I often add material to my blog while sitting with a patient. It seems my brainwaves are switched on while I’m working. Thank Goodness. I’m a squirrel when I’m not working. Most of the time.
Working on PTSD is almost impossible without coping tools. We are trying to break cycles of pain – years and years of living with trauma right in front of you. With PTSD – past traumas are not read by your brain as being in the past. Even if you try to numb those feelings with alcohol or other substance, even eating, the trauma memory is right there. You can choose to ignore it – at your peril.
We are so lucky in Canada. We have free mental health care. Can you believe it? Patients in Canada can access groups, counselors and even psychiatrists without it costing us a dime. That is the reason I immigrated from South Africa to Canada (and not US).
Many times my Canadian PTSD suffers will tell me the groups don’t work. It’s so hard to concentrate and focus when you have PTSD. The part of your brain that learns, is shut down to almost No Go. Often in groups you will feel left behind because you can’t read, focus or concentrate as you’d like to. And then you are embarrassed and feel shame – And don’t ask questions because you have social anxiety.
Please stand in front of your walls – the barriers that are there as a survival mechanism. But life is more than just survival. We could aim for THRIVING. To do that, you have to blast through your fears, your walls,, your barriers. I have patients who have done the mental health group course three, even four times, because PTSD makes it too difficult to follow.
Never give up. Never surrender. If you have survived trauma, you can survive your fears.