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Brian McKenna

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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…

Top TEN Cheatsheet to Make a PTSD Brain Feel Better

A top ten cheatsheet to make the PTSD brain feel 2% better; maybe. For me anyhow. I’ve heard most of the claims.  Not all I’m sure, as someone will probably have a PTSD drink on the market soon.  I can just see it now.  It will be the shamwow guy telling you that with “simply taking 3 of these pills today and a shake made of kale and beetle piss, we can cure your PTSD!”. But I’ve pretty much heard it all, including the low of the low being a doctor walking around a veteran fundraiser handing out business cards claiming that he can completely cure everybody of PTSD with 5 sessions of EMDR with him. Only him though.  I’ve heard that equine (horse) therapy is dogshit and doesn’t work, from a guy peddling a dog program.  Likewise I’ve heard that its the best thing ever from a guy running…

Sex and PTSD

So, I’ve made a promise to do a piece on SEX and PTSD.  How about those Canucks? How about those bears, cubs, yankees, bluejays, arsenal gunners, Geelong cats, or anything else other than this topic right? But lets scour the internet hoping someone finally takes a swing at it.  So, I’m here.  And I’m in a swinging mood.  But not that kind of swinging mood. Note from Kate: I asked, nay, begged Brian to write this for all those who over the years have asked me about sex and PTSD.  Intimacy and PTSD.  “Am I pervert?  That’s what she said. Why do I need it this much?” and on, and on.  I wrote a couple of years ago on Sex being the Number One Addiction in Policing.  It did the rounds.   Chaplains contacted me, Chiefs of Police, all agreed.  But NOBODY from the psychological world followed up.  Where are…