How Self-worth Affects Identity

Lately, I’ve been thinking about how our social environment affects our identity. Our social environments shape us from birth, often unconsciously, instilling a sense of security, self-worth,…

Source: How Self-worth Affects Identity

PTSD FOUNDATION OF AMERICA

The PTSD Foundation of America’s Mission

To combat Post Traumatic Stress

  1. Bring healing to our military community (Active duty, Reserves and National Guard, veterans, and their families) through pastoral counseling, and peer mentoring, both on an individual basis, and in group settings.
  2. Raise awareness of the increasing needs of the military community through public events, media outlets, social media, service organizations, and churches.
  3. Networking government agencies, service organizations, churches and private sector businesses into a united “Corps of Compassion”, to bring their combined resources together to meet the needs of the military community on a personal and individual/family level.

Our brave men and women in uniform understand duty, honor, and sacrifice. Many have returned home with both the visible scars, and the unseen wounds of war.

To give back to those who have given of themselves so selflessly

  • PTSD Foundation of America is a non-profit organization dedicated to mentoring to our combat veterans and their families with post traumatic stress. Many warriors are coming home with visible wounds; countless others are coming home with scars we cannot see, wounded souls from witnessing the horrors of war over and over again – PTSD. We feel it is our duty as Americans to help these mighty warriors and their families adjust and find their new normal.
  • It is our turn to step up with other excellent existing community organizations and help those that have fought and sacrificed so much for us. We are faith-based in our approach and have a great history of providing hope and healing to those experiencing the unseen wounds of war. We offer a safe place where no one is judged, everyone is supported, and everything a warrior says or is revealed is confidential within the group.
  • We would like the opportunity to train and/or help form groups within your community for warriors & their families to reach out to. Our teams consist of Veterans, Active and Reserve Service Members as well as civilians that have a heart for the military and their families. We have active, reserve and/or veterans from every war up to World War II that are coming to our groups. Warriors that we have worked with have learned how to heal and cope with PTSD to find their “new normal” and are now are reaching out to other warriors to let them know that there is hope in the darkness and they are NOT alone.

Please give us the opportunity to show you what we can do to provide hope for the warriors in darkness and the families who love and support them.

To increase public awareness of Post Traumatic Stress

  • Establishing relationships within the faith based community and secular organizations to facilitate support systems for our military community;
  • Locating and identifying churches currently ministering to, or are willing to consider beginning ministries to our military community
  • Workshops and counseling manuals are provided for both the warrior and their families.
  • By assisting the spouses, children and other family members, we aid in the healing process of the individual with PTSD. Too often other treatment options fail to appropriately address the impact of PTSD on the family;
  • Training is available through regional workshops or through video.
  • Training should be undertaken by pastors, staff, counselors and lay-members who might interact in any counseling program;
  • Keeping the issue before the media and general public through regular press releases and email newsletters, as well as PSA’s, websites and Facebook

Intermission Story (3) – Cpl. Delmer R. Beam & PTSD

 

https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/40099923/posts/9947

Taken from the book, “Soldiers Stories: A Collection of WWII Memoirs” with permission by Myra Miller; written by Marshall Miller.

War Stories don’t always end when the shooting stops and soldiers return to civilian life.  The family of former Army Corporal Delmer Beam can tell you all about he horrors of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

Cpl. Beam;s separation papers list him as a “Combat Infantryman” in the Army’s 6th Division, 1st Infantry Regiment, C Company.  His WWII experiences started in 1939, as a 17-year old, at Fort Jackson near Columbia, South Carolina and stretched into August 1945, after several years of bitter fighting in the South Pacific against Japanese forces at New Guinea and the Philippines.

Delmer’s wife, Gladys, told her children, Lonnie, Roger and Lana, that the father they came to know after the war was nothing like the “joyful, fun guy” who gave 6½ years of his life – and numerous difficult years beyond – to the cause of freedom.

Gladys said the war destroyed her husband, both mentally and physically.  In the mid-1960’s, Lana said he submitted to shock treatments at Mount Vernon Hospital to calm down his combat issues.  The children couldn’t understand why they weren’t allowed to shoot fireworks on the 4th of July.

The few stories Beam told about his experiences were tough to hear. Like the one where soldiers were ordered to shoot thirty rounds of ammunition every morning into the surrounding trees to protect the camp from Japanese snipers, who would climb high to get maximum angles on their targets.  Once, Beam recalled, several soldiers were killed by a sniper, even after the morning strafing.  After an exhaustive search, the sniper finally was located hiding in a water canvas bag hanging from a tree.  He had crawled in, poked a small hole in the canvas and shot his victims with a pistol.

Japanese marksmen and fierce fighting weren’t the only obstacles thrown in Beam’s path.  Malaria was a difficult burden and an attack from scrub typhus mites nearly killed him.  Delmer told his family he got so sick from the mites that he was presumed dead while lying on a stretcher on a bench.  Someone saw him move however and he was transferred to a hospital ship.

His son Roger, chronicled his memories of his Dad’s experience :

As a young boy, I was always enamored with army war stories.  I would ask him about the war many times.  Only on a very few occasions would he talk about it.  It is strange how I can remember some of the stories he told me when I can’t remember what i did yesterday….

He said he saw GI’s almost kill each other over a piece of chicken wire.  The reason is that they would stretch the wire over their fox holes so the Japanese hand grenades would hit the wire and bounce back before it exploded.  It rained every day in the jungle and was very hot and humid…

He told me about his best friend, a young 19-year old from Hope, Arkansas.   While they were being attacked one day by Japanese, my Dad kept telling him to stop sticking his head up over the embankment they were behind, but the young man kept doing it until he got hit in the head and died in my dad’s arms.  This has always made a picturesque impression on me…

I know he was haunted the rest of his life about what he went through, just like so many others.  He was a good dad and even got better the older he got… Dad never met a stranger, he would talk to anyone.

Despite his health issues, Delmer spent his post-war years in Dixon, Missouri, and worked at Fort Leonard Wood as a fire inspector.  He died in 1991 at age 70.  His daughter had these words to remember her Dad:  I guess the most uplifting thing about my dad was… he really believed that he survived when others died because God wasn’t done with him yet.

From Beam’s grandson, Roger Beam Jr., :

My grandpa Delmar told me this story several times as a small boy.  I think he always got a kick out of it and was probably one of his “better” memories of the war.

He told me of the time his squad was out one evening climbing around the sides of trees collecting peppers that they used to flavor basically all their food.  They had rifles slung and arms full of peppers.  As they came around a tree, to their shock and surprise they ran into a squad of Japanese soldiers doing the exact same thing!  He said the resulting chaos was both terrifying and hilarious, as both groups scrambled away.  Not a shot was fired and they saved their peppers!

In the midst of such a horrible time for my grandfather, it does make smile a bit remembering how he smiled when telling this story.

Click on images to enlarge.

Why I Explain My PTSD by My Symptoms

Explain PTSD symptoms - your specific symptoms - to friends. Explaining the specifics of your PTSD symptoms can reduce stress and ease symptoms. Find out why.

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/traumaptsdblog/2017/05/why-i-explain-my-ptsd-by-my-symptoms/

It can be difficult to explain posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) symptoms to friends, but it helps me to do so. PTSD symptoms include an array of possibilities such as anxiety, depression, panic attacks, difficulty bonding, addiction, insomnia, and dissociation. People experience PTSD in very different ways, based on their trauma history, resilience, supports and a myriad of other factors. So here is why I find it beneficial to explain how my specific PTSD symptoms manifest themselves, and why you might too.

Explain What PTSD Symptoms Look Like to Friends

Many people have a narrow definition of PTSD. With so many veterans developing PTSD, it is understandable that a common perception of PTSD involves someone who has been in a combat situation. However, PTSD is not choosy. It impacts the military, emergency response personnel, victims of abuse, witnesses to abuse, and other individuals who have experienced significant trauma.

When I tell someone I have PTSD it is because I want them to understand me better. I want them to know that at times I might appear spacey or inattentive, react poorly to sudden changes in routines or plans, become hypervigilant in unfamiliar spaces, and seldom get enough sleep. In explaining my PTSD symptoms, I hope to set the stage for supportive interactions when my symptoms manifest.

If you find yourself avoiding situations or backing out of plans at the last minute or you feel trapped at times because you become anxious or agitated, it might be a chance to share some of your symptoms with friends and talk about how they impact you when they appear. It doesn’t even require much detail. For example, I tell friends, “I am hoping to come to your party, but I often get very nervous thinking about being around strangers, so I may not be in the right frame of mind to be there.”

Explain PTSD by Symptoms to Reduce Them

Once I began to explain my PTSD symptoms to my friends, something interesting happened. I found myself attending more functions, more comfortable asking someone to repeat themselves when I had lost focus on the conversation, and more able to respond to last-minute requests by taking a few moments to process. My friends and acquaintances have even begun to show me support by giving me advanced notice for changes, inviting me to arrive at gatherings early, or asking me if I need a break or would like to get some fresh air when we are in tight spaces.

By sharing my triggers and reactions, I have made it easier to join in activities. I find that knowing I have a way out of an uncomfortable situation that those around me can understand removes a significant amount of worry. When my stress is lower, my symptoms are more in control.

Do you have any thoughts on this? How much do you explain to friends and family about your symptoms? Please join in the conversation by leaving a comment below.

PTSD Treatments: PTSD Therapy, PTSD Medications Can Help

Post-traumatic stress disorder treatment consists of PTSD therapy and PTSD medication. PTSD treatments are often combined for the best outcome.

https://www.healthyplace.com/ptsd-and-stress-disorders/ptsd/ptsd-treatments-ptsd-therapy-ptsd-medications-can-help/

PTSD treatments that have been scientifically validated can be very helpful in reducing and/or alleviating the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD therapy and PTSD medications are effective treatments for those experiencing this severe anxiety disorder, developed after a traumatic event. For PTSD treatment, these techniques are usually combined for the best outcome (What is Posttraumatic Stress Disorder [PTSD]?).

Because many psychiatric illnesses commonly occur alongside PTSD, they may also need treatment. Many people with PTSD also have issues with substance abuse (drug addiction information); in these cases, the substance abuse should be treated before the PTSD. In the cases where depression occurs with post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD treatment should be the priority, as PTSD has a different biology and response than depression.1

Post-traumatic stress disorder can occur at any age and can be caused by any event or situation the person perceives as traumatic (PTSD in Children: Symptoms, Causes, Effects, Treatments). About 7% – 10% of Americans will experience post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) at some point in their lives.

PTSD Therapy

Several types of therapy are used in the treatment of PTSD (PTSD Therapy and Its Role in Healing PTSD). The two primary PTSD therapies are:

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for PTSD focuses on recognizing thought patterns and then ascertaining and addressing faulty patterns. For example, faulty thought patterns may be causing the individual to inaccurately assess the danger of a situation and thus react to a level of danger that isn’t present. CBT is often used in conjunction with exposure therapy where the person with PTSD is gradually exposed to the feared situation in a safe way. Over time, exposure therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder allows the person to withstand and adjust to the feared stimuli.2

EMDR therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a technique that combines exposure and other therapeutic approaches with a series of guided eye movements. This PTSD therapy is designed to stimulate the brain’s information-processing mechanisms in an effort to reprocess the traumatic memories so they can be integrated into the psyche without the associated anxiety. (Watch an interview about EMDR Therapy Self Help Techniques for Trauma Relief)

Other therapy techniques used in PTSD treatment include:

  • Family therapy
  • Play therapy
  • Art therapy
  • Relaxation exercises
  • Hypnosis
  • PTSD Support Groups
  • Individual talk therapy – particularly for those with trauma from abuse or from childhood
  • Anxiety management

PTSD Medications

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) medications can often be used to alleviate the physical symptoms of PTSD enough so that PTSD therapy has a chance to work. Several types of PTSD medications are available, although not all are Food and Drug Administration (FDA)-approved in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

Medications for PTSD include:

  • Antidepressants – several types of antidepressants are prescribed for PTSD. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) are the primary type. SSRIs have been shown to help the symptoms associated with re-experiencing of trauma, avoidance of trauma cues and over-awareness of possible dangers (hyperarousal). Both sertraline (Zoloft) and paroxetine (Paxil) are FDA-approved antidepressant PTSD medications
  • Benzodiazepines – tranquilizers most frequently prescribed for the short-term management of anxiety symptoms. This type of PTSD medication may relieve irritability, sleep disturbances and hyperarousal symptoms. Examples include lorazepam (Ativan) and diazepam (Valium).
  • Beta-blockers – may help with symptoms associated with hyperarousal. Propranolol (Inderal, Betachron E-R) is one such drug.
  • Anticonvulsants – anti-seizure medications also prescribed for bipolar disorder. No anticonvulsants are FDA-approved for PTSD treatment; however, those who experience impulsivity or involuntary mood swings (emotional lability) may be prescribed medications such as carbamazepine (Tegretol, Tegretol XR) or lamotrigine (Lamictal).
  • Atypical antipsychotics – these medications may help those with symptoms around re-experiencing the trauma (flashbacks) or those who have not responded to other treatment. No antipsychotic is FDA-approved in the treatment of PTSD but drugs like resperidone (Risperdal) or olanzapine (Zyprexa) may be prescribed.

Novel pilot studies also suggest that Prazosin (Minipress, an alpha-1 receptor agonist) or Clonidine (Catapres, Catapres-TTS, Duraclon, an antiadrenergic agent) may also be helpful in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

article references

Understand Trauma-Informed Care to Improve PTSD Therapy

Understanding trauma-informed care can assist you in making the most out of your PTSD treatment. Here is what you need to know about trauma-informed care.

https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/traumaptsdblog/2017/06/getting-the-most-out-of-therapy-for-ptsd/

In the field of mental health, the phrase trauma-informed care refers to a set of standards practitioners follow when treating individuals who have experienced trauma. Trauma-informed care reduces the risk of causing inadvertent harm to or retraumatizing people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Understanding the basics of trauma-informed care can help you make the most out of your PTSD therapy.

Understanding Trauma-Informed Care Improves PTSD Therapy

There are six parts to trauma-informed care. When I first discovered them, I realized my assumptions and insecurities about therapy were keeping me from expressing things that would benefit my recovery (Does the Stigma of Therapy Keep You from Getting Help?). Here is what I learned about these six areas and how they helped me become more involved in my treatment and get the most out of my PTSD therapy.

  1. Safety
    Providers want us to feel safe, physically and mentally. They strive to provide settings where we will feel at ease and best able to communicate. Tell your provider when something makes you feel uncomfortable. For example, I dislike heights and asked that the shades be drawn in my therapist’s office because it was several floors up and made me nervous.
  2. Trustworthiness and Transparency
    Providers should be happy to explain how their office runs as well as the policies they have in place. When I began therapy, I worried that some of my questions might be rude. In reality, they were all very understandable concerns. Asking why there is a locking door between the waiting area and the offices, how the staff is trained to react if someone becomes violent, or what will happen if your therapist believes you may harm yourself are all examples of policy-related questions.
  3. Peer Support
    Part of trauma-informed care is acknowledging that people who have experienced trauma can benefit from sharing their trauma stories and experiences with each other in a safe environment. Some agencies employ peer navigators who are available to coach us through situations that they have dealt with firsthand. If your service provider doesn’t have any peer support options, talk to them about what is available in the community.
  4. Collaboration and Mutuality
    We’re all in this together. Healing happens in relationships and includes every person we encounter in the therapy environment: therapists, case workers, clerical staff, housekeeping, administrators, and peers. We should feel comfortable and supported by every person we come into contact with, and it’s okay to express concern to trusted staff if someone makes you uneasy or acts in a way that upsets you.
  5. Empowerment, Voice, and Choice
    Your provider’s first resource is you. You guide your treatment, and your provider should give you options, not instructions. Providers have an understanding that you should be making the choices, but it helps when you let them know you’re ready to make decisions or when you feel lost and need extra guidance.
  6. Cultural, Historical, and Gender Issues
    No matter what your cultural identity, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, or religion, you should not only feel welcome unconditionally as you are, but your therapy should embrace your identity and include it in meaningful ways. Make sure your therapist knows what is important to you.