COMPLEX POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER – my life, my story
COMPLEX POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER
NO! I AM NOT BI-POLAR.
I have been diagnosed with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, from my experiences of being raised in a war zone, called family. I grumble at the diagnosis Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD). How is it a disorder? It seems to be a reasonable and primal reaction, to severe stress and trauma.
We all react to stress in different ways. For me, I get stuck in thoughts of the past and I can’t get out. Adrenaline is a hormone that spikes high through our bodies, in the face of fearful and stressful situations, and can linger long after the traumatic event has come and gone. Exposure to long lasting periods of adrenaline, has a nasty effect on our bodies. Life has become an adventure in accepting myself, as I am.
C-PTSD is an odd disorder. It is chronic, painful and does not get better in time or on it’s own. The diagnosis is a road map, that helps me to navigate, where I am, where I am going and how to get there. It is a framework on which to build my new life. It is a comfort to have a diagnosis. I can look it up in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), and say, yes, this is what is going on with me!
Of course, if you have been to hell and back, it may not be a big surprise, to feel crazy. I have no cure for C-PTSD, but the following practices make my life manageable.
• Plant seeds of compassion and understanding
• Weed out useless thinking
• Fertilize healthy thinking
• Feed helpful habits
• Practice patience
• Physical exercize and play
• Eat and drink healthy
• Sleep and Rest
• Be a friend
Thank you for letting me share. Thank you for being there.
There is hope. To be continued.
Jennifer Steel, Burnaby, BC, CANADA
Original Post: September 11th 2013
First Revision: September 6th 2014