Friday, May 20, 2022

PTSD and Relapse Prevention: Recognizing our Warning Signs


After we get help with our PTSD, we have to think about relapse. We tend to associate relapse with drug or alcohol use, but this simply means a period of deterioration after a period of improvement. This can happen with PTSD, depression, anxiety, or pretty much anything relating to our health (mental or physical). 

Relapse happens, and it’s not the end of the world when it does. 

One of the chief components of a good relapse prevention plan is to increase self-awareness and be aware of our behavior and thoughts. This is key because recognizing what triggers a relapse, and catching ourselves in negative thoughts or behaviors, is step one in our plan to get back on back on track.

What Are Your Warning Signs?

These can be things, such as the experience of certain emotions, changes in thoughts, or changes in behavior. You may run into a reminder of your trauma or get pulled into a conversation about something that reminds you of it. Anniversaries of a traumatic event are also unavoidable and are often associated with a resurgence in PTSD symptoms.

 

Pay special attention to sudden changes in mood or thoughts like:

“No one cares about me or what I do. What’s the point of going on?”

“I can’t stand being around anyone!”

“Maybe a drink or two will take the edge off my feelings for a little.”

“I don’t remember the last time I showered. I don’t have the energy to do anything these days.”

“Therapy is a waste of time.”


Awareness of your warning signs will allow you to catch yourself and implement coping strategies you learned during treatment. Recognition is step one towards stopping these PTSD symptoms before they have a chance to become unmanageable. If you need to, this would also be a good time to check in with your therapist, loved ones, and support groups.

*****

If you believe change is possible, you want to change, and you are willing to do the work, you absolutely CAN get your life back.”

Get Your Copy of The Soldier's Guide to PTSDThe Soldier's PTSD Workbook

or pre-order Acknowledge and Heal: A Women-Focused Guide To Understanding PTSD

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

A New Resource: The Soldier's PTSD Workbook

 

It's our joy to share with you our newest tool for reclaiming our lives from PTSD: The Soldier's PTSD Workbook is available now and perfect for groups and book clubs.

PTSD and Moral Injury are soul damaging. Trauma warps our fundamental belief systems—beliefs about ourselves, others, and the world—leaving us in a constant state of uncertainty and self-doubt.

Your life is at stake, my friend, and I'm not going to beat around the bush with fancy euphemisms and positive affirmations. 
I know how serious PTSD is.

But, before we get started, we have to have an honest conversation with ourselves. We have to be willing to take that first step.
Do you believe change is possible?
Do you want to change?

Many people who are suffering from Moral Injury or PTSD often feel they don't 
deserve to get better. This is toxic shame.
Let me tell you a little secret:
you deserve to heal!
It’s 100% okay not to feel all-in right now.

Let me ask you this instead.
Is it possible that you are stronger than you think?

Using this workbook, you will be able to identify how PTSD and Moral Injury have disrupted your life.

  • Trauma and Triggers
  • Flashbacks and Hallucinations
  • Substance Abuse and Alcoholism
  • Irritable Behavior and Angry Outbursts
  • Shame, Self-Loathing, and Self-Destructive Behavior
  • Avoidance
  • Lack of Empathy and Relationship Breakdowns


We're also going to cover the top three evidence-based treatment options you'll want to ask for by name.

Incorporating information from 
The Soldier’s Guide to PTSD, this workbook does not waste time cutting through the bull and getting down to brass tacks. Told in the voice of a Soldier-turned-therapist, it is a call to arms, offering facts, empathy, and direction, while urging Service Members to seek the right therapy, helping family members to understand the battlefield, and connecting civilians with the Warrior culture.

*****

If you believe change is possible, you want to change, and you are willing to do the work, you absolutely CAN get your life back.”

Get Your Copy of The Soldier's Guide to PTSDThe Soldier's PTSD Workbook

or pre-order Acknowledge and Heal: A Women-Focused Guide To Understanding PTSD

Friday, May 6, 2022

Trauma Reactions: Fight, Flight, and Freeze

Fight or flight. We hear this all the time, but freeze is the red-headed step-child of trauma. Fight, flight, and freeze are all normal neuro-biological responses to fear, but, if we don’t know this, we can feel guilty or angry or like we “let it happen” when our body freezes in the face of trauma. 

First, let’s wipe out the fantasy that we have a choice whether our body goes into fight, flight, or freeze - because that’s not a thing. When we’re in danger, our brain kicks into high gear and takes over to protect out life. You do not get a choice; in a split second your brain makes the choice for you. 

Think about those nature shows where lions are hunting gazelle-snacks. No gazelle is going to get its back up and whoop some lion’s ass, so he’s left with two choices: flight or freeze - and both of these are legit survival methods. The eye sees what is moving (“I’m up, they see me, I’m down”) so a lion may not notice the stock-still gazelle frozen right next to him. The folks who design military training know this and we go to great measures to train the freeze out of us. Live-fire exercises, rote memorization questioning techniques, fire and movement - we do this training over and over again so that our brain passes over freeze and jumps into habit under fire. But no one trains us how to get raped, or how to hold a buddy while they die, or how to respond when we see a detainee get schwacked. That is not a thing, my friends. There is no fighting back, there is no running away; we freeze. 

The degree of self-blame that comes with freeze is overwhelming. Sometimes we have this fantasy that, “if I didn’t freeze, everything would have been different,” or “if I didn’t freeze, I could have fought back.” 

I say this with love: it’s possible that you’re wrong. Freeze is not a choice; your brain took over and kept you alive.

Bottom line is that you deserve to get your life back, and there are therapy treatments (like Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and EMDR) that are designed to help you with your symptoms. You can do this.

*****

If you believe change is possible, you want to change, and you are willing to do the work, you absolutely CAN get your life back.”

Get Your Copy of The Soldier's Guide to PTSDThe Soldier's PTSD Workbook

or pre-order Acknowledge and Heal: A Women-Focused Guide To Understanding PTSD