You can reclaim your power after trauma, although it can be challenging. A common issue I battle from my posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the feeling of powerlessness. I've found it's hard to foster empowerment after enduring a difficult or complex trauma — even when it gets set off years later. While PTSD might be an ongoing battle for many, with the effects of trauma often lingering, there are ways you can lessen its weight. Here are six habits I've been practicing to help reclaim my power.
Seeking validation from others is often demonized today. We are made to feel guilty for this human desire — for craving attention, reassurance, and support. And while it's healthy to give yourself the validation you're searching for, shaming yourself for seeking validation from others will not help you.
Some who have struggled with childhood trauma might develop maladaptive daydreaming as a coping mechanism. For example, when I was only four, I endured child-on-child sexual assault and emotional abuse that made me feel isolated from the rest of the world. It felt too terrifying and heavy to be in the real, present moment. Any time I was still or not distracted, I felt extreme anxiety, panic, and sadness. This led to my development of maladaptive daydreaming — a habit I am still actively trying to break as an adult today.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) impacts various areas of life. When it comes to romantic and intimate relationships, PTSD can make it especially difficult to get close to someone.
Self-forgiveness in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) recovery is a valuable, yet often ignored, aspect of trauma healing. While we hear a lot about the importance of forgiving people that have hurt us, learning how to forgive ourselves is something that is not regularly discussed. However, self-forgiveness is crucial to our wellbeing, especially for people with PTSD.
Learning that I had posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) was the first important step in my trauma recovery. Symptoms of the disorder typically start within three months of a traumatic event but in some cases, there can be a delay. Because of PTSD stigma, people often dismiss symptoms of the disorder until it is no longer possible to ignore them.
I've kept strong family boundaries in place even as the COVID-19 pandemic upended life as we've known it. Stores are closed, gyms are shut down, and businesses are struggling to get by as communities across the world hunker inside their homes. While the coronavirus probably won't be much of an issue for me as a healthy, 24-year-old woman, I worry about those around me. I think about what would happen if my coaches or my friends with compromised immune systems fell ill. I worry about my sister living alone while her community is shut down. And I worry about my family members catching COVID-19 even though I've had strong family boundaries in place due to their abuse.
When you're living with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), the holiday season can feel like a nightmare. Holidays can be stressful for everyone, but trying to balance the activities of the season when you have PTSD can be very overwhelming.
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and grief are very similar at their core. They crash into our lives like a train skidding off the rails, wreck everything that we once knew, and leave us picking up the pieces of our lives in the wreckage. And for some, grief and PTSD occur at the same time. Traumatic events that involve the loss of something or someone special (a car accident, for example) can cause people to develop PTSD and feelings of grief concurrently. For others, trauma and grief occur at different points in their lives but still overlap, forcing them to deal with the emotions of both.
Suicide can be a tough topic to discuss among those suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Though around 56% of people with PTSD experience suicidal thoughts, ideation, or actions, admitting to having those feelings can feel shameful. (Note: This post contains a trigger warning.)