12/17/10 PTSD Survivors Speak: Windows and Doors, Part 2 continued

The past couple of weeks we have been taking a PTSD journey with Michele Renaud, first becoming acquainted with her background, and last week she presented some of the steps she found useful in healing. This week we continue with more of those steps.PTSD, Survivors Speak, Trauma

Other Examples of skills to apply:

Going back to school, taking non credit courses, joining a faith based organization, learning Yoga, Tai Chi, Kickboxing, Exercising, Creative Crafts, Writing, Playing an Instrument, Singing, Joining community based organizations, Volunteerism (just don’t over do it, remembering boundaries) or even getting together with a group of friends. I had to cut out people from my life due to their influence, so when I socialize it does not include karaoke at the bar while drinking alcohol.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy– This form has helped through the therapist’s posing of questions that helped me sort through the thinking processes and behaviors that occur because of my perception.

Dialectical Behavioral Therapy– This method enabled me to see the fragmented self, and gave me the skills of seeing the gray areas that exist through mindfulness and wise mind thinking as opposed to all or nothing reactive thinking.

Step Four-Medication and Therapy–  Medication is a sticky matter. Not all medications work the same for all people for different reasons. It is crucial that while on medication that you are monitored regularly for effectiveness and or side effects. Combining medication with therapy can help ease your symptoms, but not necessarily cure the conditions for which you are being treated, that is why its important to couple medications with therapeutic supports in place.

Non Medication and determined patient driven treatments–  The decision to get off medication and stay off medication does not work for all sufferers. It is a life altering process that needs to be carefully weighed, and overseen by medical professionals. Finding the right medication for treatment at different times of recovery is without a doubt a requirement and investment in your own health. Working with your doctors to reach your personal goal depends on your condition as well as your ability towards wellness that will not jeopardize your health.

My choice to attempt non medication treatments is partially due to bad experiences with medication. The reason behind being medication free for me is so that I can grow to master my emotional responses to illness such as PTSD. Having multiple physical, or other medical conditions complicate this overall goal. There are a lot of alternative medical professionals that do not use medication as the first line of treatment such as Holistic, Naturalists, Acupuncturist, and Massage Therapists. However, these can be expensive as they are not usually covered under insurance. What is becoming widely recognized has been around a very long time, and can be useful in reaching your goals.

Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing– This is a very interesting modality that I did through self help reading materials. It works by having the patient concentrate on a negative thought or memory relating to trauma or perception of experience, and then moving the eyes from left to right to refocus or rewire the brain activity pertaining to those memories. In a way the concept is to desensitize the old memories through providing new ones in their place through rewiring or training your thought and emotional response.

Tapping/Biofeedback– This is similar to the above methodology only biofeedback eggs are held in your hands while alternative vibrations consecutively go back and forth while you discuss or let go of feelings pertaining to your trauma, suffering, or perceptions. The therapist guides you in this process which is a much more in depth way of dealing with your illness. Going just a step deeper into the pain helps to actually release it. This has worked for me thus far, so I keep going.

Mindfulness Based Therapy– The basic reality is our own individual reality. How we perceive, remember, and experience or re-experience has to do with our mind and the processing that it contains. Mindfulness therapies help to strengthen awareness, cognitively and intentionally. By remaining in a mindful state, we can become better able to recognize our triggers, symptoms, and learn ways to diffuse their sometimes debilitating effects.

Step Five-GrowthChanging your lifestyle, eating healthier foods, and taking vitamins or supplements to keep your body strong increases your mind and emotional abilities. Thankfully I found a great integrative doctor and take immune boosting supplements daily. Also, I have learned to not drink more than two cups of coffee in the morning, not eating after 8:00 p.m., going to sleep before midnight and removing the television from the bedroom aides in healthier habits, less anxiety, and much more restful sleep time. Growing into change to form new habits can nurture your PTSD and foster healing.

In conclusion of all I have shared, I thank you for reading and until next time I will put on some music, dance around while singing, organize some papers, and maybe even meditate while I paint. Knowing how to focus means being able to focus, learning who you are underneath the PTSD, can change your life and finding peace with the past can make the present and future so much more enjoyable! I hope that in opening windows and doors into your self, that you will be able to make positive progress for your healing to not only begin, but to be gained, obtained, and maintained. May you put your best foot forward, believe in yourself, and be able to live a peaceful and trauma free lifestyle.

Part 1 

Part 2

Michele Talerico-Renaud’s personal domain and blog is http://survivorsharingstrength.com or http://survivorsharingstrength.wordpress.com
She started it when she became a NYS Action Leader with MADE (moms and dads for the education of dating abuse) who is sponsored by Liz Claiborne in conjunction with Love is not abuse curriculum and lobbying for laws in the educational arena.http://www.loveisnotabuse.com/made/index.html At the same time she had bowed out of a local grassroots organization who could not support her efforts. Immediately in that very same course of time,  due to her son’s health problems that hindered his education, she had to re prioritize her activism and advocacy with the focus on her child while in her own recovery. In order to deal with extreme life situations, it actually pushed her over onto the Healing side of things where self focus and PTSD triggers came in floods that just made her stronger! Yay!
She is a partner and contributor to The Courage Networkhttp://www.couragenetwork.com/stories.html where her story and a couple of poems are on.

Part 3 next week.

The ideas contained in this post are solely those of the author. To contribute to the Survivor Speaks series, contact Michele.



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