I would like to share a discussion held with a group of my brave patients and mental health clinicians. I hope you find it interesting.
What does Complex PTSD mean to you? These were the answers from the group:
Feeling misunderstood, feelings of shame, having to deal with addictions (to food, alcohol, drugs, sex addictions), torture, exhaustion, memory loss and brain fog, not knowing myself, lack of confidence, paranoia, food hoarding, feeling unsafe, inability to sleep, isolation, OCD behaviours, overthinking, fear of reaching out to others for help or to socialize, triggered by authority – police or others, accepting abusive behaviours from others, dealing with health issues relating to complex PTSD, like diabetes, hypertension, obesity, sleep apnea.
What helps you cope with the symptoms of Complex PTSD? These were some of the responses:
Remembering that trauma has given me symptoms, but this is not who I am, this is not my personality. I am not the problem. The problem is the problem.
Distractions: puzzle books, crafts, going for a walk, learning a new skill, going on the internet.
Breathing, 5-step grounding technique, music, pets, taking my dog for a walk, yoga, resting or sleeping, talking to a friend.
Feeding my spiritual side. Remembering I have been created kind, generous, caring and thoughtful.
“What I think if what I feel”- trying to be mindful of my thoughts. Remembering I am good enough.
Reach out to a counsellor.
Eating a proper diet and exercising. Body Work – connecting my heart to my head. Body Scans.
Writing can help, journalling.
Thank you to our wonderful group. We are all trying to help each other.
All the best for 2021