Tag-Archive for » Mental Disorder «

What do you value most…

Okay, my turn! 😉 Yesterday I shared a question

“What do you value the most: free time, recognition, or money? And why?” –Psychcentral.com

And I want to thank everyone who joined in. It was really just for fun and actually questions like that are what I call “brain games” which are awesome for working/exercising the brain. The brain is like a large muscle and needs exercise also, when you exercise your brain it helps with cognitive function, which is important to everyone but very important to those with PTSD, depression, and other mental and/or physical brain disabilities/injuries. 

So, my answer…

I personally would have to answer with “free time”.

1. Without it, it will be hard, many times impossible, to find enough or any self balance in order to accomplish the other two choices. Time has to be made and taken in order to take care of yourself mentally and physically first, which will lead to the balance, concentration, energy, and ability to succeed in other areas.

2. Time is something that once it is gone/passes, you cannot get it back. The events of time, once time has passed, become thoughts or memories, rather good or bad obviously. But you cannot step back in time to change things. You can only learn from what you have already experienced, and use those things to move forward in positive ways with what you choose to do next or what comes next and how to handle/manage it. It goes back to that old saying, “Use your time wisely”  Time equals knowledge.

The other two options to this question were recognition and money…

I did not choose money, because money is something that can disappear at any point in time, it can fluctuate, it’s value can go up or down… Even though it is important “this day and age”, you can accomplish and have the knowledge of how to live without it. Now lol, I’m not saying that would be as comfortable or easy by any means, but is possible. Money is also something that if you do not have it, you can work towards building it. But there again, you have to have the time to build/learn the knowledge to get there.

I did not choose recognition, because if you take the time to build your balance, your self-worth, recognition will become something that on a personal level you can have recognition within yourself and not feel as great of a need for it to come from others. Sure, it’s nice to be recognized, for others to notice, which also helps build self-esteem, but the inner balance makes that outside recognition from others not as important as time. If recognition is something that is important to you, it still takes time to accomplish it.

Without money in this day and age, you are going to stress. Without recognition you are going to stress that you are not good enough. But if you take, make, and use your time… you can accomplish anything starting with the self balance you form which in return helps remove the stress. Just my personal opinion. 

Thank you again to everyone that joined in! It was just a fun game and there is no set right or wrong answers, but it gives you something to think about, and most of all it exercises the brain. 

~Bec
A Spouse’s Story PTSD

I want to wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

Where ever you are around the world…

I want to wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!

My New Year’s Wish…

May your New Year be filled with love and compassion for and from those around you.

May you have the strength to find and use coping skills, and for those closest to you to have the strength to use their’s as well.

May relationships heal and families mend.

May communication grow stronger with each breath taken, with words of kindness to work together without judgement or criticism.

May you have peaceful sleep come with your nights, and symptoms decrease.

May motions lead to emotions, and the numbness fade away.

May your physical health grow stronger.

May education and awareness grow greatly.

May stigma continue to vanish, at the least… one person at a time.

May the suicide rate decrease to zero, and people know they are not alone!

May everyone who suffers or feel as if they only survive PTSD and other mental illnesses/disorders, re-learn how to LIVE!

As I always say 😉 the list is long, but I think that’s a fair start within reason.

Have a SAFE and HAPPY NEW YEAR everyone!

Love,
~Bec

A Spouse’s Story PTSD

Everyone needs to read and share this…

PLEASE read and “share” this…

I’m on my soapbox this morning. So pardon me while I’m there but this needs to be said. The worst thing to me is knowing that so many people wear blinders when it comes to hearing the term “PTSD”.

Yes, by all means doctor, medications, and therapy can be of great help to ones who suffer from PTSD… BUT, yep I put a but in there… but the real help is going to come from the public and people learning about PTSD! That is YOU!

We have proof right here in front of us that educating yourself about PTSD can save lives! In numbers we can and do make a difference.

It does not matter if you know someone who has PTSD or not! And I can almost bet you DO know someone rather you realize it or not, many suffer in silence due to the stigma and what others will say or think. People, that’s sad!!! Each day there are ones with PTSD taking their own lives, the numbers are extremely high. Why? Because the battle became too strong for them to handle alone! PTSD takes support, it takes learning, it takes educating others, it takes this WORLD laying it’s differences to the side to save mankind!

When you turn your back on a person that is suffering, you are turning your back on a human being, and many times that person is a mother, a father, someone’s brother or sister, your friend, your neighbor, that nice person you met at the grocery store that offered to help you load your car, that person who went out of their way to hold a door open for you, that person who you made eye contact with that politely nodded and kept on walking. PTSD wears many faces, a person with PTSD is no different then you or I, they have just experienced something traumatic when maybe you haven’t.

Taking the time to learn about PTSD rather you think you know someone with it or not can honestly save a another person’s life! It is never too late or early to learn. PTSD can affect anyone, and I dearly hope you never have to experience it, but in all honesty look at the numbers of how many people do. Look at how many take their own lives each day… ONLY the reported numbers in the United States, now that’s reported numbers, that does not include civilians, unreported cases, or world wide… 22/23 per day! That’s a lot of people and YOU can help prevent this!

It only takes a few seconds to hit a “share” button from any PTSD page or share a link to a website… I mean seriously, you do it for everything else in the social media, it only takes a few minutes to read an article on how YOU can help or learn the basics about PTSD, and it only takes one second to save another person’s life! That person you passed in the store or made eye contact with, they may be the one on that last breathe that sees no hope left, did you know that YOU may be the person that creates a setting for them to keep fighting? I’m very serious, I pull no punches and I play no games, you never know when it may be you to save that person, and many times you may not even know you did.

If you were or are the one who suffers from this unseen disability, wouldn’t you want someone to care enough about other human beings to help YOU? ABSOLUTELY!!! Take the blinders off!

Ones with PTSD have feelings, emotions, and can throw a good cook out just as the next person, they can be great fathers and mothers and friends. DO NOT let the fear of the unknown blind you to what is all around you, stigma is a horrible thing and comes from the fear of the unknown. It only takes a few minutes of your time to educate yourself and share that education with others. And again, if PTSD happens to you or a loved one, wouldn’t you want someone to do the same? YES!

A person suffering from PTSD is not a bad person, they are only a person who has to fight harder to have as normal of a life as possible. They are not weak minded, if fact they are what I call “the best of the best”. Why? Because they have made it through something that completely changed their life, they have witnessed things that you can not even imagine the horror, and they fight everyday of their life to make it to the next! That takes a strong person in my book! Much stronger then many.

The only things you hear in the media are the bad things. It’s extremely misleading. And those bad things that are being reported most likely are cases where that person did not receive or was not able to reach for proper help. If you want those bad stories and cases to go away, you want the fear of the unknown to vanish, then do something!

Many of these people are heroes and many wear different “uniforms”. They are military, civilian, doctors, nurses, police officers, paramedics, firefighters, teachers, fathers, mothers, K9 trainers/handlers, etc. and they may just be your neighbor.

It is not a battle anyone deserves to fight alone. With support, education, and just taking a few minutes of your time, YOU can make a huge difference in this world… you can save a life! Why are you delaying? Rather you know someone with PTSD or not, I ask you to please… and I will swallow my pride and beg you, please hit the “share” button on this. You might just save a life today!

Let’s make this go viral! Someone out there and someone you may know, deserves it!

~Bec
A Spouse’s Story PTSD

Doctor Appointments

Doctor Appointments

Do you attend doctor appointments with your PTSD (or any other mental disorder/illness for that matter) partner?

This is something a lot of people do not really think about to be honest. I mean, it’s not an appointment for you, so why should you go? Why should you take off work for it, if you work? Isn’t it the other person’s “problem”? Many people who are not a caregiver to the person where they know they really need to do these things, may just not think about them.

OH, let me let you in on a few things you might not have thought about. When a mental condition is at hand, no matter what it may be, or another health issue which may be severe or even stressful for the one with it, YOU might want to at least ask the person if they would like you to go with them. And don’t forget, at times they may say no because they already feel as if they are a burden, point out and talk to them about why it would be good for you to go.

I have heard several people say “It’s his/her problem, so I don’t go to his/her appointments.”

Well, I have news for you, if that person is someone you love, help care for, or is your partner in life, you might want to really look at what you are saying.

Here’s a few reasons why:

* First off, it’s a form of support. 

Even if you do not do anything but sit in the waiting room, that person knows you are there if they need you. Sometimes doctor appointments can also be emotional and you being there can help them and also help them when they are leaving the appointment if they are too emotional to drive or having to cope with what was discussed in the appointment.

* Information.

There is no better way to know the information that could in many cases be important to both of you then to be there. At times a person may have memory issues or not remember details for a longer length of time. This is common with not only PTSD, but other conditions as well. In these cases, between that appointment and them getting back home some of the important information needed may not be recalled. By being there, you are more apt to get the information that could help them, especially right after an appointment if you do not sit in on it. It also keeps you informed of things they may have been advised to do or try. By knowing it gives you the advantage to help them stay on track with their treatment and progress.

* Being included in appointments.

If the one who has the appointment tells the doctor they want you included in the appointment, many doctors are more then welcome to include you. There may have to be a paper signed by the patient stating the doctor can include you, for privacy purposes, but that’s okay. The only time I have ever found that you really would not want to sit in on an appointment is if it is a one on one therapy session, but even with those, sitting in the waiting room can be a huge help. Especially if the doctor has questions for you about something that has come up in the session. When two people are trying to work through life with a mental illness, it’s good for both of you to be on the same page and being on the same page in many cases means being there at those appointments.

This also gives you the opportunity to ask questions to the doctor of what you can do or how you can handle certain things. It helps you help your PTSD loved one.  It also gives you the chance to work together which is urgent.

* Medications.

It is always a good idea to know the medications your partner is taking! Even if the one with PTSD is fully capable of handling their medications on their own, there are still very good reasons for you to know this information also. If there is ever a medical emergency, you have the information to give professionals which may not know your loved one’s medical history. Also by you knowing their medications it gives you a better idea of what the doctors are treating them for and why, how to help, and just simply help them keep up with the medications they should be taking.

And again, if memory is an issue, knowing medications and dosages can be urgent to make sure they take the correct amounts when they need to, also to make sure they do not accidentally overdose! You can also double check to make sure refills are done when they need to be so they always have the medications they need and there is not a lapse of time between refills. Many of the medications for PTSD can not be or are not recommended to be stopped cold turkey, so those delays if not refilled on time can become urgent.

* Memory issues.

I know I’ve already mentioned this several times but I want to add to it. If you know or suspect your PTSD loved one has memory issues at any level, you can be a huge help not only to them but to their doctor as well. MANY with PTSD or even other mental conditions do suffer from some level of memory difficulties.

Many times when memory is a symptom of an illness, doctor appointments can end up seeming like a repeat of the last one. Same things discussed all over again, which leads to no or very little moving forward with treatment. Going to appointments can help keep sessions moving forward! You can give the doctor an update, even if you just sit in on an appointment for 5-10 minutes, and let them know about progress, any difficulties, things you have noticed, how the person has been since their last appointment, and areas you see they could use some extra help in. They need to know about the good days too!

When memory is a part of this, the person may not recall how they were last week or even yesterday. Many times they will say “oh I’m doing okay” or “not good”, when in fact they may have hit rock bottom 3 days ago or maybe they actually had an awesome day/week. Many do answer the question with the here and now of how they are feeling right then which can be misleading to what they have been like or going through. You giving their doctor an update, even if brief, can help the doctor know exactly what has been going on so they can help the one with PTSD in the areas needed at that time.

* Making notes.

This can be a life saver! Make notes of things you have noticed between appointments. If you are sitting in on an appointment it is important that YOU do not “take over” THEIR appointment! However a good way to experience a better appointment is to take notes ahead of time and nothing lengthy but specific points of concern and also the good days. If you notice something is being left out during a session that needs to be addressed it’s good to add in “I noticed…” Could you help him/her/us with this.

If you can not attend an appointment, ask the doctor if you can email them notes before a visit or drop them off if it’s not out of the way. They most likely will not respond to you unless proper paperwork is in order for them to do so, but just making sure they get the information can help out a lot! And it only takes a few minutes to call the office and say “Could you please give Dr. [name] a message for me. Please let him/her know that [name]’s spouse sent him/her an email to help out with the appointment later today/tomorrow.” Any good doctor will take the time to review what you have sent to them!

You are the one living with the person, therefore you have a lot of information the doctors could use in making sure your loved one gets the best time of every visit they have. Notes can be extremely important, just make sure they are helpful and not an attack… or that doctor may wonder if you are actually trying to help the one with PTSD… or not.

These are just a few examples of how being involved in your loved one’s care can be beneficial to them… and you/your family. And if you are one with PTSD (or other medical condition), think about including your partner in your treatment! They could really be a huge help to you. Working together, even when it comes to doctor appointments, can be a huge help to everyone and help you move forward! 

~Bec
A Spouse’s Story…PTSD

“How do you find Happiness?”…

Happiness.

I was asked “how do you find happiness?”
I had to think about that one, see to me, It’s something I do, so to speak. I was told I am happy over my fish (pond), that I get excited about them and smile… and talk a lot to tell about them. I’m happy when I see that something I have said helps someone else and, at times, my words helped save someone’s life. I am happy when my children enjoy life, smile and laugh. I’m happy when Alex does well with something I’ve taught him. I’m happy when I hear from an old friend that I have missed hearing from. Wow, I think I even become happy when I manage to get the yard mowed lol. And one of the largest things, I’m happy when I see Craig have a good day and/or see him smile.

I’ll be honest, I couldn’t answer this question when it was directly asked. Sitting and thinking about what makes me happy just isn’t something I sit and think about, happiness is something that I “do”… to survive.

So, I guess when sitting and thinking about the answer, I find happiness in accomplishing something. I set out to do something, even something simple or meaningless to others in many cases, and when I succeed the least little bit it makes me happy. It shows me I can still move forward, make progress, change something, make something better then it was, experience life.

PTSD changes your feelings and emotions. You battle to feel anything other then the feeling of being numb to everything. But, that doesn’t mean you can’t find your happiness, it just means you have to work harder for it, and the accomplishments you make no matter how tiny or huge, mean something great. You have to re-learn, so to speak, to accept your accomplishments. PTSD in many cases needs you to take small steps, but each step is actually huge and you need to view your accomplishment of that step instead of what you haven’t done or can no longer seem to do.

Don’t allow the negative things in life weigh you down. “Look to the good”, one of my favorite sayings. There is a lot of weight and negative things that comes with PTSD, they can get you in a “bad place” or frame of mind very easily, actually becoming “stuck” in them. But one little thing of positive can outweigh it, you just have to recognize and remember that the good things are there too and use them to find happiness.

It might be something as simple as telling a loved one “I love you”, and seeing them smile. It might be starting a hobby or project and seeing you got part of it done today. It might be something like coming out of your “safe” area a little more then normal. It might be taking a short walk around the yard. Talking to your children. Helping someone out with something, even within your own home. And at times happiness will find you, recognize and accept it when it comes, you deserve it! The list is endless to what can bring or help you find happiness. Use those things as building blocks to a larger place, a happier place. 😉

Sending you a huge smile 🙂 to start your day. DO something, even if it is a simple giving a smile to someone… you might just see a smile back, an accomplishment to finding happiness. 😉

~Bec
“A Spouse’s Story…PTSD”

The Basics of PTSD…

I think it’s always important to come back to the basics of PTSD and what is is from time to time. Many people are just starting to learn and this info is extremely helpful to know.

Yesterday, Staci shared this with us and I wanted to make sure everyone saw it…

So with that said, What is PTSD and how does it effect a person?

From Staci:

” How many people are afflicted with PTSD?

Approximately 8 million Americans will have PTSD symptoms at some time in their lives, and women are twice as likely to be afflicted with the disorder as men. It is estimated that 30 percent of men and women who serve in wars and have been subjected to activity in war zones will have some form of PTSD.

What are the symptoms of PTSD?

A person who is suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder may exhibit a variety of symptoms, and they fall into three distinct categories:

Reliving the event (“Re-experiencing”)
• Flashbacks will occur, where the person will relive certain parts of the event over and over again.
• Anything that reminds the person of the stressful event will elicit a very strong reaction.
• Nightmares may be a part of PTSD, with difficulties in falling asleep and staying asleep.

Avoidance
• There will be avoidance of anything that reminds the person of the stressful event, including people, places, objects, and situations.
• The PTSD sufferer may show a lack of interest in activities that were once enjoyable.
• The individual may report a numb, detached feeling, as though nothing matters or is worth caring about. He or she may also feel cut off from others on an emotional level, which creates feelings of isolation.
• Certain aspects of the traumatic event may be blocked from the memory.
• Moods may be muted or blunted to the point where the individual will not have the same emotions as were experienced before the traumatic event took place.
• The person may feel that there is no future for him or her.

Arousal
• A person suffering with PTSD will have a hard time concentrating and keeping his or her mind on one thing.
• PTSD sufferers may also experience hypervigilance, where they are much more aware of what is happening in their environment.
• The person will startle very easily and have a strong response to anything that does startle him or her.
• Irritability will occur in this category, and the individual will be prone to bursts of anger.
• There might be feelings of guilt concerning the event. One form of guilt, known as survivor guilt, occurs when someone has come through an incident where other lives were lost.
• The individual may have a hard time getting along with family members, friends and coworkers.
• There may be an anxious fear that something bad is going to happen or that danger is always around the corner.
• Symptoms of anxiety may also occur, such as an awareness of a heartbeat, dizziness, agitation, fainting and headaches. There may be bouts of nausea and diarrhea, and the person may also experience higher blood pressure. Breathing can become rapid and muscles can tense.

When symptoms are experienced, they may occur on a sporadic basis, or they may become persistent and enduring. Each individual who is afflicted with PTSD is unique and is going to have different symptoms and a different capacity for healing. With proper treatment, the quality of life can be greatly improved, in many cases to the point where a normal lifestyle can be resumed.”