Finding Inner Strength When You Have Nothing Left

Oh my. Where do I begin? Donald Trump has an opinion about veterans who suffer from PTSD. They’re not strong¹ in his estimation. From Vice President Joe Biden on Trump’s comments:...more

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Statistics

Post-traumatic stress disorder treatment centers see cases of this anxiety disorder triggered by rape, war, death and other instances of trauma. It's thought that part of the reason some people develop post-traumatic stress disorder is due to heredity. Although the exact cause hasn't been pinpointed as of yet, a great deal is known about the disorder....more

The Shower, PTSD, And My Traumatic Labor

I don’t have all the answers. Some days, I feel like I don’t have any answers. Content notice: PTSD, pregnancy, birth The baby, a soft, squishy newborn, was asleep in the very center of our huge bed. My wife was sitting near him, either checking Facebook or watching him breathe, depending on her mood. I went into the master bath to take a shower....more

My Emotionally Abusive Childhood: Get the Hell Over it, Right?

I have wanted to write about my past for a few years now.  But only for the last few years and never having the courage to do so.  This despite so many therapists telling me how cathartic a process it would be for me.  I’m in my middle 40’s now and have been getting this same advice since I first broke apart in 1995.  I simply never saw the point in writing down all the ugliness.  Instead, I let it bang around in my brain for the better part of the last 20 years, slowly making me sicker and sicker.  Now it’s time for a release.  I’m writing some down and I...more

My kid was spit on at school yesterday

She didn't tell me. She didn't tell anyone at school.My kid was spit on. Intentionally. She was spit on by a kid one grade behind her, at the behest of her ex-best friend. The two have had a falling out in recent weeks.I don't care that this kid's moms are going through a divorce. I don't care that she resents one of her moms for her mental illness or that she is angry that she is an IVF baby or that she has a kidney issue that will be with her for her whole life.I know my kid....more

Trigger Warning: Trigger Warnings

What is a trigger warning?Let's start with a more basic question. What is a trigger?Just as a literal trigger activates a gun, a figurative trigger activates your mental disorder. It's a stimulus that sets off either a manic or depressive phase, or a bout of PTSD.Triggers are usually unique to the individual. What sets you off may not affect me at all....more

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and our Military

Supporting veterans has been an integral part of my becoming a social worker and continuing a higher education to provide therapy.  I wanted to become a counselor to work in the field of drug and alcohol addiction. That changed when my boyfriend and I began living together, eventually having our first child and then getting married. We had made a commitment to each other the moment we moved in; we moved in together because we knew this is it! We are committed and there is no going back. We had our son and life felt complete....more

Post Traumatic Growth

Post Traumatic GrowthLife is full of irony and paradoxes. The more people I meet, the more my theory about post traumatic growth is confirmed. We all want to live a life that is trauma free and coasts along smoothly. I can’t imagine anyone deliberately choosing hardship over harmony. Yet there are many virtues associated with experiencing a difficult time. When we are struggling and life has pushed us into a corner, we go into survival mode and we find skills and strengths that we never knew we had. This allows us to grow and be more resilient in life....more

EMDR, a treatment for sexual assault

EMDR, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing is a treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  It has been used effectively for veterans coming back from war and for others who have experienced trauma, including survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sexual assault at any age. It is a process that stimulates opposite sides of the brain (my therapist tapped alternately on my right and left knees), and breaks up the neural pathways that go from the trigger to the reliving of the trauma....more

New hope for PTSD, anxiety and depression

The effects of stress on the brain have been known for awhile, but the "why" behind it has been stumping neuroscientists.While they've known that hormones can change the way nerves fire, which leaves us open to PTSD, depression and anxiety, the cellular level has been more difficult to study....more