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#PTSD

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How to help a PTSD Brain: the do’ and don’ts

I’m in a unique position of having to take my own advice and I don’t really wanna. I’d like to tell some folks what to do, and what not to do, but I just finished a blog and posted it last week about that very thing. The risk of telling people definitively what works and what doesn’t. Instead of do and don’t do, I’m going to tailor it. Here goes. I’m going to call them “perhaps you oughtas” and “ WTF were you thinking.” Perhaps you oughta give them some time to get their groove back.  Let me tell you a little story. No trauma porn*, but a coping story or rather one that highlights a failure in coping. One normal day in 2014, I found myself with a wobbly tire on Highway 99. Highway 99 is of no significance really, other than having extremely small shoulders on the…

PTSD Triggered: First Hand Experience of BOTH SIDES

“You were born into this.  There are guys out there at 40 who are trying to figure this out for the first time.  Some think that they have to “snap” you out of this.  Shove a coke in your hand or a coffee.” Sitting at the counter of our kitchen whilst he preps supper we are talking about how to tackle this subject effectively.  I am shocked.  Who’d be so ignorant as to try to “snap” a person in a full PTSD episode back to the here and now?  Oh. Right then. Quite a lot of people apparently.  My bad. So don’t do that.  Like, seriously, DON’T.  The most that you can do if you witness another person in a full PTSD episode is to protect them as best you can from hurting themselves, be patient, kind and non-reactive.  By your presence, gentle and calm, try to reassure them…

BLUF Bottom Line Up Front

This is something thats helped me in handling those around me that I want to keep around me.  There’s a difference of course as for most people I come into day to day contact with, I don’t care if they stay around me.  Once I’m done inspecting their hands, then eyes, then checking if they have a backpack or not (yes hyper vigilance is one of my gifts to myself) I file them away into the ‘won’t remember them’ file.  I’m not talking about those people.  I’m talking about the ones around you that you love and they love you back.  And you want them to stay in your life, and they want to stay in yours. But they don’t know what to do and you don’t know how to bring them around to what actually helps. I recommend an old army adage.  The BLUF.  Not the bluffing that…

Life After PTSD

One of the things I noticed in the world of mental health advocacy is that maintaining relevancy for the cause, apparently, requires us to remain broken. Broken?  The same cop stands up and tells the same story: it happened 15 years ago and in that time he’s had 100’s of hours of counseling but it still keeps him locked.  Trapped?  His service dog is still a crutch he needs to be in public or to speak.  The PTSD/Depression/Addictions/MH Whatever book is released and suddenly a trip back to the emergency is on the cards, with full social media fanfare.  The veteran angrily defends his right to be, well, angry.  The stereotypes dance and my brain rejects the entire display. As I watched the dance and listened to the babble of the broken, I began to realize that once somebody has stepped onto the Mental Health wheel of fortune it is…