12 signs you might be suffering from PTSD

ptsd stands for post-traumatic stress disorder a condition officially recognized in 1980 to describe exposure to a relatively brief but devastating event typically a war a rape an accident or a terrorist incident complex ptsd recognized in 1994 describes exposure to something equally devastating but over a very long time normally the first 15 years of life emotional neglect humiliation bullying disrupted attachment violence and anger a lot of us as many as 20 percent are wandering the world as undiagnosed sufferers of complex ptsd we know that all isn't well but we don't have a term to capture the problem we don't connect up our ailments and we have no clue who to seek out or what sort of treatment might help so here are 12 leading symptoms of complex ptsd we might think about which ones if any apply to us and more than seven might be a warning sign worth listening to firstly a feeling that nothing is safe wherever we are we have an apprehension that something awful is about to happen we are in a state of hyper vigilance the catastrophe we expect often involves a sudden fall from grace we will be hauled away from current circumstances and humiliated perhaps put in prison and denied all access to anything kind or positive we won't necessarily be killed but to all intents our life will be over people may try to reassure us through logic that reality won't ever be that bad but logic doesn't help we're in the grip of an illness we aren't just a bit confused secondly we can never relax this shows up in our body we're permanently tense or rigid we have trouble with being touched perhaps in particular areas of the body the idea of doing yoga or meditation or breathing exercises these things aren't just not appealing they may be positively revolting we may call them hippie with a sneer and deeper down they are of course terrifying probably our bowels are troubled too our anxiety has a direct link to our digestive system thirdly we can't ever really sleep and we wake up very early generally in a state of high alarm as though during rest we've let down our guard and are now in even greater danger than usual fourthly we have deep in ourselves an appalling self-image we hate who we are we think we're ugly monstrous repulsive we think we're awful possibly the most awful person in the world our sexuality is especially perturbed we feel predatory sickening shameful fifthly we're often drawn to highly unavailable people we tell ourselves we hate needy people but what we really hate are people who might be too available for us we make a beeline for people who are disengaged won't want warmth from us and who might be struggling with our own undiagnosed issues around avoidance sixthly we are sickened by people who want to be cozy with us we call these people puppyish revolting or desperate seventh we are prone to losing our temper very badly sometimes with other people more often just with ourselves we aren't so much angry as very very worried worried that everything is about to become very awful again we are shouting because we're terrified we look mean we are in fact defenseless eighth we are highly paranoid it's not that we expect other people will poison us or follow us down the street we just suspect that other people will be hostile to us and will be looking out for opportunities to crush and humiliate us we can be mesmerically drawn to examples of this happening on social media the unkindest and most arbitrary environment which anyone with complex ptsd easily confuses with the whole world chiefly because it operates like their world randomly and very meanly ninth we find other people so dangerous and worrying that being alone has huge attractions we might like to go and live under a rock forever in some moods we associate bliss with not having to see anyone again ever tenth we don't register to ourselves as suicidal but the truth is that we find living so exhausting and often so unpleasant we do sometimes long not to have to exist anymore eleven we can't afford to show much spontaneity we're rigid about our routines everything may need to be exactly so as an attempt to ward off looming chaos we may clean a lot sudden changes of plan can feel indistinguishable from the ultimate downfall we dread 12.

In a bid to try to find safety we may throw ourselves into work amassing money fame honor prestige but of course this never works the sense of danger and self-disgust is coming from so deep within we can never reach a sense of safety externally a million people can be cheering but one year will be enough once again to evoke the self-disgust we have left unaddressed inside breaks from work can feel especially worrying retirement and holidays create unique difficulties those are the symptoms so what is the cure for all these arduous symptoms of complex ptsd partly we need to courageously realize that we have come through something terrible that we haven't until now properly digested because we haven't had a kind stable environment in which to do so we are a little wonky because long ago the situation was genuinely awful when we were small someone made us feel extremely unsafe even though they might have been our parent we were made to think that nothing about who we were was acceptable in the name of being brave we had to endure some very difficult separations perhaps repeated over years no one reassured us of our worth we were judged with intolerable harshness the damage may have been very obvious but more typically it might have unfolded in objectively innocent circumstances a casual visitor might never have noticed there might have been a narrative which lingers still that we were part of a happy family one of the great discoveries of researchers in complex ptsd is that emotional neglect within outwardly high achieving families can be as damaging as active violence in obviously deprived ones if any of this rings bells we should stop being brave we should allow ourselves to feel compassion for who we were that might not be easy given how hard we tend to be with ourselves the next step is to try to identify a therapist or counselor trained in how to handle complex ptsd that may well be someone trained specifically in dealing with trauma which involves directing enormous amounts of compassion towards one's younger self in order to have the courage to face the trauma and recognize its impact on one's life rather touchingly and simply the root cause of complex ptsd is an absence of love and the cure for it follows the same path we need to re-learn to love someone we very unfairly hate beyond measure ourselves the school of life offers online psychotherapy to people all around the world our therapists are highly trained and accredited and are a vital source of kindness solace and wisdom for life's most difficult moments click the link to find out more you

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