Category: PTSD


So, I’ve been feeling pretty down and out lately.  I think a lot of it is that my body is just so exhausted from years of being in stressful and traumatic situations.  Now; things are settling down and my body is just turning to mush.  My anxiety had gotten to a point where I increased my meds to be able to get through J’s anniversary.  But now, I feel depressed.  No energy, no desire to to anything.  I still go to work, but my productivity is pretty shameful.  I still cook, and clean – enough to keep the house from being a total pig sty for more than a day… But that’s all I have folks.  I literally have nothing else right now.  I know that it is affecting my relationships with people I care about, my coworkers.. it just sucks.  So; thinking about going back down to my old dosage on my meds – and hoping that the anxiety doesn’t peak.  But, I just can’t handle this zombified/depressed feeling (I had increased them once before and I remember not truly liking the effects, but I couldn’t remember what it was).

However… I have to believe that I will get through this.  I mean, for fuck’s sake – I’ve survived horrible domestic violence and the suicide of my partner.  I’ve been through many, many struggles with my daughter, who also seems to be quite stable now.  Life is calm and as peaceful as it’s ever been. So why do I feel so crappy?

Anyway, a song by Cher came onto Pandora this morning that I thought was fitting for today.  I WILL work through this and get to the other side….

LYRICS:

 
You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me

Feeling broken
Barely holding on
But there’s just something so strong
Somewhere inside me
And I am down but I’ll get up again
Don’t count me out just yet

I’ve been brought down to my knees
And I’ve been pushed way past the point of breaking
But I can take it
I’ll be back
Back on my feet
This is far from over
You haven’t seen the last of me
You haven’t seen the last of me

They can say that
I won’t stay around
But I’m gonna stand my ground
You’re not gonna stop me
You don’t know me
You don’t know who I am
Don’t count me out so fast

I’ve been brought down to my knees
And I’ve been pushed way past the point of breaking
But I can take it
I’ll be back
Back on my feet
This is far from over
You haven’t seen the last of me

There will be no fade out
This is not the end
I’m down now
But I’ll be standing tall again
Times are hard but
I was built tough
I’m gonna show you all what I’m made of

I’ve been brought down to my knees
And I’ve been pushed way past the point of breaking
But I can take it
I’ll be back
Back on my feet
This is far from over
I am far from over
You haven’t seen the last of me

No no
I’m not going nowhere
I’m staying right here
Oh no
You won’t see me begging
I’m not taking my bow
Can’t stop me
It’s not the end
You haven’t seen the last of me
Oh no
You haven’t seen the last of me
You haven’t seen the last of me

And, a link (hopefully)
 

Today as I was listening to NPR; they started talking about a new pill that may become available that would actually erase specific memories.  This would be targeted towards those who suffer from PTSD.  The pill would literally erase that painful memory, and therefore, the symptoms of PTSD.  I was so intrigued that I looked up the related article – and will post the link at the end of this post.

My question is this – if it were available to you, would you take it?  I had to think about it for about 2 seconds, and realized that my answer is a definate NO.  Sure, in my fantasyland, I think about how nice it would be to forget all the painful events I have gone through.  The abuse I endured, the suicide of my fiance…. it SOUNDS like it would be heaven.  But – who am I without these memories and experiences?  How would that ultimately affect me and who I have become?  Yes, I have scars from my experiences, but I also have strength, and wisdom, and I enjoy those rare moments of piece when they come because I know how much they deserve to be treasured.  Would I maintain these things?  And, how would that affect people’s decision making and choices – when they knew all they had to do if something went wrong would be to take a pill and make it all go away?

So, while the idea of not feeling this pain anymore is appealing, I will not be waiting in line to sign up for THIS clinical trial.  I’ll take my scars, my past, and my memories – both painful and cherished – and continue striving for some peace of mind the old-fashioned way.

Here is the article:

http://www.wired.com/magazine/2012/02/ff_forgettingpill/all/1

 

 

 I have been to countless Dr’s with all sorts of complaints from constant headaches, fatigue, stomach issues, muscle pain, insomnia, etc.   There has never been a specific “cause” identified in any of these complaints.  I’ve long believed that most, if not all, of my health issues stem from constant stress.  I am very interested in naturopathic care and treatment, and have started to become more involved in these modalities to help alleviate my symptoms.  I’m hoping that the naturopathic approach will help me feel better, in ways that traditional Western Medicine has not.

I found an article today on the connection between trauma/constant stress on the body and health ailments, and wanted to share it:

(copied from http://saferelationshipsmagazine.com/jm)

Everything Is One

Joan-Marie Lartiin, PhD, RN

 

Have you heard this one?  What did the Buddhist master say to the hot dog vendor?  “Make me one with everything.”  That sums up the topic of this

column.  The connections between and among the nervous, immune, and endocrine (i.e. thyroid, adrenal, pancreas, ovaries) systems have been explored by Western medicine for over 40 years.  Chinese medicine has made these connections for centuries, if not millennia.

We now know that the body’s biochemical messengers are both produced and received by cells in the nervous, immune, and endocrine systems.  This means that these systems talk with one another all the time and are intricately interwoven.  In practical terms, what this means is that when imbalance is in one system there is almost certainly going to be imbalance in the others.  In this sense, it is almost too simplistic to think about any of them as separate systems, rather the whole (nervous, immune, and endocrine) together is more logically thought of as a super-system.

The implications, and the clinical applications of these discoveries are enormous.  A relatively new field says this fast 5 times psychoneuroimmunology has arisen to delve into these interdependent functions.  (This term was coined a few decades ago and many in the field now wish they had found a way to include the endocrine system.) http://www.immunecliniclondon.com/5/PSYCHONEUROIMMUNOLOGY.html.  The validation that the mind-body connection is powerful is extensive. There is now abundant, factual support for the impact of acute and sustained stress on health.  In other words, it is not all in your head, and hopefully the days of take a pill and call me in the morning, are receding into the past.

The purpose of these columns is to empower traumatized women by providing relevant information about advances in health care.  If your health care provider is unaware of other options, as an educated consumer you can find substantive solutions for your health problems and enjoy strong, robust health.  So if you are aware that problems such as arthritis, asthma, irritable bowel, chronic headaches, hypertension, frequent infections, allergies, weight gain, irregular or heavy periods, thyroid issues, fatigue, etc., have a mind/body component, you will look for providers who share this perspective.  This not only validates your experience of emotional trauma—no small matter—it opens up options for health care at a more deep level than previously possible.

Here is a clinical example from my practice that I think illustrates these ideas effectively.  A woman coming out of 22 years of marriage to a psychopathic individual suffered from:

  •  Severe menstrual bleeding and severe secondary anemia
  • Low thyroid (weight gain, brain fuzz, cold intolerance, hair loss)
  • Adrenal fatigue (no energy, extreme startle reflex)
  • Frequent bouts of sinusitis and sinus infections

Five traditionally oriented physicians strongly suggested a hysterectomy, and prescription drugs for the thyroid and sinus conditions.  None of them diagnosed the adrenal failure.  A naturopathic physician tested her for adrenal fatigue, provided recommendations for natural remedies and supplements, and subsequently evaluated her immune functioning.  Her neurotransmitters were also found to be seriously out of balance (a serotonin level of 57 vs. 140).  She started a course of targeted amino acid therapy.  Subsequently, she was also diagnosed with:

  •  Intestinal problems related to a yeast overgrowth, and therefore
  • Numerous food sensitivities, which presumably fueled sinus problems and signs of early arthritis, both indications of an over-active immune system.

Today, as she says, she is still the proud possessor of a uterus, avoids certain foods, is energetic and upbeat, and well on her way to a new life.  Her thyroid and adrenal functioning are completely normal and she has lost her middle-aged spread.  She accomplished all this without recourse to surgery or prescription medications.  Psychotherapy and neurofeedback training played a big part of her overall healing as well.  Needless to say, many postponed vacations and sacrifices were made to pay for aspects of her health care that were not covered by insurance.  She is clear that the sacrifices she made for her health have been worth it.

I look forward to the day when her story, as inspiring and hopeful as it is, is the norm and not the exception.