for the first time:

  • “How often will he/she see you?” This question is asked because the unrealistic expectation is that if the child/teen sees me more often throughout the week, progress will happen faster.
  • “Will you make him/her talk?” This question is asked because the unrealistic expectation is that I am someone who should make an individual talk about the “bad” things that have happened to them in order to stimulate great progress.
  • “Has she/he talk to you about what happened to them?” This question is also asked with the unrealistic expectation that an individual, who just met me and may be slow to warm up, will open up like a fountain and start talking. Many families often tell the child/teen “your therapist is not going to judge you so just open up.”
  • “Why isn’t he/she talking about what makes him/her so mad?” This question is asked with the unrealistic expectation that if the person talks about their past, they won’t be so angry anymore.

Remainder of this article @
http://blogs.psychcentral.com/caregivers/2015/06/7-ways-to-avoid-re-traumatizing-a-trauma-victim/

(repost)

 

PTSD Survivors: Why is validation so important for healing?

dissociation 3

Throughout my years in therapy, validation was comparable to receiving a gift, at times triggering tears of sadness, yet happiness and contentment at the same time.   Finally, someone was not ignoring me, was respecting my feelings and best of all, no interruptions with cruel words.  As a daughter of a narcissistic mother, very rarely showing any validation, empathy and usually telling me “you’re making things up again.”, this was all new to me.

Validation means to express understanding and acceptance of another person’s internal experience, whatever that might be. Validation does not mean you agree or approve. Validation builds relationships and helps ease upset feelings. Knowing that you are understood and that your emotions and thoughts are accepted by others is powerful. Validation is like relationship glue. – psychologytoday.com

This article from PsychCentral.com explains ‘Validation’.

Have you ever wished you could take back an email that you sent when you were emotionally upset?  Or maybe you made some statements when you were sad that you didn’t really mean or agreed to something when you were thinking with your heart that you later regretted? Or maybe you wanted to be supportive and helpful to someone you love but couldn’t because your own emotions made it difficult?

Communicating when overwhelmed with emotion does not usually work well. Being overwhelmed with emotion is not a pleasant experience. For emotionally sensitive people, managing their emotions so they can communicate most effectively and with the best results means learning to manage the intense emotions they experience on a regular basis. Continue reading “PTSD Survivors: Why is validation so important for healing?”

PTSD: Why do I have a ‘short fuse’?

Image: pixabay.com
Image: pixabay.com

“She’s such a nice girl”.

I’ve never recognized why I developed a short fuse or experience sudden outbursts of anger while growing up until I was in my therapy session last week. My therapist and I are seldom at odds, yet one particular thing she said ticked me off and I snapped at her which resulted in anger.

We talked it through and resolved the issue, but I was shocked when she said, “when angry, the PTSD kicks in just like that”. I never connected anger, irritability or having a short fuse before with PTSD, but it makes sense.  Yes, I have a ‘short fuse‘ and I’m terribly impatient at times.

I’ve been termed ‘such a nice girl’ often, and to others, I suppose I am. Well-mannered, respectful, soft-spoken, compassionate, but underneath, I’ve held back anger on many occasions. Outside smiles, inside tears.

Continue reading “PTSD: Why do I have a ‘short fuse’?”

PTSD ~ Controlling My Terrifying Nightmares

Image Source: mommysurvivors.com

I’ve had problems with dreams and nightmares for years, and never gave it much thought that it may be connected to trauma (PTSD).  After, discussing memories and flashbacks in therapy, I’m beginning to understand how much trauma can have an impact on dreams.  My psychiatrist has prescribed a medication (Prazosin Hcl 2mg) to alleviate the nightmares, and it has been fairly successful so far.

Those terrifying, nighttime dreams in which you show up at work naked, encounter an ax-wielding psychopath, memories from childhood trauma or other tribulations may become a thing of the past thanks to a discovery reported on Reuters.com.

Continue reading “PTSD ~ Controlling My Terrifying Nightmares”

Why Was I A Disappointment?

Image source: differentdream.com

WHY WAS I A DISAPPOINTMENT?

why was I such a big disappointment
and what age did you start loathing me
your son wasn’t treated like that
and I tried everything in me to please

the sexual abuse wasn’t my fault
yet you made it and believed it to be
to save face in the neighborhood was so important
keeping the secret didn’t destroy you as it did me

Continue reading “Why Was I A Disappointment?”

Depression: Am I here in this black hole forever? Huh?

I used to ask myself, almost every day throughout my depressive illness; is this it?  Does it get ever any better?  Am I stuck here in this black hole forever?

Sounds pessimistic, but my history of recurring hospital admissions and medications that were ineffective, coupled with suicide attempts and unrelenting depression, didn’t illustrate a positive picture.  At separate hospital admissions, I was frequently greeted by the same bed, same patients and same nurses who precisely dispensed my medications.  Many years ago, hospitalization was a sort of an incarcerated life; that of daily rituals, set meal times, social activities, lights out at 11:30 pm, and scheduled visits from visitors.   Finally, discharge, after serving my “time”, which meant adjusting to home life all over again.

With zilch changing; I’m asking “is this as good as life gets?”

It’s both upsetting and scary, no one should ever have to endure this type of life, and depression, for me, proved a dreadful existence.  After spending months in the hospital, I would continually sense that I was one footstep away from hospital waters every waking day.  Continuously, just a step away from hell; surviving only on the surface.

Continue reading “Depression: Am I here in this black hole forever? Huh?”

Childhood Trauma Tied to Migraine Risk as Adult

Study found witnessing parental domestic violence produced most powerful association

(HealthDay News) — Experiencing a traumatic event during childhood may raise the risk for migraines as an adult, new Canadian research suggests.

“We found the more types of violence the individual had been exposed to during their childhood, the greater the odds of migraine,” study author Sarah Brennenstuhl, from the University of Toronto, said in a university news release.

“For those who reported all three types of adversities — [witnessing] parental domestic violence, childhood physical and sexual abuse — the odds of migraine were a little over three times higher for men and just under three times higher for women,” Brennenstuhl said.

The findings were reported online recently in the journal Headache. To reach their conclusions, researchers looked at data from a mental health survey involving nearly 23,000 men and women over the age of 18.

“The most surprising finding was the link between exposure to parental domestic violence and migraines,” study co-author Esme Fuller-Thomson, a professor and chair at University of Toronto’s Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, said in the news release.

Girls who had witnessed parental domestic violence grew up to be women with a 64 percent greater risk for migraines, compared with those with no such history. For men, the bump in risk amounted to 52 percent, the investigators found.

And the team noted this association held up even after taking into account a wide range of influential factors, such as age, race, a history of depression or anxiety, and any history of childhood physical and/or sexual abuse.

However, the study did not prove a cause-and-effect link between childhood trauma and migraine risk.

From HealthDay.com:
http://consumer.healthday.com/public-health-information-30/domestic-violence-news-207/childhood-trauma-may-up-risk-for-adult-migraines-700726.html

More information

Visit the U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke for more on migraines.

SOURCE: University of Toronto, news release, June 24, 2015

Are you “Attached” to your Therapist?

image source: cromalens.com

I still have feelings of attachment for my present therapist of 6 years, it’s tough not to due to this stranger who has earned my trust, validated my feelings and permitted me to speak without interruption.  Not once did I ever see that expression of “whatever” or disbelief that I had become accustomed to when I was a child from my narcissistic mother. 

A psychotherapy blog I found that explains many topics is: Moments of Change where they have included an article on “Attachment in Therapy

The consulting room is an emotional candy store. It is a place where you are the only person in the world and it’s all about you.  The therapist has no other mission but to understand you just as you are and help you heal and grow.  It is as close as you can come in adult life to the one-way relationship of childhood where you receive but don’t have to give back. In the case of psychotherapy, you do give back, but in a different currency, that allows for all the feeling of being taken care of.  One therapist said, “you buy my time, but the rest is free!”

Continue reading “Are you “Attached” to your Therapist?”

SHE’S SUCH A NICE GIRL

I’ve never recognized why I developed a short fuse or experience sudden outbursts of anger while growing up, until I was in my therapy session last week.  My therapist and I are seldom at odds, yet one particular thing that she said ticked me off and I just snapped at her which turned into anger.

We talked it through, and resolved the issue, but I was shocked when she said “when angry, the PTSD kicks in just like that”.  I never connected anger, irritability or having a short fuse before with PTSD, but it makes sense.

Continue reading “SHE’S SUCH A NICE GIRL”

Are you faking PTSD for attention? Is this just a scam?

I have PTSD, and just hearing the word “fake & “scam” was an actual trigger to my past.

Yesterday, while sitting in a coffee shop sipping tea and reading a book, two women around 30 – 40 years of age sitting behind me, actually had this conversation. True story. I’ll call them A & B.

A –Do you believe in all of this PTSD shit?

B –I don’t know what to think sometimes.  I do know a co-worker who’s sister is going to therapy for it, I don’t know what exactly for, but she just said something that happened to her when she was young and has PTSD now.

A –Do you think it’s for real, or she looking for attention?  How old is her sister?

B –I think she’s in her 30’s, not sure. It’s something about molestation or something, I didn’t want to ask and be nosey.

A –Yeah right, like she can remember things that happened when she was a kid!

B –Well it’s her business

A –I’m just asking because I saw a show last night showing how some men in the military and some police are actually faking having this PTSD, just to collect disability.  Some of them have collected $100,000.00, what a shame when people that have an actual disability need it.

Continue reading “Are you faking PTSD for attention? Is this just a scam?”

Child Sex Abuse Case Sheds Light on Warning Signs

This brief news article appeared today, forewarning once again the importance that parents be aware of adults who are in contact with their children.  Note to parents out there:  If your child is courageous enough to approach you, please validate and believe him/her.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — A West Meade man is in jail accused of repeatedly molesting an 11-year-old boy.  Investigators say, 44-year-old Darrell Fisher was a “father-figure” to his victim and that is often how something like this starts.

Fisher was reportedly often at places where children were though he didn’t have any children of his own.

He coached for a club lacrosse team started by parents at JT Moore Middle School from 1998-2008. He was a boy scout leader at least from 2001 and he also started a military history group for young men.

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, “stranger danger” is rare. A child often knows his or her abuser.

The Center for Disease Control says, one in six boys are sexually abused before they’re 18. For girls, it’s one in four.

A few warning signs of child sexual abuse are if your children becomes withdrawn, self-destructive and/or shows poor school performance. Sometimes, though, there are not outward symptoms.

Continue reading “Child Sex Abuse Case Sheds Light on Warning Signs”

PTSD, Narcissism & TRIGGERS: Reliving the crap all over and over again

Just a quick glimpse at a man’s hands with dirty fingernails is my worst trigger, followed by a flashback.  Seems whacky, doesn’t it?

Bad memories of the traumatic event can come back at any time.  You may feel the same fear and horror you did when the event took place.  You may feel like you’re going through the event again.  This is called a flashback. Sometimes there is a trigger: a sound or sight that causes you to relive the event.  Triggers might include:

  • Hearing a car backfire, which can bring back memories of gunfire and war for a combat veteran.
  • Seeing a car accident, which can remind a crash survivor of his or her own accident.
  • Seeing a news report of a sexual assault, which may bring back memories of assault for a woman who was raped.    Source:  WebMed.com

Continue reading “PTSD, Narcissism & TRIGGERS: Reliving the crap all over and over again”

PTSD & Narcissism ~ and that feeling of Emptiness

I experienced emptiness during my childhood as a daughter of a narcissistic mother who either ignored me most days or spewed vicious words of criticism and anger.  Which was worse, being ignored or the vicious words ~ either way I felt empty.

My previous postings on Validation & Childhood Emotional Neglect include examples of emptiness.

 The article below is from an article on PsychCentral.com

Emptiness. It’s not a disorder in and of itself, like anxiety or depression. Nor is it experienced by most people as a symptom that interferes with their lives. It’s more a generic feeling of discomfort, a lack of being filled up that may come and go. Some people feel it physically, as an ache or an empty space in their belly or chest. Others experience it more as an emotional numbness. You may have a general sense that you’re missing something that everybody else has, or that you’re on the outside looking in. Something just isn’t right, but it’s hard to name. It makes you feel somehow set apart, disconnected, as if you’re not enjoying life as you should.

People who don’t have it don’t understand. But people who feel it know:

In many ways, emptiness or numbness is worse than pain. Many people have told me that they would far prefer to feel anything to nothing. It’s very hard to acknowledge, make sense of, or put words to something that is absent. Emptiness seems like nothing to most people. And nothing is nothing, neither bad nor good, right?

But in the case of a human being’s internal experience, nothing is definitely something. “Empty” is actually a feeling in and of itself. And I have discovered that it is a feeling that can be very intense and powerful. In fact, it has the power to drive people to do extreme things to escape it.

Empty is the “unfeeling” feeling. It’s the painful sense that some vital ingredient is missing from inside. I often have talked about the root cause of empty feelings: Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN). But the type and depth of emptiness you feel is determined by the type and depth of CEN that you grew up with, plus some other parenting factors. Continue reading “PTSD & Narcissism ~ and that feeling of Emptiness”

What about the Funeral? ~ When Your Abuser or Estranged Relative Dies

Yes, what about the funeral.  Are you expected to attend, expected to pay for costs, feel guilty and makes excuses for not attending?  It’s a crappy time for everyone.

My narcissistic mother is not in the picture anymore, however, if she passed away how would the funeral be handled?  (I’ve already answered that, but will keep my answer private).

Searching high and low for a detailed answer, I came across this well-written article:


One of the biggest dilemmas faced by escapees from abusive families is what to do when our abuser or estranged relative dies. Should we make an appearance at the wake and funeral, or not? Should we go to the burial?  Should we send flowers? Should we offer our condolences- and if so, to whom?

To the very people who took our abuser’s side against us or shunned us from their family?  What kind of an act will we have to put on if people offer condolences to US?  How will we be able to pretend that the death of our abuser was a great loss, when we can’t even come up with one nice thing to say about him?

See the remainder of this article at:
http://www.luke173ministries.org/655609

(reposted with editing)

Maternal Narcissism ~ Mom, I wish you could have said these words to me…

Recalling my childhood, my mother seldom had any positive or encouraging words for me, mainly heartless or cruel remarks, only criticizing me for one thing or another spewed from her mouth.  She was continually displeased, and only now recognizing that it would be impossible to accomplish ever pleasing this woman.

I was thinking the other day, what words would myself and perhaps others wish their narcissistic moms compassionately said to them.

Mom, if only you could have said:

  • I know you don’t lie, of course I believe you
  • Always come to me when you’re upset or angry, I love you
  • I’ll always believe in you, whatever your dreams are
  • Let’s just have a girl’s day out once in a while, your choice, whatever you want
  • You look so cute in those clothes
  • Don’t focus on body image, it’s what’s inside
  • You’re more important to me than anything
  • I’m so proud of you.
  • I love reading your stories/artwork/playing games
  • You smell so nice and clean
  • Don’t always spend time in your bedroom, we should spend more time together
  • Your feelings matter, you have a right to your opinion, I’m not always right and remember, we all make mistakes
  • You look like something is bothering you, want to talk about it?
  • Let me take care of you when you’re so sick, how about hot tea? Or I’ll sit beside you or we’ll lay in bed together
  • Sure, have your friends over anytime, they are always welcome
  • You’re so precious to me, having a daughter is a blessing
  • Anything you want to ask me, go right ahead
  • I love the way you laugh
  • I’m sorry, it’s my fault, not yours/my mistake sorry I made you feel bad
  • You are worthy, don’t let anyone make you feel that you are not
  • Someone is going to be a lucky man to have you as his wife.

Exposure Therapy ~ PTSD relief of Trauma & Depression

Exposure therapy isn’t just a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. It’s also used to treat anxiety, depression, phobias, and more.

If you’ve experienced a traumatic, life-altering event, you might be surprised to learn that one treatment for such trauma — exposure therapy — involves repeatedly reliving the terrible event.

Sounds more harmful than helpful, right? But people who experience their fears over and over again — with the help of a therapist in exposure therapy — can actually learn to control those fears.

The technique is used to treat a growing list of health conditions that include anxiety, phobias, obsessive compulsive behaviors, long-standing grief, and even depression.

How Exposure Therapy Works

Continue reading “Exposure Therapy ~ PTSD relief of Trauma & Depression”

PTSD ~ Ways to Eliminate Recurring Nightmares

I’ve struggled with horrific dreams and nightmares for years, never giving it much thought that it may be connected to trauma (PTSD).  After, discussing memories and flashbacks in therapy, I’m now understanding the impact trauma has on dreams.  A couple of years ago, my psychiatrist prescribed a medication called (Prazosin) to alleviate the nightmares, and it has been fairly successful so far.

This article in PsychCentral.com By  talks about this issue:

All of us have nightmares. Maybe in your nightmare you’re being chased by some terrifying but unknown entity. Maybe you’re surrounded by bloodthirsty vampires or hordes of zombies. Maybe you’re trapped in a room with snakes or spiders or any other animal you fear. Maybe you or a loved one is involved in a car wreck or a violent assault.

Maybe you keep having this nightmare over and over. And it’s so real, so vivid, so frightening that the last thing you want to do is fall back asleep.

Continue reading “PTSD ~ Ways to Eliminate Recurring Nightmares”

PTSD: Just can’t shake that Worthlessness feeling

PTSD is to blame with my feelings of worthlessness and hopelessness habitually during my life.  Sexual abuse by a neighbor when I was six years old, coupled by the impact of living as a daughter of a narcissistic mother was the catalyst.  With trauma, both sexual and emotional, I experienced negativity leading to depression.  Seeking out therapy has improved the healing process.

On goodtherapy.org they explain Worthlessness

Worthlessness can be described as a feeling of desperation and hopelessness. Individuals who feel worthless may feel insignificant, useless, or believe they have nothing valuable to offer the world. People diagnosed with depression often report these feelings, and children who were neglected or abused may carry a sense of worthlessness into adulthood. When worthlessness leads one to experience thoughts of suicide or causes other immediate crisis, it may be best to contact a crisis hotline or seek other help right away.

Understanding Worthlessness

Worthlessness, a feeling that may cause an individual to feel as if they have no significance or purpose, can have a significant negative effect on emotional health. A recent study conducted by researchers at Seoul National University found that feelings of worthlessness were significantly associated with lifetime suicide attempt in adults who reported major depression and had also experienced trauma. The study concluded that, among symptoms of depression, worthlessness had the strongest association with lifetime suicide attempt.

Continue reading “PTSD: Just can’t shake that Worthlessness feeling”

What happened next when you told someone about your sexual abuse?

There has been a secret you’ve been concealing, that’s most likely eating you up inside, however, you now have mustered enough courage to tell someone you trust.   It’s rough, you’re just a kid.

Protection and trust have already been shattered by your abuser; you just couldn’t take it anymore, now it’s time to receive compassion, tenderness and told you were so courageous for coming forward and that person will be punished.

It may perhaps have been very positive for you, you were believed, acknowledged, obtained love, affection, sorrow and apologies for this ever happening; possibly counselling.  You went on to recover with perhaps some difficulty, but you received support. Continue reading “What happened next when you told someone about your sexual abuse?”

PTSD – What is Validation and why it’s so important for healing?

Throughout my years in therapy, validation was comparable to receiving a gift, at times triggering tears of sadness, yet happiness and contentment at the same time.   Finally, someone was not ignoring me, was respecting my feelings and best of all, no interruptions with cruel words.  As a daughter of a narcissistic mother, very rarely showing any validation, empathy and usually telling me “you’re making things up again.”, this was all new to me.

Validation means to express understanding and acceptance of another person’s internal experience, whatever that might be. Validation does not mean you agree or approve. Validation builds relationships and helps ease upset feelings. Knowing that you are understood and that your emotions and thoughts are accepted by others is powerful. Validation is like relationship glue. – psychologytoday.com

This article from PsychCentral.com explains ‘Validation’.

Have you ever wished you could take back an email that you sent when you were emotionally upset?  Or maybe you made some statements when you were sad that you didn’t really mean or agreed to something when you were thinking with your heart that you later regretted? Or maybe you wanted to be supportive and helpful to someone you love but couldn’t because your own emotions made it difficult?

Continue reading “PTSD – What is Validation and why it’s so important for healing?”

Please explain what PTSD is?

I hunted through the internet searching for a clear definition of PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).  Some sites described this disorder in such a brief manner even I struggled understand it, then other sites explained in such detail it was way over my head.  Discovering this site and link @ National Institute of Mental Health came closest to the definition for me.

What is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)?

Continue reading “Please explain what PTSD is?”

In Child Sexual Abuse, Strangers Aren’t the Greatest Danger

Parents generally teach their children about “stranger danger” from an early age, telling them not to talk to, walk with or take gifts or candy from strangers.  But statistics show danger often lurks closer to home.  According to numbers provided by the National Association of Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, the vast majority of children who are sexually abused are abused by someone they know — most often a family member, an adult the family trusts or, in some instances, another child.

Parents can help protect their children from sexual abuse by talking frankly to them about abuse, starting at a young age with age-appropriate information.

Continue reading “In Child Sexual Abuse, Strangers Aren’t the Greatest Danger”

Could PTSD + Anger perhaps = Migraines?

I have said this many times!:

I’ve been scarce these last few months, coping with horrible migraines and wishing for any kind of treatment aside from popping pain meds.

I investigated and discovered that childhood trauma (PTSD) + anxiety or anger may perhaps kick off a trigger for migraines.  Although I’ve been dealing with PTSD associated with Childhood Sexual Abuse, I never really considered the emotional abuse and hatred I had for my Narcissistic mother.  The lack of empathy, validation and endless criticism was so destructive.

Continue reading “Could PTSD + Anger perhaps = Migraines?”

Psychodynamic Therapy

My first involvement with therapy back in the early 1990’s was Psychodynamic Therapy, and at the beginning I was uncertain what it involved.  This form of therapy was used to confront the issues dealing with PTSD, but little did I know I was in for an incredibly bumpy ride.  Back then there wasn’t much information on types of therapies used, and wished I had researched and had use of the internet and resources that we do today.

The information on PsychCentral.com site explains:

Psychodynamic therapy, also known as insight-oriented therapy, focuses on unconscious processes as they are manifested in a person’s present behavior.  The goals of psychodynamic therapy are a client’s self-awareness and understanding of the influence of the past on present behavior.  In its brief form, a psychodynamic approach enables the client to examine unresolved conflicts and symptoms that arise from past dysfunctional relationships and manifest themselves in the need and desire to abuse substances.

The article continues on PsychCentral.com

Childhood Abuses: Sometimes emotional more harmful than sexual or physical

I can identify with this article, as I too was emotionally and sexually abused.  Because of the sexual abuse, I’m still pondering if the emotional abuse would have still taken place or if that was the reason.  My mother was toxic, what spewed out of her mouth was hurtful, undeserved and damaging;  I still hear those words in my mind today.  ~~ Deb

Children who are emotionally abused and neglected face similar and sometimes worse mental health problems as children who are physically or sexually abused, yet psychological abuse is rarely addressed in prevention programs or in treating victims, according to a new study published by the American Psychological Association.

Continue reading “Childhood Abuses: Sometimes emotional more harmful than sexual or physical”