Positive Affects from Having Had PTSD

Because there are so many great blogs about addiction recovery and/or mental illness, I will be choosing topics from their writings and posting the best of each. If you have a topic you’d like to have researched or another addiction recovery and/or mental illness blog that you’d like to have added, please email me.

1.  From MC Kelly: “Trauma & Post-Traumatic Growth”:

“In the face of high doses of trauma, and especially if there are signs of post-traumatic stress, early treatment is essential, states Joseph C. Napoli, M.D., a psychiatrist in Fort Lee, New Jersey, and co-director of Resiliency, a crisis-response consulting firm.”

“Psychologists say taking action and finding positive passions can spur post-traumatic growth. Some survivors turn to religion, volunteering, athletics or another outlet. Others show growth by transforming their trauma into service, speaking in the community, serving as a witness in court or lobbying for laws that would prevent similar accidents.”

“Coming to terms with the loss of control is also key to creating a more fulfilling life after trauma, says Ken Reinhard, Ph.D., director of the Anxiety Disorders Clinic for the Veteran’s Administration Hudson Valley Health Care System in Montrose, New York.”

“If you’re struggling after a trauma, visit the American Psychological Association at APA.org.”

2. From Chris Hudon: “Operation Warrior teaches meditation to vets with post traumatic stress disorder”:

“After the horrors of World War II, everyday life seemed impossible for one Vero Beach man.”

“But 30 years later, he said, something pulled him through. And Jerry Yellin, now 86, has started an organization that helps soldiers with post-traumatic stress, or PTSD, in an unusual way and he wants to share that secret with today’s combat veterans.”

“His new organization, Operation Warrior Wellness, is a division of the David Lynch Foundation, which is a national nonprofit started in 2005 that pays for the teaching of meditation to at-risk populations.”

“The kind of meditation used is called transcendental meditation, a form practiced in India for thousands of years that requires only 20 minutes twice per day.”

“Yellin was a P-51 pilot in World War II who flew 19 missions over Japan. His experiences left him alone and unable to talk to anyone following the war.”

“The sights and the sounds and the smell and the body parts are a permanent part of my memory,” said Yellin. “To have an incredibly clear purpose of what to do everyday and then one day the war is over and everything you’ve been doing falls away, life really has no meaning.”

3.  From Dr. John Zemler: “A Laundry List of PTSD Healing Techniques”:

“Start Writing:  You don’t have to share it with anyone.  But it will help.”

“Start Talking: Find someone you can trust and talk about it.  They have to be able to hear the same story over and over and be able to listen and not judge or interrupt.  Sometimes only a good therapist can do that.   Anyone can interrupt me (they often do!), it is a gift to be able to listen attentively.”

“Seek God: If you have a faith community, start attending.  You can write and talk to God.  This can be done formally (church service) or informally by taking a walk and telling God what is on your mind, or writing about an important issue in your journal.”

“Get Creative: Find, or start fresh, some creative outlet.  Creation is life and it helps heal PTSD.  Drawing, singing, painting, writing, etc.  Some folks say they don’t know how so they never start to be creative.  Then it is a great opportunity to discover where talents lie that are now very rough but that can be nurtured.  Art is life.”

“Compassion: While this is a hard one it is necessary: Try to understand people the way you would like to be understood.  Tolerate as you would like to be tolerated.   This often takes a lifetime, but we can choose to become more compassionate.”

“Forgiveness:  If you cannot forgive, ask God that you will one day have the grace to forgive.  PTSD thrives on hate and will try to keep us from forgiveness.  Forgiveness does not mean we suddenly trust someone, it means we will no longer be controlled by hatred.  Forgiveness does not means we say it is okay that these bad things have occurred.  It means we want to heal from their effects.”

Photo credit.

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