Sometimes there is no managing my PTSD symptoms and the best thing I can do is just let them be there and keep on doing as much of my life as I am able to do.
Other times, there are things I can do to help myself reduce the effects of my symptoms or even reduce the symptom occurences themselves.
What are those things that I can do to help?
Well, for one, I can remember that no matter how bad I feel or things seem, there are other people struggling so much more than me that the state of my existance seems good to them. This is important because this thought leads to an important tool, Gratuity.
Today I am grateful for the air I breathe, and the simple fact that I am still breathing. I’m 55 and still alive and thats not by accident. That took a lot of pain and suffering, determination, hard work, a sprinkle of luck and plain old fashion stubborness.
Another thing that I can do is to acknowledge when I’m well and to live my best life on those days. Often, because of the stigma of mental health, and the often lack of understanding regarding depression and the other symptoms, showing signs of wellness can lead to a loss of support for the next time you are not well or are symptomatic. You hear things like oh they are fine when they want to be and then like that cause they seek attention or they are drama queens or manipulative or a thousand other stereo types. But acknowledging the good is just as important as acknowledging the trauma or the struggle we face because any denial is a strengthening of mental illness and any acceptance is a sign of mental healing.
I mean lets face it, if you seek you just might find. So dont go looking for the symptoms or waiting for them to arrive when you notice a moment that they are absent. Nope, just enjoy it til it’s over. It’s okay to do that. Give yourself permission. So many of us have poor self images, and feel undeserving of peace. Thats our mental illness in control. Take back some control and reach for mental healing whenever the opportunity presents itself.
it leads to another powerful tool, building self esteem and confidence in the ability to heal.
raise your hand if you feel like your PTSD will always be around. Yeah, me too.
now raise your hand if you think your life is dictated by your PTSD. You didnt see that, but i assure you some of those hands just went down, including mine.
why? Because the longer we work towards mental healing, the more self esteem and confidence that was stolen by our trauma returns to us.
but I think the biggest tool I can use is the very opposite of this last one i just mentioned. My greatest tool is in giving myself permission to live with my PTSD.
How many of you answer the how are you question with the standard “I’m okay” no matter how they really are? Raise your hand. We all do it, at least in the beginning of our ptsd. Its called denial or just resignation, or insecurity , disbelief that anyone would genuinely care if we werent. There are lots of reasons for the auto response.
I have to work @t giving myself permission to not be okay, and to admit it.
managing ptsd sometimes takes a team but if you keep saying you are okay nobody knows you need teammates and the struggle remains greater than it needs to be.
like the song goes, I get by with a little help from my friends~
so thank you, my friends, for allowing me to both live my best days and to not be okay when im not okay.
on the morrow DS
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