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September 15, 2014


NO! I am not bipolar.

I have been diagnosed with Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD), a result from my experiences, being raised in a war zone, called family.

I am bemused and perplexed by this diagnosis of Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

How can it be a disorder, when it seems a primal reaction, to severe trauma and stress? Fair to say, that not everyone reacts to trauma, in the same way.

From my own experience, the hard part of having PTSD, is when I get stuck in the trauma mindset and can’t get unstuck. Meanwhile, the traumatic event has long come and gone.

This is how my body physiologically reacts, during times of panic and stress:

my adrenaline spikes up high, above and beyond, an average person’s adrenaline peak; it plateaus at a high range, then takes a long time, for my body to gradually return, to a healthy state of rest.

PTSD is an odd disorder. It is mentally and physically painful. It is chronic and does not get better with time, without the care of others, who understand PTSD.

The diagnosis of Complex PTSD is helping me, like a road map, to navigate where I am, where I am going and how to get there.

Within the context of Complex PTSD, I am learning to be strong, when weak; humble, when proud; and persevering, when all I want to do, is give up and die alone.

It is a great comfort, for me to research, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), identify symptoms and know that, YES, this is what is going on for me!

If you have been to hell and back, you will not be surprised, to find yourself feeling a wee bit off or odd, nutty or crazy, mental or insane, lost or out of it or whatever it is, you may want to call, how you are feeling.

You, do not need a diagnosis, to understand yourself better, but it sure does help me.

I have no magical cure for PTSD, but I can ease some of the symptoms, when I practice these following points:

• Plant seeds of compassion and understanding

• Weed out useless thinking

• Fertilize healthy thinking

• Feed helpful habits

• Practice patience

• Laugh and Play

• Sleep and Rest

• Eat and Drink healthy

• Breathe

• Be a friend

I have a framework, I can now build on, to create the legacy, I want to leave behind. Step by step and moment by moment, I am becoming a gentle soul.

I made a commitment to myself and others, to not harm or injure myself, without talking to someone, first.

I made a commitment to myself and others, to talk with and not ignore the person, who shows subtle signs of suicide or outright says, they want to end their life.

For the rest of my life, I will live in a state of mental Triage. I daily and hourly, assess my mental health, moods, emotions, mindsets, and physical strength.
I use self-care, as a daily tool, to prevent illnesses and guard against pre-mature death.

Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) therapy, has also helped me, become me.

For more information on PTSD check out:

Thank you for being here. Thank you for letting me share. Be gentle with yourself.

You are loved. You are safe. You are secure.

There is hope. To be continued.

Jennifer Steel,
Burnaby, BC,

Original Post: Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder on September 11th 2013.

First Revision: There Is Always Hope on September 6th 2014.

Second Revision: There Is Always Hope: Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (my story) on October 12th 2014.

Thank you for sharing your support and comments.

  1. Did you write the article above? I would love to feature it on our website – with your permission and full credit to you of course.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Jennifer, Thank You for the Like. If I may suggest, read Inner Silence. It’s a way to turn off the thoughts that seem to haunt you. In the spirit of hope, I hope this helps you!

    Liked by 1 person

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